My journey into wine was not planned, nor was it a dream hobby that became a reality. My story starts as a lost teenager who graduated from high school at the age of 16 who blindly went on to study for a business degree with no clear goals in sight. My parents were not from the wine trade, nor were they wealthy or established with clear professional callings, which meant they never forced my hand on career pressures. I am exceptionally grateful for my family’s approach, as they had gifted me with independence and a chance to seek out my own destiny.
As a student, I funded my lifestyle with part-time jobs in hospitality, trying my hand at every area possible from housekeeping, bartending, waiting tables to making coffees - you name it I have done it. One evening, about three weeks away from my graduation, I was on shift at a very well regarded restaurant, which on that night became my worst nightmare. Customers were complaining about the food, the chef was barking abuse, bills went out with incorrect items, and worst of all my tip collection was atrociously deficient. That night confirmed my reservations about joining the restaurant game as a possible career option, which resulted in my decision to inform my manager that that was going to be my last shift.
Waiting patiently for my manager to close out the shift I sat at the bar with a colleague sharing my tales of the nightmare that I had just awakened from. A stiff drink is normally in order during these debriefs, however that night our manager insisted we polished off a bottle of white wine a disgruntled customer had left behind. Not knowing what the wine was, nor did I really care or have any appreciation for it, I just took the managers directives and accepted the glass.
Without a swirl or sniff, I naively just put the wine glass to my lips with the intention of a taking a large enough sip to wash away the night. As the wine hits my lips, coats my tongue and trickles down my throat an awakening expression is brought upon my face that illustrates disbelief and amazement all at the same time. At that very moment I turned to face to my colleague and said, “Holy sh$t, I need to learn how to make this”. That night everything in my life became crystal clear as I knew my destiny was not just to become a winemaker but a servant to wine and of its ability to create inspiration in life.
The bottle that started everything!