Before I knew it for sure or could even properly articulate the concept, it seemed to me that there was more than wine inside a bottle of wine. As long as I can remember, my parents were always entertaining, participating in impromptu potlucks, welcoming guests or visiting friends as a family for a meal. Wine was always a part of those events.
Living in Italy in my twenties and thirties, I very quickly embraced the realization that food and wine are love and this reality aligned perfectly with my own philosophy. The culture of the table is sacred, and friendship is too. Breaking bread and sharing wine are held in the highest order of importance, together with family. Studying wine in Italy was a near-religious experience – the extent of study was deep and the passionate descriptors pronounced in such a musical and beautiful language made for soul-stirring poetry. Ah yes, there most certainly is so much more than wine inside a bottle of wine.
Learning about the Art of Wine
Creating wine is about history, struggle, love, intuition, hard work, heart-break and triumph – a mirror of how wine integrates into our lives as consumers of it! Wine is on our table wherever we gather. It’s part of our weddings, funerals, graduations, promotions, toasting triumphs and consoling us in difficult moments.
Wine is a never-ending subject of study. Every year there is a unique new harvest that yields wine whose characteristics will depend upon the specific weather and environmental events of that year in each particular growing region! Making wine well requires a combination of science, art and love. Like a three-legged stool, successful wine making demands that all three elements are aligned and falls short if even one is missing.
You can enjoy wine without actually drinking it. I observed this fact while wine touring in Piemonte, Italy. My friend Hilary was a non-drinker. We listened to our host’s vivid and colourful stories about the history of his winery together with his fabulous metaphors and descriptions of the flavour profiles.
Hilary used her vision, her imagination and the strongest sense we have, her sense of smell. She was able to enjoy a deep appreciation for the complexity and intrigue of those wonderful miracles winemakers create every year. It was fascinating to see how much she was able to participate and enjoy without drinking a drop!
Going “Beyond the Wine”
All of that and more is what it means to go “Beyond the Wine”. So, you may wonder why all that matters. Well, here’s why it matters to me.
I had been working as a team-building/communication trainer, coach and DiSC facilitator for a few years. I was working with great clients in many sectors when one day I asked myself what it would be like to do this work that I loved in service of wineries. The idea meant combining two passions of my life: training and the business of wine – a perfect blend indeed!
I got to work right away researching the local wine industry here in British Columbia, surveying wineries, connecting with industry leaders, attending an industry AGM and ultimately speaking at a recent industry conference. It became very clear to me that my MBA studies, my international sommelier training, past career and life experiences together with my love and appreciation for all that wine represents had come together to uniquely position me to provide a new style of training for winery tasting room teams and winery leadership teams.
My Mission with Beyond the Wine
My mission with this new “Beyond the Wine” branch of my business is to tap into all those elements to train winery teams to go “Beyond the Wine”. When they do, they ensure that their guests enjoy a unique, personalized and memorable experience that leaves those visitors feeling like they’ve truly received something special. Once you’re in their hearts, your guests will buy more of your wine, join your wine club and return often so they stay connected with you (and with how you made them feel) well into the future.
If you want to talk about how we go “Beyond the Wine” to create that magical “secret sauce” unique to your winery, please contact me – it’ll be a great pleasure to talk to you about my favourite subject!