Reflecting on the occasion of CAST Wines’ tenth birthday.
Buying a vineyard and launching a new winery with our friends ten years ago was, for Ann and me, one more adventure in a now 35 year marriage full of adventures. Having raised two daughters and lived and traveled in several regions, most recently Texas, we’ve been involved in numerous careers and ventures, all interesting and rewarding. With no prior wine industry experience, we took a leap and relied upon advice and assistance from many helpful staff, vendors, neighbors and friends. The resulting opportunity to live in Healdsburg and go to “work” every day at our beautiful vineyard and winery has been a terrific ten-year ride. Most importantly, we enjoy making a product that is so magical, connecting friends and forging great memories. It’s humbling to have people all over the country enjoying something you conceived. Our little winery has created some very special wines and been part of many enjoyable encounters and we continue to explore and evolve every day.
It hasn’t always been easy, with fires and pandemics and all the surprises you could think of from Mother Nature or hungry bears eating our grapes. Looking back at some of our decisions and knowing now what we didn’t know then, it’s clear that we were naïve and even foolish in some of our assumptions. But we’ve learned and grown, individually and as a team, and now have a thriving operation and a thoughtful and energetic team, well regarded not only for our wines but for our hospitality and stewardship of this property. We still get members and guests who visited us in the “old days” who enjoy reminiscing on the terrace and we occasionally open an older vintage that brings back memories, most of them good ones. We now count many members and guests as friends and enjoy meeting new interesting visitors every day. It’s nice to be in a business where all of your visitors arrive in a great mood!
In this evolving time in our country we know one thing for certain, change is inevitable, whether a new obstacle or threat, an unforeseen circumstance or a fortunate opportunity. Being small and nimble and flexible, we will continue to steer our course for the next ten years and beyond. Maybe all this change forms part of the appeal of embracing a particular winery, enjoying the continuity of the annual release and observing the subtle changes from vintage to vintage, a little bit of comfort and tradition in a world where so much keeps evolving. When someone embraces our wines over time we are filled with pride and gratitude, for we know there are many great wines to choose from. That loyalty has supported us these past ten years and gives us hope for the years to come.
Thanks to all of you who have been part of our journey.