I find it ironic that I am following on from my previous post with this one; timing is everything in life. Sometimes when you become cynical, something lands in front of you which brings back your feeling of hope. Always remember, that you have to get the rain Before You Get The Rainbow.
I have received some fabulous emails in regards to my last post, and I thank the writers for all of them, the comments received, twitter messages and retweets. Your feedback and honesty was much appreciated:)
So, a few days after airing my frustration and disappointment at certain happenings within the wine industry (and not by any means, tied totally to the Barossa, if that was misinterpreted), I had the fabulous experience of what it is that I was trying to make you understand - the importance of working together in tough times.
Yesterday, on my day off from the Collective Barossa cellar door, I decided to go to the shop anyway, and take care of our guests who were coming for lunch, so that Mark from Gumpara Wines could focus on serving behind the counter. I enjoy working with Mark, and Steven of Kurtz Family Vineyards as we all share the same philosophies and always have lots of laughs, in between discussions on ideas for the future of our own wineries, and Collective Barossa.
Now, getting customers in for lunch and a wine-tasting may not sound like much of great interest but it was the steps that happened for them to get there that was relevant.
The customers were from Sydney, they were brought to us by a tour operator from the McLaren Vale region, the operator of which had collaborated with a bed and breakfast operator at Gumeracha, to bring the customers to visit not only our cellar door in Tanunda, but two other local wineries, a new beer shop and one of the local pubs on the other side of the Barossa (plus a few other retail stops in between). To top it off, said customers also had the pleasure of meeting a local tour operator who runs a horse and carriage business.
All in all, the most incredible example of people from many different regions, working together to provide visitors to our state with a personal and most memorable experience. By all accounts, the customers have already stated that they had an absolute ball during the entire trip, from start to finish. They personally told me that having Mark (from Gumpara) sit and chat to them (whilst I was preparing their lunch) was a highlight of their day, and they truly enjoyed his company. Everyone was happy; the customers felt that they had been spoilt, and numerous businesses had sales on the one day from these happy customers.
So how hard is it, really? That's right - it's not. I rest my case. I'm still cynical but know that there are many more opportunities like this, so will welcome any future ventures, and do my best to work with these like-minded business owners to enjoy what ultimately is about us all working to live, not living to work, and showing each other respect. Selah.