Monday, September 7, 2009

Good Partners make all the Difference

Two and a half years into being the Proprietor of Dutcher Crossing, it becomes more apparent everyday that I am fortunate enough to have joined forces with the Damskeys. One of my biggest fears was finding the right combination-winemaker and owner. I hit a home run with that but I really hit a grand slam because I have the pleasure of working with Daisy Damskey-the other half of the dynamic Damskey duo too.

There are times within the industry that owners and winemakers don't see eye-to-eye. I don't know if it's an ego issue, creative differences or a combination of many things. Knowing that before I purchased the winery, it was a key factor for the success of the winery that my winemaker and I have a good working relationship with one thing in mind-striving to make Dutcher Crossing Winery and wines the best they can be. I found a good match with Kerry. Heck, my first time meeting him as the future owner, he asked what my goals were for the winery. After filling him in on my philosophy, he stated simply but with a huge smile-"Me too! This is going to be fun!"

Kerry and I hit the ground running-adding new vineyards to our vineyard designate program, planning the replant of our vineyards and developing a comprehensive package for Dutcher Crossing (which is where Daisy shines). Daisy and I teamed up to work on Dutcher Crossing's personality, concept and image. Our goal is to constantly challenge and push ourselves to improve everyday. Kerry keeps smiling during bottling as the wines keep getting better in his opinion-music to this owner's ears! Daisy has been my sounding board and mentor as I work on the Dutcher Crossing package. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other. She gives me a different perspective on ideas/issues so I have as much information to make decisions. When I have creative thoughts I'm working through and am struck, she's the first one I call.

We've gone through some changes here at Dutcher Crossing-new wines added and the new look. It has been a nonstop adventure at full-throttle. I've had a lot of great experiences already, met a lot of new people but when I stop to think about all that's happened business wise for me over the last 2.5 yrs-I can't help but feel how lucky I am to be working with the Damskeys. Not only do we have a great business relationship and friendship but the Mathys and Damskeys are family. I cherish the past 2.5 yrs and look forward to the future.

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