Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I Don’t Know…

When we’re out on a winery cruise, I handle it a little differently than I think people expect a winery owner to.  Yes, I like to be prepared, but I don’t like to overdo it.  We have an incredible travel agent that handles all the logistics for us.  All we need to do is get the wine on the boat and make sure people have a good time.  The first cruise we hosted, wine club manager Kali Hoffert and I, and it was the first time for both of us ever being on a cruise.  We didn’t know what to expect, we only knew that we wanted cocktail parties every night, have fun at every place the boat docked, and that was about it.  People would ask me, “So what do we have planned today?”, and I would answer, “I don’t know,” it somewhat took them aback.  They’re used to seeing me running around the winery trying to put out fires and meet guests and club members, walk around with Dutchess before getting into something.  Just always moving.  On a cruise, it’s not like that.  At all. 

I truly didn’t know how they worked, cruises.  It was an adventure, that’s how I looked at it.  When the boat docked, there was no planned outing or van pickup, nothing like that.  We all shared in cab costs, and went out where we went out.  True vacation, why not?  One stop in particular, in Rome, we walked 19 miles in change.  Everyone went in their own directions and made the day their own adventure.  Dinner that night, our winemaker Kerry, Kali, and I were nearly the only ones standing that night at dinner.  I laughed a little, but people did what they wanted.  What vacation should be.  Freeing.

One thought I have is that I’m prepared everyday at the winery to talk about the wines, and prepared for tastings and appointment.  On this cruise, all I need to do is be prepared to talk about the wines and make sure everyone was having fun. We were in the Mediterranean, in the Baltic's, Italy as I mentioned, and a couple other places.  I’ll figure it out when I get there, that’s what I say, that’s what I’m thinking when I’m on the cruise.  Long as the wines are there, everything else will be handled.  It’ll all work out.

A cruise is supposed to be laid-back, and that’s what it is.  Some would say to a fault, but in my mind it’s just right.  All I need to do is make sure the wine is there, know where we start and where we finish, see everyone having fun, enjoying their vacation.  When I’m back at the winery, then I can be planned.  But, I will say that I’ve become more like I am on the cruise when I’m here at the winery than I was before.  What I mean is, just going with the flow sometimes.  You can only plan so much.  Just enjoy the moment and where you are.  Life is short, and if you plan too much then you spend a lot of life in planning mode.  Sometimes it’s better to just live, have the basics in place, and go from there.  That perspective is what I want guests and club members of Dutcher to appreciate.  And, what’s our next cruise’s itinerary?  I don’t know.

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