Making hay while the sun is shining

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I was driving through Napa with the air in my face on a perfect day when I saw this hay neatly stacked.  …

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Headed in the Right Direction?

Secluded bay
Where do I start? Our family vacation took us to Kauai and it was the perfect place to recharge.  As I thumb through the hundreds of pictures I am quickly taken back to another world.  I think of the many places we discovered and the endless beauty that was awaiting us around the next bend. 

In a way, I was not much different than the many tourists that come to our backyard, Napa Valley. There we were, driving up the road with anticipation of what we would see next and probably …

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Now that’s a Weedeater!

Weadeater

You have to love a serious machine like this.  Just look at it…hydraulic hoses, retention devices, plenty of steel and hidden blades that can do some real damage.  Although this is not a new contraption it still gets the job done.  It has the ability to get to the weeds that grow between the vines.  Of course it does require the operator to position it correctly but that is where ingenuity came in. 

This particular implement had been stashed in the back of the barn for years because it was just difficult to use …

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5 Things Every Business Could Learn from Wineries

There are many things about the winery business that are fantastic.  There’s all of the magic and mystery associated with raising a crop.  And there’s that air of elegance and refinement that is the product itself , not to mention all of those french words.  Plus the power to intoxicate.  It’s not likely that a sock manufacturer is going to replicate that magic or mystery.

But there are some basic elements of the way wineries do business that other industries would do well to model:

1.  Treat your customers and prospects like family. Make them feel welcome. Offer them food, provide comfortable seating and establish …

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T’was a Spring Day

Observationi

With our firm’s “harvest” over it was time to get our team out of the office and into the vineyard to learn about spring farming activities.  Thanks to Debby Zygielbaum the vineyard manager at Robert Sinskey Vineyards, our team was introduced to the many tasks underway in the vineyards.  With a light mist in the air and a nice chilly breeze at our side we trooped along like a bunch of curious pups.  We ventured to the top of the hill to see the results of  pruning and to learn about the …

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We’re mad as heck and we’re not going to take it any more!

 

After fuming about this issue for a couple of days, I decided to help gather my fellow CPAs together and see what we could do to stop the IRS in their tracks. It seems the IRS has decided to come after some wineries for using LIFO  to value their inventory. 

 

Last week , with the help of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, we brought Washington Insider, Dean Zerbe, …

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Oh to be small

lamb-1-1023x723.jpg

I recently had the opportunity to watch many newborns like this gal, follow their mom’s throughout the pasture.  How quickly they learn that mom provides food and safety.

Looking around the wine industry it might be a good time to be small.  Like the lamb, the smaller winery is nimble and can change course quickly.  This is no time to be stuck in your ways.  Creative thinking and execution are essential in this very challenging marketplace.

You may be feeling the pressure to lower …

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Like Mother Like Daughter

mom-and-daughter-sheep

I had the opportunity to join my 17 year old daughter this week at 6:30 a.m. at Robert Sinskey Vineyards to help build a makeshift corral and then watch her help the vineyard manager, Debby herd the sheep from the pasture into the holding area.  

I got the chance to see nature’s latest gift of lambs.  The young one in the picture is about 2 weeks old.  My daughter got to return a new born to its mom when she was in the pasture.  It is hard to believe these little guys …

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It’s a Jungle Out There

Photo by John Gretz

Photo by John Gretz

From what I hear you may be feeling a bit like the Goldens in the photo.  You’re panting from trying to keep up with all that is happening around you.  One distributor down and its onto the next.  You’re not alone as everyone is making their pitch to sell that next case of wine.

If you’re a dog lover like myself you understand the “look” that this fellow companion provides when they’re in need.  As I look at the photo I see these guy’s saying “hey this …

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Taking it personally.

Many career difficulties can be traced directly to communication. It is always wise to understand your own style and the styles of those you work with and sell to, but it makes even more sense today. Almost every job posted on Monster.com includes a requirement that the applicant have “excellent communication skills.”

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