Oh to be small


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


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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Don’t believe everything you read …

…and only half of what you see.


 Just ask CNBC’s Jim Cramer of Mad Money. In last night’s episode of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, among other things, Cramer tried to explain why he recommended his viewers buy Bear Stearns just days before the company’s collapse.


90% of economic activity is based on psychology. How we …

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Greener Pastures


What do you get when you have a pair of horses, plenty to eat, and naked vines? 

A peaceful afternoon with the hint of spring in the air.   With the past few weeks of long overdue rain the sun broke through and new life unveiled itself beneath a bright sunny sky today.  I had just completed a meeting with a vintner and was getting ready to depart the winery when I looked beyond the trees and saw the horses on the hillside.  I grabbed my camera and started …

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Hitting close to home

Yesterday’s Press Democrat tells the tale of a winery employee who almost got away with embezzling “nearly 1,000 bottles of Bordeaux-style red wine” some valued up to $175 each, for a total of almost $200,000 worth of wine. The former customer service employee, based at the winery’s distribution center, managed the scheme by creating fake shipments of wine, which he labeled lost. He then sold the wine online, with the aid of two other individuals.

Company …

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Clear as mud?


 Why is the tax credit side of the stimulus bill not going to help our country?

Three easy to understand words. They are “too darn complicated”. The purpose of tax credits is to help people do something for the economy or spend money that they otherwise might not spend. Tax credits can do …

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Mustard Anyone?


So here I am standing in a vineyard soaking up the sunshine and the brilliant field of yellow before me.  Mustard, the condiment that finds its way into many a dish and on bun alike paints another postcard for us in the Napa Valley.  The wild mustard is in full bloom throughout the vineyards.  This time of the year the vines themselves are catching a long winter nap but the mustard and other cover crops are growing …

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Importance of communication

The leading cause of depression is a feeling that you have no control over your situation.  That’s how employees feel when they are kept in the dark about business results, when their performance has no direct correlation to outcomes, or when they have no clear guidance about where the company is headed.

The antidote to that feeling of helplessness is not Prozac, but information. Proper communication that involves meaningful information administered in the right dosage can do wonders for improving your team’s mental health.  The more you can make everyone involved in addressing any business issues that might arise, the happier and more productive …

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