As we race through the final week of the year and I find myself (happily) en route to Paradise Rescued HQ in Cardan Bordeaux, I wondered what else we might say before kicking off the new year and confirming our goals for 2015. Maybe a quick summary of the highlights of what overall was a successful year will suffice for now?

Pascale Bervas assessing the successful 2013 Cabernet Franc.

        Pascale Bervas assessing the successful 2013 Cabernet Franc.

Let’s try and pick half a dozen key achievements…

As a WineCo, it all comes down to the growing season and vintage that results. For the majority of Bordeaux growers, 2014 had to be better than 2013! Our views are different to most for a couple of reasons. Firstly, after 11 months of maturation in barrel, our 2013 Cabernet Franc has developed into a very good wine – and one that the team is rightly proud of. And secondly, 2014 was still a very challenging growing year in the vineyard with the vines enduring just about everything from hail, deluges and finally a beautiful autumn. It is really too early to really comment on the 2014 wines although we will have a go after tasting next week, prior to putting into barrel.

As our brand slowly grows, we have become progressively aware of the need to protect our intellectual property, namely our name and beautiful logo. The first tentative steps to safeguard our IP are complete.

Where Old Merlot meets New - Hourcat Centre has been replanted.

     Where Old Merlot meets New – Hourcat Centre has been replanted. An exciting future lies ahead.

Whereas the massive thunderstorms of late July and August were nearly catastrophic for the producing vines, they were the lifeblood to get our “new vine” block Merlot started. And after some further soil management work through October, the long term potential for this block is increasingly evident to everyone. Winter cereals have been sown between the rows to aid soil development and reduce weed grow back.

After many months of effort working closely with our partner Foundations Marketing Worldwide, and requiring a complete new name plus label redesign, we achieved regulatory approval for our 2010 Cabernet Franc to be imported into the USA. Labels and cartons are being changed as we write and the logistics / paperwork can be finalised.

Brand Paradise Rescued continues to grow. Trademark protection has been filed.

Brand Paradise Rescued continues to grow. Trademark protection has been filed

Finally, our brand (and wine) is gaining recognition in the big busy world of wine. For a humble team, this is a little difficult to appreciate but it is for real. As the recognition trickles in, new team members have joined us and our current team has grown (personally) significantly!

This last part gives me personally the greatest and warmest feelings. Almost everything we do in Paradise Rescued is kind of new. We find people to help and advise us wherever possible but at the end of the day, we still have to do it! In that process, we learn, we grow. And we also gain new team members who quickly learn to match the passion already within and add even more energy to what we do.

Watching our community sustain its rural heritage and seeing our team grow in their Mission provides the greatest satisfaction a boss and leader could (and should) have. I am proud of what our team has achieved and the way in which they have done it. The Vision is very challenging, but we know together that we can do it.

Thank you 2014. Bring it on 2015!