Last week we wrote a leadership blog about setting goals at the start of a New Year and the great advantage that human beings have! I promised to follow that up with an overview of our Paradise Rescued goals in 2014. And so to make sure that I show appropriate leadership integrity and follow through on my promise, this week we will talk about what happened in 2013 so that we will have a solid foundation to present this year’s goals before the end of this month. And I say the end of the month because I know that I will be back in Cardan, Bordeaux next week and the first taste of the 2013 Cabernet Franc may just get me sufficiently excited to write about that – there and then! So let’s start this week with a review of last year.
2013 presented many challenges for Paradise Rescued, donated a few surprises and I think we can pick three clear results….
The biggest challenge was 2013 itself, by that I mean the season and weather in Bordeaux. It’s popular to use hyperboles but most experienced producers (more than us) affirm that 2013 was the poorest year in 25 years!! It was cold and wet throughout spring. During our visit there in June / July, there was still water lying in the vineyard!! Then it went hot and humid – two months of normal viticultural work was carried out in two weeks! Summer stalled, humidity returned in September and grey rot went on the attack. Not ideal conditions!! Somehow, through the tireless dedication detailed hands on work of Pascale and Albane in the vineyard, painstaking selection and reselection of fruit at harvest time plus of course good winemaking, we now have a very attractive wine in the barrels. Major achievement number 1 where sadly so many other Bordeaux colleagues did not fair so well.
Second big step forward was the development of a partnership with Foundations Marketing Worldwide in New York USA through which we will export and sell our wine into the top end US market. It will be nice to see our Cabernet Franc achieve the high value than a niche, almost unique, high quality Bordeaux wine deserves. Whilst there is plenty of Cabernet Franc produced in Bordeaux, there is very little 100% varietal CF sold – it is usually part of a blend. Warmer climate varietal Cabernet Franc is also extremely rare so this is a unique opportunity to create a sustainable business.
And third and finally, the biggest (nice!) surprise of all was to win an International Stevie business award for best New Company 2013. We certainly didn’t see that one coming! And we are very humbled by the honour of receiving such a prestigious award. One of two things can happen when you win an award…it either goes to your head or you start to work harder and lift your internal standards further. Happily we are already in the latter category and we will soon share the forthcoming goals for 2014 with you. Onwards and upwards!
And none of the above could be realised without a great team. Team Paradise Rescued you are the best – let’s make some more magic happen in 2014. Looking forward to it!