We never advertised it but we never hid the fact either. Vintage 2011 did not go to plan. Without sharing all the fun details, basically the quality of wine that we produced did not (by a big margin) meet our high quality expectations. And we had to learn a few lessons in the way we designed, organised and managed our winery.
And we have done just that!! It is always very exciting to be back in Cardan at Paradise Rescued, to see the ongoing steady organic conversion progress in our vineyard(s), to work with our team at every level but this time the best surprise is to see the “new” winery. Big changes have occurred! After 2011, we did a lot of thinking, work within the team, researched some good advice from organic micro-wineries in France and Australia and came up with a new and different concept. The change is also timely as we hope to harvest our first (small) Merlot harvest from the old vines in Hourcat Centre as well as produce a successful Cloud9 CabFranc.
Instead of one single 2850 litre stainless steel vat we have four smaller ones – two 800 litres and two 530 litres. This will give us much more production flexibility with the two blocks, better prepare us to handle the variable quality of this challenging 2012 harvest and allow easier operation and control of the fermentation operations. The results will be exciting to witness.
So what are the leadership lessons I hear you ask…..Well there a few and I will be brief here – and maybe we should write some more at a later date…
- Never give up. Never let one failure stop your dream. Persist.
- Mistakes are perfect opportunities for learning. Seize them and move ahead.
- Innovate continually. Change can be very positive.
- Be humble, it takes great leadership to admit you didn’t get it right. Being defensive only makes it harder to change.
Only 6 days to go…roll on #Harvest2012. And hopefully the lessons we learn this year are much smaller ones!!