The Cellar Door
Working in our cellar door is one of the more interesting and diverse experiences we have through the year. Plainly, we aren’t Woolworths, nor a slick big-name cellar door that is home in the Hunter Valley, such as Tempus Two or McGuigans. No, our cellar door is pretty unique, as a small winery we serve behind the counter every day ourselves, and one of the most rewarding things is meeting our customers through the cellar door.
So let me share a few recent visits from our cellar door.
Last week I was spraying weeds before the onset of budburst when a couple of ably equipped 4WD’s pull into the winery. It just happened to be one of our most loyal customers, originally hailing from Ben Lomond but now living in Brisbane. He always drops in when he’s down for a visit, usually bringing along some friends, and he loves our Snow Gums Pinot Gris and Black Frost fortified. It’s never a normal wine tasting with Tim and his mates…they know what they enjoy but this Friday was indeed different.
It turns out the boys are mad keen distillers…and they brought me a bottle of their finest as a present. So while they worked their way through our latest vintages, I sampled Ginger infused Rum, a variation of Baileys Irish Cream and Teeling’s “small batch” Irish whisky from Dublin. It was great, and by the end of it arrangements had been made for the boys to take back to Brisbane a 20L of my latest Pinot Gris to make a real Brandy from our own grapes. I bet you won’t find that at BWS!
Earlier in the week I’d been pruning and noticed that a motorbike was leaving the winery. I had missed him driving in, and although I leave a notice up for people to call me on the cordless phone, it hadn’t rang. A local fellow had dropped in to visit. Not wanting to disturb me, he had chosen the wines he wanted and left a note to that effect, asking me to drop them in to his work in town.
Friday night late and the text tone went on my phone - someone was trying our wine in a restaurant and texted me to let me know how much they were enjoying it. Another call today from David in Tamworth to let me know he’d ordered a dozen Snow Gums online because he’d enjoyed the wine so much when he was out for dinner.
All these little interactions make what we do so much more than operating a slick cellar door with an impressive marketing machine. The feedback, the laughs with customers who grow to become friends, watching families change and grow as they continue to visit year in and year out, supplying wine for their children’s weddings … it all makes our winery feel like we are part of each other’s lives, and that’s pretty nice. You can’t buy that either!