Sheldon Haynie
 
November 21, 2012 | History, Lighthearted , Wines | Sheldon Haynie

Gratitude is more than attitude

Its been quite a ride so far, from just about 3 yrs ago deciding to start a winery, after making a few gallons of estate Chardonnay, to crushing 23 tons from 7 vineyards this season. As we have tried, erred and learned we have made better wines, better decisions and had improved results, though some lessons had to be learned twice.

Since this is the season when it is traditional to reflect upon your blessings, and to express thanks, in keeping with that, I'll give it a shot.

 

I am thankful first, continually and ultimately for my partner Jane. Her warmth and serenity coupled with dogged determination have been critical factors in our decision to initiate, and continue Lightheart Cellars. She embodies the brand, her approach to life and people is what we have tried to capture in our wine, simply put by our tag line:  "good wine, good times".

After Jane, comes the family support, from Noah and Joan with the meadmaking and assistance during crush and tasting hours, to our granddaughter Casandra who has manned the corker and helped shovel tons of grapes while a petite "slip of a girl". Their help has been key to making our wines and presenting them.

Our east coast family has been supportive and as they have been able, physically helpful, our two younger sons Matt and Carl and Amy have all lent their help as they could.

We have had the benefit of good work from our field crew Alex and Derek, who are learning the value of reliable labor the hard way, most of the time cheerfully, and our pickers, Miguel, Antonio, Lasaro, Angel, Hugo, and the others who brought in the crop, sometimes in >100F weather and were smiling at the end of the 9 hr days.

Our competitors have been more collegial then competitive, offering help, tools and advice as needed and supporting us by referring people to our wines when they might be a better fit. We appreciate their support as that of our trade customers, Rocca's Market, Rosy's at the Beach, the Ladera  and Westside Grills.

Most recently we have reason to appreciate our new representative Darlene, of ClassicArtisanWines, whom we are hoping will take our sales upwards on our path of growth.

Our many vendors who have patiently worked to educate and serve us deserve recognition as well, Nancy of Bryan Equipment, Mike of C & N Tractors and the glass, cork and label suppliers who have helped us get our product to you.

And finally our customers, who started with us in a 10x10ft tent, and have stayed as we have grown, supporting us with their purchases and positive appreciation for our wines. We wouldn't and won't make it without you, and we appreciate your choice to share your table with us.

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