Our 95th Post on The Chapters...WE BOOKED OUR FIRST VACATION IN 5 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! True Story.
We're off to the Big Island in a month for 4 nights of shuteye after 4 afternoons of sitting our tushies in the sand. You have no idea how many times people told us over the past five years to take a break. We would have loved to no doubt, but couldn't afford taking the time off - literally. The first 3 years Eric worked his full-time wine buying job at K&L while working every hour for Smith Story on his days off. We started with nothing more than an idea in 2013 and the gumption to make it happen. The last 5 years have been the hardest five years of our life but the best five years.
In a nutshell:
May 14, 2012: Our engagement day!
May 19, 2012: Lord Sandwich was born!
July 2012: Lord Sandwich came home (#hellonpaws)!
May 14, 2013: We eloped to Hawaii and finalized our Smith Story Wine Cellars business plan!
May 14, 2014: We announced Smith Story Wine Cellars to the world!
August 2014: Our first Smith Story Harvest began! We sold Ali's house in Austin!
November 2014: SocksforSandwich.org was made official!
December 2014: We brought in an "angel investor" whom we adored!
March 2015: We bottled our first 1000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc and Lakota's View Sémillon!
April 2015: Our first German Rosé and Riesling arrived!
May 2015: The world celebrated Lord Sandwich's 3rd Birthday and he finally discovered "napping"!
July 2015: We bottled our first Pinot Noir - the Helluva Vineyard!
August 2015: Our 2nd harvest began, we moved to a new custom crush facility.
September 2015: Our new custom crush facility told us we couldn't have a key or conduct tastings on weekends.
December 2015: We officially sold a few thousand cases of our first vintage.
January 2016-November 2016: Business as usual, our 3rd harvest.
Late November 2016: Our Angel Investor wanted his money back.
December 2016: We tried not to cry everyday. Eric retired from K&L. We officially sold another few thousand cases.
January/February 2017: We drained or 401K life savings, interviewed various potential new investors, Ali put on her legal/financial/boxing gloves. Moved to the Russian River Valley.
March 2017: We opened our Anderson Valley tasting room. Hugged the neck of our new investor!
March 2017-August 2017: Had to hire big litigation guns to protect us from the Angel Investor. We fought with all our might to keep our new winery afloat until the new investor close on August 1.
August 1: We moved to Grand Cru Custom Crush for our 4th harvest. We still tried not to cry everyday #tearsofjoy!
December 2017: We officially met over 3000 guests (in 9 months) in our new Anderson Valley tasting room and sold another few thousand cases of wine. Over 25,000 paris of NEW SocksforSandwich.org were officially donated since November 2014.
January-today: HOLY SHIT THIS YEAR HAS BEEN AWESOME!! THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN US & FALLING IN LOVE WITH OUR WINES!!
The countdown to vacation drinks on the beach has begun. Cheers to every single one of you who've supported us since the beginning! Starting a new business is not for the faint of heart, thankfully our family of 3 has big strong faithful hearts to keep us keeping on!
This is Our Story.
Eric, Ali and Lord Sandwich.