I hope this finds you all healthy and safe! I had a lot of travel time this week between driving to California and flying to Denver. I thought I would share with you what has been on my mind.
THE EVER SHIFTING HORIZON
In the past few years (hard to believe COVID has been here for years!), we have often read or talked about when COVID will be over. I will never forget when someone wisely said to me in 2021, there will be no end, the horizon will just continue to shift. That really struck me knowing that we would need to stay nimble with have the ability to adjust quickly as needed. As a chronic planner, it has been hard. I now have to change my expectations to meet this new reality. Travel and events are being planned, but will they actually happen? Peers, friends and family are fatigued by COVID, the restrictions, caring for or knowing people who have or are sick from the virus. The pandemic has people searching deep within themselves as to what truly makes them happy. They are changing careers, moving to a new place, making new choices of how they spend their time.
The effects of a multi-year pandemic are being felt. Staffing shortages across all industries and the impact on the supply chain are very challenging. We ordered bottles for our February 2022 bottling in May of 2021 and no one knows where they are. We were fortunate to find glass for February (with a 35% tariff tagged onto the price) and now we are scrambling to find our May 2022 glass….unless literally, that first ship comes in….The hospitals are full again (thank you front-line workers for taking care of the sick and enduring these capacity issues yet again!). I did read in the New York Times today we may be starting the downside of the peak…….
We layer on top of it all, the non-COVID-related life events–people close to us with other serious health issues, changes in relationships, and more. It is a lot to handle for any of us. It can provide us with perspective as well. I just had to laugh last week on my drive home to California when I hit a pothole and got 2 flat tires. Once I knew I was safe, I really thought in the scheme of the world and what is happening, it is just tires and they are fixable.
If we haven’t been soul-searching enough, we get to put it into overdrive as a new year begins for both our personal and professional lives. As I mentioned last week, we had our all-company meeting to review the past year and look ahead to 2022. And while there are clearly many unknowns, I continue my commitment to do right by my team, by you, our dear supporters and friends, and by the environment. There is a part of me that is driven by the challenge of not being able to rely on every plan. How do we continue to grow, learn, make adjustments and repeat the cycle over and over again? I do tend to focus on the things I can control and put my energy there. There is also the part of me that doesn’t spend as much time as I should on the past or in the present which is why I am fondly known as “The Pusher”. I am constantly moving forward. My team and my family know this side of me too well. When asked the question, what motivates me at Brooks, I replied “What I love about Brooks is setting out to be the BEST employer and winery in the industry across every facet of the business and beyond”. Thus, we have some great things coming your way while we ride this horizon shift together!
COMING YOUR WAY IN 2022
Our team is looking forward to so many things in 2022 and I am excited to share them with you! I hope at least one of these will touch you and bring you some joy in 2022!
- Website: Towards the end of February, we will be launching a new website that will improve the user experience on so many levels. There will be new content too including the team at Brooks! To help you navigate our wines and find the ones you will love, we will be launching “Uncorked”, a new wine recommender!
- Events of All Types: We recently hired a full-time Events and Experience Coordinator, Rylee Sinclair. She will be at all of our onsite events such as Bingo, cooking classes, dinners, and summer concerts. She will also be planning and executing all private events so if you have a birthday, anniversary, or other reason to celebrate, think of us for private events. Commensurate with the new website, we will be adding 2 more elevated tasting experiences for the lifelong wine learner. As spring approaches, we will be bringing back the RTV ride through the vineyard for the Vineyard and Garden Experience.
- The Grounds: Speaking of the gardens, Shannon put in a large new fenced garden. This week she will also be installing a greenhouse on the property. She just received her berry plants so we can enjoy the berry bounty of Oregon this summer! And 9 more baby chicks will arrive in May.
- New Wine Club Perk: In the first quarter, the cute farmhouse on the property will become a rental for Wine Club Members. We are putting the finishing touches on it now and look forward to sharing it with you!
- Virtual Tasting Experiences: Don’t live nearby? Let us bring Brooks to you! Our Virtual Tasting Experiences tripled in 2021 and we don’t see a slow down in 2022! It is a perfect way to experience Brooks at home with friends, family or colleagues across the country. SIP Magazine just named our Virtual Tastings “The Best of The NW: Best Immersive Wine Experience”!
- Our Commitments: We will continue to donate 1% of our revenues to 1% For The Planet, receive our recertifications for Demeter and B Corporation status and PLANT MORE TREES! 2022 goal coming soon! We have one more surprise in this realm of our business that we will announce soon.
- WINES! Most exciting of all…..fan favorite wines will be back in March! You all stood by us this past year when we were unable to make a 2020 vintage due to smoke impact. We are thrilled that we will be bottling the Amycas, Rose of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and other aromatic whites in February!
I spent a couple of nights with my kids, after delivering their cats, in Denver this week. Now I am back home and it is so quiet here! Yet another new thing to adapt to!
I hope you all have a great week. Please feel free to reach out. I would love to know how you are adjusting as we enter the new year. Email [email protected] cell 831-238-4828