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TH Wines

 

Cherries on a two-dimensional trellis
 
Last week was about cutting out the crap that distracts your operation
 
Let’s imagine that you were successful, and with some cleared headspace you’re ready to work on the business.
 
This email is about the choice of your creative direction.
 
How do you choose that new path?
 
I don’t think this is specific to the wine industry, but there are a lot of expert opinions out there.
 
I came across this while researching vine management. Suggestions on best practices were easy to find, but much of it was contradictory on topics like irrigation, rootstock selection, spacing, grape variety, pruning, sprays, ground cover, canopy management, and the list goes on.
 
With more experience, I learned that vines are hardy like weeds, and it makes sense that a wide array of approaches work. Even a novice is not at risk of losing their vines, and over time you develop a personal strategy that works on your farm.
 
This is an easy example. It becomes difficult when you are talking about intangibles, the things that can’t be immediately charted and tested.
 
You ask your winery neighbour what their secret to selling is, and they say it's award-winning wines crafted by a family-run business. When their success actually comes from being next stop after the Tim Horton’s turn-off.
 
I recall a story about a writer who finds an article in his field of expertise in something like the NY Times, and is surprised to find glaring errors. Then when he moves on to articles on the next page, he automatically buys into the story.
 
He then asks himself: if I’m an expert on this topic and they get it wrong, why do I assume that other expert opinions in this publication are not suspect?
 
Trustworthy opinions come from people who are intimate with the process, and unfortunately they’re the quiet ones. Sometimes the "expert" voices reach you simply because the person is loud, or good at marketing, or happens to be at the right place at the right time.
 
If you know this, you learn to filter out some of the BS.
 
Above is a picture of cherry trees on a trellis, a system used to train grapes. Experts say this is the way of the future, while the newbie farmer looks at the massive infrastructure investment it takes to establish the cherries, and scratches her head.
 
Is this novel idea the road to long-term revenue on the farm, or is this the surest way to death by never-ending upgrades and repairs?
 
See you next Friday,
Tyler
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