Reflections: An Amazing First Season Of Farm To Glass Wine Tours
Wow.... just an absolute WOW! What a first season of Farm to Glass Wine Tours!
Words can't express how much darn gratitude I have to every single person that has been part of the Farm to Glass story this past year. But I'm going to try, so here we go:
Once upon a time (ha!), back in the spring I genuinely thought this business was going to be a complete failure. As RuPaul would call it, my "inner saboteur" was real.
But seriously, I had spent months getting my business ready to launch, with my booking system opening up on Earth Day back in April, then to only have the dreaded watch and wait new business hangover to occur.
I did get my very first booking almost immediately and I'll never forget that moment, because I was working a flight from Dublin to New Delhi and upon landing I turned my data on, and there it was! Holy batman, it was REAL. I mean, I knew my business was real, but it was officially REAL real, you know what I mean?
I was so stupidly happy, that myself and a colleague ordered a bottle of Indian Chardonnay at 9:30am (that's 8pm back home so no judgement) and celebrated the beginning of a successful, women owned, small business.
But then it was slow, real slow.
So that inner saboteur seed was planted, and it started to grow. I had been putting an incredible amount of energy and time into Farm to Glass over the previous 18 months, and I was exhausted and bummed out that there wasn't more traffic and bookings happening.
The imposter syndrome was real, friends. You start to question every thing. I can say that I wasn't the best person to be around at home, and I thank Jeff for being my rock and reassuring me often, that this was normal.
It started with 1 tour a weekend, and on the rare occasion, 2. July long weekend, I had zero, nada, zilch. It stung.
Then it started to happen, and I couldn't wipe the grin off my face.
Slowly and steadily, bookings started to come in, referrals from industry friends (you know who you are), or some of my first guests referring me to their friends, which is the best type of marketing I could ever ask for.
It grew in a beautiful way, from 2-3 a weekend, steadily having 3 tours a weekend and once I even had 4! August and September was nuts, and I was often having to say no, and I hate saying no.
Y'all believed in me... I just needed to believe in myself. So this is me, telling you, from the absolute bottom of my heart:
I want to share a fun overview of the 2022 Farm to Glass Wine Tours season. My mantra (which you've seen on my shirts is "Be Kind, Drink Wine") is to be kind to yourself, your community and the planet and drink delicious wine that does the same. So here's the kindness (and the wine-ness) of the Farm to Glass Wine Tours season:
- 24 wine adventures
- 24 - 5 Star Google Reviews (Y'all are amazing, thank you!)
- 62 memorable guests from BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, California and Texas
- 3 guest appearances from my puppers, Nellie
- 38 wineries visited (9 of these having EV chargers so that while the humans get their juice, so does Lulita the Tesla)
- 20,000km travelled
- $550 total in Tesla Supercharger costs
- $480 donated to local CSAs, Foundry Penticton/Kelowna & SOWINS
- $1200 raised for Music Heals Canada in partnership with KVB Resort
- 1 magazine feature in EnRoute Magazine (more to come!)
- 24 tours with snacks provided by Liv Artisanal
- 19 Edible Adventures gifts from the Paisley Notebook
- 12 baby Bella wines bottle gifts
- 8 cans of Joie Noble blend gifts
- 5 cases of sustainably packaged water from Flow
- 2 OMG-SO-GOOD birthday cakes from Honey Toast Café
- 1 brewery lunch at Giant's Head Brewery
- 3 build-your-own Charcuterie on the breathtaking patio at Sage Hills
- 6 decadent charcuterie picnic boxes from Naramata General Store
- 11 delicious lunches catered from Wayne & Freda
- 1 lunch catered from the always yummy, Spout Café
- 2 commercial vehicle inspections
- 1 flat tire (thankfully at home, and was easily fixed)
- Endless amounts of giggles, laughs, jokes and hangover cures
- 62 new friends who will forever be a part of my story
So what now you might ask? Great question!
Farm to Glass Wine Tours will be back for the 2023 season, bookings will open on Earth Day again, April 22nd and the Wine Adventures commence on Friday, May 19th.
Lulita the Tesla is back, she might look a bit different but in all the right ways. More details to come later, but she might dye her hair, ha!
I'm excited to say that there will be an option for groups larger then 4 next year, as I had the opportunity this fall to collaborate with the fabulous Nicole of Unique Blend Tours in Oliver, BC. We worked together to host 8 guests on a fun filled day of wine adventuring in Naramata. It went so well, that we are going to work together for the 2023 season and we're both very excited to offer this as an option for larger groups.
Lulu the Tesla Model X, is supposed to arrive very soon but I am contemplating on just keeping Lulita. I've been waiting almost 2 years for Lulu, and though I'm locked into an incredibly great price as this car has increased by $20000 in the past two years, with the new luxury car tax in BC, I'm not sure if having an extra two seats is worth almost double the price of what I paid for Lulita. I was previously a loyal Volvo driver for almost a decade, and with the new announcement of the 100% EV, 7 seater Volvo EX90 coming out down the road (pun definitely intended), I may just wait until then.
I want to start an email newsletter which if you're not already signed up, do so by scrolling to the bottom of this page, (I failed miserably keeping this going this summer as I was too busy) that keeps great people like you, informed about what's new and happening with all the great wineries that Farm to Glass Wine Tours works with. Think of it as a one-stop-shop. I told myself I'd start working on this once I wrote my end-of-season blog post, and this is THAT blog post... so keep an eye out for it soon. I'm putting this out into the universe because it will light the fire under my you-know-what to actually get it going.
For all my wine adventuring friends of the 2022 season, I'll be reaching out to you over the next months and giving you special promo codes for the 2023 season. One extra super special code for you, and another to give to any and all your friends who are visiting the region. You are my people, and when you surround yourself with great people, great things happen.
I reflect and adore this sweet version of myself, a version of me, beautifully entangled with Farm to Glass Wine Tours, and I'm not me, without you.
So again, thank you.
xoxo Jess, Owner/Guide/Fun Person of Farm to Glass Wine Tours