Winesterr One Year Anniversary. New Year New Direction

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Winesterr is one year old!

Originally started as a knee jerk reaction to wanting to work in a new industry. The original iteration of Winesterr as a drop ship business was a complete flop, especially after my website was hacked and I had to delete it in entirety.  Maybe it would have worked if I was skilled at marketing or self promotion, but alas I am not. I’m an introverted, geeky, somewhat awkward person that would be perfectly happy with my nose buried in a book all day or writing, even if just to myself. As a new mother, who was ready for a different career path, I was stuck. I made too much money at my old job and too much at my part time job to just quit and find something in a new industry. I didn’t have enough experience to start a new career path  and our current financial trajectory was not sustainable long term. So where is Winesterr headed one year later?


I realized wine (and food) was something I’d always been interested in and enjoyed, so why not wine! But this feeling wasn’t really cemented until I met some people that were working in the wine industry (through the Intro Sommelier Class  through CMS) and that I’d met online through instagram.  And this is a phrase that I’ve repeated to different people, “wine people are my people! They love learning, they’re curious and they’re interested in all types of different cultures.” It felt like this giant culmination of understanding of my various life long interests: cooking, baking, culture, gardening and travel ( I have a B.A. In  Near Eastern Studies and studied Arabic and Persian for three years. My brain is leaky and most of what I learned has gone poof!)


Winesterr has been in a holding pattern as I have been taking steps towards determining how to transition into the wine industry and begin a new career path. This has been infinitely more complicated by the fact that I stay home with my daughter during the week and my weekends are booked with my part time job.  Amazingly, I found a job part time in production that will allow me to dip my toe in the water, gain experience, learn and move forward while more or less keeping financially afloat until Tara starts school. It’s still astounding to me that I was able to find this position. It feels like I hit the lottery since it is literally perfect for my current unwieldy scheduling circumstances.


Here’s the exciting part. I’m also seriously considering going back to school. I thought about it two years ago but I was still a bit foggy on what I would study and unsure I would actually like working in the field that  I was studying. I knew deep in my heart that although I enjoy numbers and business I really like to create things. I love analysis, but I feel so much more satisfaction when I can create a tangible product that gives people enjoyment (cooking! Gardening!) This feeling of belonging in the wine industry was cemented, when I saw my boss wearing jodhpur style boots (d’oh forever a horse girl at heart, I can recognize horse world attire from a 1000 yards) , working attire and said, “production is largely informal.”  YES. A job where I can learn everyday and wear jeans.  My husband said this seems highly unlikely that I managed to find two jobs where I could wear jeans on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy dressing up on occasion and LOVE shoes, but I hate dressing up for work ALL THE TIME. This can also be partly attributed that I currently have zero clothing budget, but I really do prefer wearing jeans and hoodies 90% of the time.

There are several types of programs available for further education in both the wine industry and enology. UC Davis has a certificate program for winemaking which is well regarded, Cornell has a Professional Program which is 30 credits and more practical than theory and they also has a M.S. Program in enology.   Deep in my heart, I think I really want to do a M.S. just to prove to myself that I can. I pretty much avoided science during college. I was intimidated and felt out of my depth and scared to ask for help. I’ve always been a good student but I was so terrified of failing and overwhelmed that I completely avoided science even though I always enjoyed it and excelled at it in high school.


Also an M.S. would open a lot more doors beyond the wine industry than a certificate or one year program. It would certainly be on a timeline of closer to 5 years realistically but that would give me time to gain more experience, gain practical knowledge, try working in some different roles and wineries etc.  Downside, I’d have to probably take about 18 months worth of FLCC classes in science plus the GRE before I could go back to school. It would also delay me from taking some more of the wine education certifications I was planning on pursuing (WSET and CMS) unless I win the lottery. There are definitely scholarship opportunities out there but the precursor classes and GRE would definitely be all out of pocket.


I guess what I’m trying to say is Winesterr is going to drift back into more informal blog territory, a record of my transition into the wine industry and on going education.  I will keep the blog going to document my transition, write about production and maybe inspire more women to feel they can push beyond their comfort zone into new areas.   I’m still planning on setting up a small online store to drop ship some things that I have used and think are worth selling quality and price wise ( Spiegelau Glassware is fantastic, the younger sister of Riedel). I have a lot of business ideas for services and education I’d like to create but right now my knowledge is not sufficient to really back those up. Ultimately I would like to prove to myself that I can earn money on my own (just to do it) but I really am much better as a student and analyzer than a solo entrepreneur.

In a nutshell Winesterr is has basically become wife & mom finds herself chasing new career in wine industry with newly acquired broke student status to go with it.

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