Apr 102012

Would you leave a secure job for a shot at working with a winery?

Advice from six who successfully made a wine-stained reboot

Each year millions of enthusiasts visit California wine country. In fact, Napa Valley is California’s second most popular tourist destination, behind only Disneyland. While many tikes dream of life in the Magic Kingdom, many like me, dream of a life in wine country.

What is so alluring about the wine country lifestyle? Certainly there is the idyllic vineyard landscapes, the sweet aromas of oak barrels and the chance to create liquid art that brings pleasure to so many. But the one thing above others that seems to engage most wine country visitors is the passion they feel from winemakers, tasting room folks and locals they meet during their visit. The passion for the grape is so contagious that many wine lovers leave wine country wishing they could reboot their lives or “do it over again” and somehow create a new wine-stained life.

Of course we have all heard the stories of the rich and uber-rich that bought or built the winery of their dreams. While those stories are wistfully intriguing, most of us will never have that kind of money, short of acquiring that lucky Powerball ticket while filling up the aging Toyota. The passions of wine country however are not limited to the uber-rich and those with viticulture and enology (winemaking) degrees. Wine country is filled with people who sacrificed established careers, good jobs and in some cases friends and family to chase their wine-stained dreams.

During my time as a wine blogger I’ve met quite a few people who found their lives unfulfilled until they took a leap of faith and landed an hourly winery job. Though I share their dream, so far I have not been willing to quit my secure real life job, to be an $8 an hour harvest intern. Am I missing out on the adventure of a lifetime? Continue reading »