This is a continuation of the blog “A First of It’s Kind”
Mom and Dad’s Involvement (the Generational Push)
One of the questions we often get at the winery is whether my parents, Leslie and Dick, are still involved with the business. Although day to day operations are “beneath” the status of my parents, we still ask them from time to time to taste wines we plan to bottle and use their historical (and hysterical) knowledge of the winery and wine business to help guide our decisions.
But it’s the entrepreneur in my parents that truly helps out so much.
You may think that all the basic homework on the crossflow filter was my doing. Instead, after seeing the technology at the Wine and Grape Symposium show year after year, I had simply put the machine on my wish list for some dreamy future. With the $50,000 price tag, it seemed unlikely that we could ever entertain getting one.
But leave it to my parents to do some homework. Between seeing my stress with filtrations as well as hoping to be home more with the family (and working less), my dad suggested I get some different quotes on available crossflow filters sized for our winery.
If you know me at all, number-crunching is not my favorite thing. So my dad starting quizzing me on how many filtrations I do a year with my plate and frame pad filter. How much time I took sterilizing the filter frame each time. How many “not-perfect” filtrations I might have a year. And finally the time savings and cost savings using the crossflow filter (with no pad purchases, moving wines only once, cleanup costs on both machines, etc.).
By putting a real value on my time (since I don’t really have an hourly wage), he crunched out a cost/benefit analysis on changing our filtering system (which didn’t include any of the intangible aspects such as more time at home and improving wine quality). From there, he developed a spreadsheet with current interest rates and the payback period. In the end, my dad presented us with a plan that would allow purchasing a crossflow filter (that I had been eyeing) with a payback period of 8 years.
So without my parents’ help in trying to find a way to simplify Maggie and my lives, we would not have a crossflow filter working in our winery today. Of course the initial sting of the price is still there (and why we’re doing the Crossflow Special), we know (with my parents’ “outside-of-the-box” thinking) that this purchase is truly the best decision for the future.
Thank you Mom and Dad!
The Crossflow Special
To make all this happen, Maggie asked me how I planned to pay for the majority of the $50,000 price tag of the crossflow filter. With the success of our pump sale a couple of years ago, we found out that the greater Madroña family (you all) had an interest in being a part of helping get specific pieces of equipment for the winery. There’s a sense of ownership as well as the thought that with each sip of the special wine, people have made something possible that maybe would not have happened.
I intentionally hold several wines back for rerelease later in their lives knowing that 1): the additional cellaring will only improve the wine, and 2): we have the responsibility of cellaring the wine (since most people don’t hold onto wines once purchased).
The wine of choice for me for this crossflow purchase is our 2009 Signature Collection Zinfandel. A warmer year produced a big, full-bodied Zinfandel with plenty of ripeness and wonderful structure. The purpose of a few more years of age on this wine is toning down the ripe fruit characters (allowing the subtleties of spice and earthiness to come through) while showcasing the suppleness and luscious texture of a great Zin (with cellaring).
To entice you, our greatest tasters, to support this effort, we are offering our employee discount (50%) to all of you on purchases of full cases of this Zin. Normally, at the $26 pricepoint, a case of this Zinfandel (non-aged) is $312. With the Crossflow Special, you’re looking at $156/case (+tax, of course).
Although I didn’t hold onto enough of the 2009 Signature Collection Zinfandel to pay for the entire crossflow filter, we can get most of the way with your help. We started showcasing this special (and tasting the wine) about three weeks ago in the tasting room. With only that exposure, we’ve already sold through half of my inventory. So time is short and we’d love your support.
Thank you for being a part of the Madroña community!