Today marks the end of my second full year running Guinness McFadden’s retail shop in Hopland.
In my first two years, numbers at the McFadden Farm Stand & Tasting Room continue to climb and climb; this month we are up 89.92% over last year’s March revenue, which was up over the March before, as an example.
It helps that our wines have gone from being very good to the best in the area. I am not responsible for the constantly improving wine quality, but it sure makes my job easier.
We’ve implemented new marketing initiatives at McFadden, and I still have a long list of areas that still need improvement.
Our wine club membership numbers are the highest they have ever been, and I am so grateful for the support of our members.
During these first two years working in the Mendocino wine industry:
I have written over 40 newsletters and 17 press releases for various groups.
I have taken on new design work to help increase local tourism.
I served as secretary on the board of directors for our local tourism group, Destination Hopland.
I provided marketing services to Destination Hopland and 101 Things to Do in Mendocino.
I continued to write (sporadically) for my own blog, JohnOnWine.
I wrote for Destination Hopland, 101 Things to Do in Mendocino, Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission, City of Santa Rosa blog (rare fit, as my pieces have a Mendo focus), and the Ukiah Daily Journal.
I have appeared on KSRO 1350AM’s The Drive with Steve Jaxon show as the Mendocino wine correspondent for McFadden, for Destination Hopland in advance of Hopland Passport, and for Coro Mendocino in advance of the groups only farm to table wine dinner.
I help the best Wine Club Party in the industry happen, mostly by staying out of the way…fun happens by itself if you let it.
I put together an inaugural Toys For Tots toy drive and wine tasting event last December that was a huge success. We collected a lot of toys for local children in need, thanks to a great community of friends who supported our efforts, and will certainly be doing this every year from now on.
Tomorrow, I am told, my weekly wine column begins in the Ukiah Daily Journal.
I received a note from a former employer, someone I feel fond affection for, Howard Smith, at my work anniversary. He wrote, “You’re a great evangelizer for the industry.” I appreciate the note, it couldn’t be kinder.
I am looking forward to year three. I am so grateful to have been welcomed into the local community. It has been a joy to work collaboratively with so many folks on so many projects. Sometimes, I have a look of concentrated focus on my face, instead of my goofy smile, as I have multiple projects all with impending deadlines, but please know that I love my career, I love being able to interact with all of the people I get to, so feel free to break through my focus and say hello.