Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Clean Competition raises the bar!

By Doug Fabbioli

Clean Competition raises the bar!

When we play by the rules, respect the balance of the system and have a positive goal, we all win! The other day at our Saturday start up meeting in the tasting room, Anne (who creates the tasting bites for our daily tastings), mentioned how the specialty drinks that we create each month keep getting better. Anne expressed a need to step up her game in order to keep her creative expression at the best level possible. Colleen, who creates the drink special, continues to create interesting and diverse wine based cocktails. Who wins this competition? The consumer and the business!

The Virginia Governors Cup Wine Competition is coming up again next month. This is by far the most intense competition that we participate in. Imported judges, the well promoted Governors Case, tight restrictions on fruit sources and required quantities available are just a few parts that make this competition notably above the rest. In my humble opinion, this competition has helped many wineries strive for a higher level. There always seems to be a few new rules each year to keep the balance and message clear for the participants, the industry and the consumer. It’s not easy to keep a competition fair and balanced, but emphasizing fair play over “win at all cost” will keep the participants rising up.

This concept plays out in many other areas of our world as well. Sports is an arena where the win is the goal but it seems like the cheating aspect outplays the good sportsmanship lately. These players and teams are idolized by their fans, both young and old. By showing respect for the rules, the referees and the opposing team, the message of fair play is passed on to those influential fans. That example from the leader is the ultimate win for society.

In business, it is the concept of the Double Bottom Line. I have brought this up before in my writings, and I bring it up again because it is an important concept. A dear friend expressed to me that 99% of the people see the money is the key part of all business (I know he was being a bit facetious). I agree with that, because without the cash, you can’t pay the bills. But how we make the money, how we treat our team, how we respect the law and what we give back to the community all are important as well. Winning at all costs is not a win overall in my humble opinion.

Our wines are entered in the Governor’s Cup competition. I hope we get some superb recognition. Our tasting room will continue to present creative and high quality flavors and experiences. I continue to encourage other wineries to keep pushing themselves for the benefit of the customer and the industry. Clearly, all boats lift in a rising tide. Competition is oftentimes the best way to raise that tide!

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