One of my favorite things to ask people is how many wineries do they think are in Napa and Sonoma, California. The answers typically vary, but generally guesses are towards the lower end. When actually, there are over 1,000 wineries in California’s wine country – not including my most favorite – the Advoco winery.
People are often puzzled when they hear that we, a software consulting company, make wine. One of the partners of our company lives in Sonoma, and he houses our very own hobby winery. We don’t make it to sell; we just give the wine away and enjoy it ourselves. Each year during harvest we invite customers, partners, and employees out to California for a weekend of winemaking. We pick the grapes, destem, crush, and get them prepared for the first round of fermentation.
Advoco’s winemaking experience is quite literally rewarding. One of our Pinot Noirs was selected for “Gold” Best of Class at the prestigious Sonoma County Fair this summer. We have also been awarded a gold medal for our cabernet as well as a double gold for our pinot noir.
But what’s even better than the wine itself is that we get to spend a weekend filled with team building. It’s tough work, but as we like to say, we “will work for wine.” I believe that conversations had off the clock lead to stronger bonds than anything you’ll get in a conference room. Team comradery is built by sharing a special experience no one can forget. Not to mention, we all end up appreciating the end product so much more because we had a hand in making it!
The closer you are to your team, the more everyone will buy into the company vision, the more creative and confident people will be, the more trust will be created, the more barriers will be broken, and the more motivated your team will be. Team building activities are essential to the success of a business. It doesn’t really matter what activity you choose, but make sure you choose something.
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
Note: I started writing this article before the devastating fires that have impacted a place we all love so much. There are many donation and relief fund websites out there, but I would also encourage you to buy wine from wineries in Sonoma and Napa to support the local economies and communities affected by this disaster.
About Mary: Mary Devine is our Director of Marketing and Events and the Queen of Connect. Affectionately referred to as “Make it Happen Mary,” she's been around since the beginning of Connect—making things happen! Whether it's planning exciting surprises for Connect attendees or making sure our speakers stay on track (most of the time!) we're so happy to have Mary as our Connect guru. If you have a question for Mary, please send her an email.