Making the Most of It
To say that our current situation “stinks” is kind of an understatement. Like all tasting rooms in the Texas wine country, here at 4.0, we’ve spent the past month or so trying to decipher messages from the governor, TABC, and TWGGA (Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association) about what we can and can’t do in terms of serving and selling wine.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for everyone, and of course, there have been many different interpretations of the messages we’ve been receiving and the rules that are meant to guide us. One could forgive my teammates and me for feeling frustrated. After all, we’re missing our customers (particularly our club members and regulars!) and our bustling weekends and live music and food trucks and dogs and, frankly, one another (we’ve cut back on staff and hours for the time being, and some of the team has chosen to remain home during COVID). We’re missing our “normal.”
BUT. There’s that saying about life and lemons and lemonade, and what I’ve begun to notice here at 4.0 is this: While we’d really like to be pouring and selling more wine these days, we’ve been very busy making lemonade. Here’s just a sampling of what’s keeping us occupied these days:
- Bobbie and Dotty have spent many early mornings pulling weeds and planting new plants to beautify our gardens and grounds. Be sure to ask Dotty about her slithering friend the next time you see her!
- Dr. Carl has been tackling our vines in preparation for harvest. He’s also found time to shoot videos sharing what’s going on with our vines.
- Caroline and Martin (with LOTS of help from Amber, Beth, and Cristol) have provided virtual tastings that highlight our wines and some tasty bites created and prepared by Amber.
- Barbara has taken on watering ALL of the potted plants on the property…a job that she takes very seriously. The plants thank her.
- Everyone has taken time to deep clean (and routinely sanitize) our Tasting Room, Wine Club Lounge, and Event Center. This place has truly never been cleaner.
- We’ve decorated our staff room with wine-themed coloring pages.
- We’ve offered all sorts of online specials on wines. We understand that wine is essential to getting through a pandemic!
All this busy-ness is great, and it’s certainly making 4.0 even better than it was before…and I’m betting that some of what we’ve started during this time will become part of our “new normal.” But what I’ve really enjoyed is the camaraderie that’s deepened within our team. We’ve always been a tight-knit bunch. After all, the service industry can be stressful, and you have to rely on your colleagues quite a lot. We work hard, and we play hard…as a team.
In the past weeks and months though, those of us currently working have found time to connect in ways that we haven’t before…largely because we’ve had more time to do so, but also because we’re all experiencing the same uncertainties: When are we going to get back to normal? What’s going to happen to our industry? What will our schedule look like next month?
We’ve shared books (I’m looking forward to reading Bill Bryson’s The Body based on Barbara’s recommendation) and shows (thank you, Martin, for turning me on to Rectify, one of the BEST shows I’ve ever seen). We’ve debated current issues and solved the world’s problems. We’ve dreamed up new tasting options for our customers and brainstormed some crazy and fun food and wine pairings. We’ve finished many wine therapy coloring pages and completed a crossword puzzle (in one day!).
In short, we’ve gotten closer…and I think, better. I guess uncertain times can do that. So, here’s to lemonade…and of course, wine. We can’t wait to share both (one figuratively and one literally) with you!