Tuesday, December 27, 2011

10 Things I learned in 2011

Well...2011 is almost a memory. We are about to launch into 2012...I can feel the excitement as I write... As I look back over 2011 I reflect on the things I have learned. Now this doesn't mean I only learned ten things...LOL - but these just happen to come to mind. It was a great year but I am looking forward to even greater...how about you?

1) Times can get tough but we can endure them and get through
2) Surround yourself with positive people
3) Believe in Yourself
4) Do things you have always wanted to do even if you are afraid
5) Give back to the community
6) Support and encourage your friends
7) Learn all you can and keep up with Social Media
8) Write about things that you are passionate about
9) Take time for yourself / pay attention to your health
10 Follow Your Passion

2012 is going to be a wonderful year...jump on board with me and enjoy the journey.


Passaggio Wines

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Compassion

There are many things that come to my mind each holiday season. One of the most important is compassion. We often forget about those in need because the season is so busy with shopping, family gatherings, present wrapping, and evening parties with friends. It's a time of great cheer...it can be hard to make ourselves stop and consider those less fortunate. I ask that you help me act on the compassion that is in the heart of each of us...

In 2009, Passaggio Wines began a relationship with our local homeless shelter and donated 10% of our sales for the month of December to the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program. This shelter, known in our community as G.R.I.P., works to address critical issues of human dignity and social justice that affect the poor, the homeless and the disenfranchised. G.R.I.P.'s focus is on three core initiatives: providing food, shelter and supportive services to help homeless individuals and families make the transition to self-sufficiency. They have done amazing work in our community and rely on the support of those who believe in their mission.

This year Passaggio Wines will continue our tradition of compassion and again donate 10% of all sales for the month of December plus $5 for each wineclub membership signup. Please watch the slideshow of some of GRIP's clients below and consider helping me and many others give those in need not only a warm and safe holiday, but an opportunity for a future of self-sufficiency.

Thank you

Friday, November 25, 2011

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Passaggio Wines says "Thank You" to all who have supported me throught the year. Take time this year to support Small Business Saturday. Together we can help make a difference...

Follow Your Passion

Passaggio Wines

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just a Girl Following Her Passion

Women her follow their passion...with style and grace.

These are some of the most witty, intelligent, graceful, passionate, and humble women I know. I have come to appreciate their passion for what they love and do. They were so kind, when I asked them earlier this year, to write about their passions and share their stories with you. You can read about their passions again and get inspired by what they do and say...

A New Generation of Passion - Melissa Gresham
Chase Down Your Passion - Elizabeth Smith
Walking the Vine With Liz - Liz Healy-Kay
The Ultimate Passion Feast - Peg Lawrence
Evolution - Jean Wilson
A Slingshot to Passion - Sandra Oldfield
Follow Your Heart and Do What You Love - Sherri Housman
Making the Connection - Tammi Ramsey
Jump Into Your Passion - Tammy Colson
Stepping Into the Unknown - Lisa Manyon

Follow Your Passion

Passaggio Wines

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Journey Continues

It is finally here...I am very excited and pleased to announce that you can now join the Passaggio Wine Club. PLease join me on this fabulous journey. Just click on the link below and take the Passage Way to a wonderful year of wine...

Passaggio Wine Club


Passaggio Wines

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stepping into the Unknown

Lisa Manyon is one of my favorite #marketermonday twitter friends I love to follow. Her passion for creative marketing strategies caught my eye a couple of years ago and I have followed her ever since. She encouraged me to develop a marketing strategy of my own and has even done a little mentoring along the way. I am very grateful for all her support. Follow her on twitter @WriteOnCreative

Read about her passion...

Ask my family and friends and they’ll say I’ve always been a bit of a risk taker. It’s true that I dance to the beat of a different drum and I’m grateful for that.

I’ve never really felt like I cannot do anything (except maybe advanced math – hey, I’m a word gal – numbers not so much).

The biggest challenge for me has been figuring out what I really want to do and there have been plenty of twists and turns on the road to self-discovery.

One thing that has always been certain is my love of writing and my gift of helping others share their stories and message to be of service to more people. It’s been a passion for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure it started with really bad poetry (as soon as I could write) and continued on when I co-created, wrote and produced the first school newspaper for my elementary school in 4th grade (on a mimeograph machine). I also remember sitting in front of our little black and white TV watching commercials (in-between cartoons and Captain Kangaroo, I am sure – we only had two channels back then) and thinking “I can do better than that”.

Throughout my life I’ve worked in advertising, marketing and non-profit positions (with the occasional restaurant or retail stint). I’ve worked for Job Training Partnership Act Programs, advertising agencies, radio stations and even a utility call center. Oh, and wineries, too (LOVED that almost as much as writing and firmly believe that wine is entrepreneurial fuel). Even though each experience was rewarding, it always felt like something was missing – and that something was following my own passion. In 2003 I took a huge leap of faith into the unknown and started WriteOnCreative.com. I have never once regretted my decision and my work continues to become more and more rewarding.

I truly believe the key to success is to believe in yourself, questioning any limitations people put on you and discovering your passion. Think about what brings you joy and how that can help others and when you have a dream, follow it. Break that dream into actionable steps and make it an achievable goal.

You can learn more about my journey here in my winning case study from the Hot Mommas 2011 competition. Enjoy and cheers to your success.

Posted by:

Passaggio Wines

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Passaggio Wines Harvest 2011

Harvest 2011 started with Chef Robin White launching her cold soup week which took us right into walking the vineyards and tasting the 2011 vintage. It has been an awesome year for Passaggio Wines. There are some new and excited things happening on the horizon...

Passaggio Wines will be launching the Rose Colored Glasses label and partnering with Chef Robin White in launching Social Justice Pinot Noir. Also, stay tuned for "Passage Way" the Passaggio Wine Club coming your way soon...

And last but not least - the best part of Harvest 2011...the birth of my grandson, Levi Robert, born on Sept 29th.

Turn up the music and enjoy my journey this season...

Follow Your Passion

Passaggio Wines

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Spontaneous Generosity Filled With Layers of Passion

An awe-inspiring Thursday afternoon...great wines, great food, great friends.  Amelia Ceja, owner and founder of Ceja Vineyards filled the afternoon telling the story behind the Ceja label.  Imagine sitting in her vineyard, enjoying the sun, the peace, the amazing food prepared by Amelia and tasting her wines...I could go on and on...peaceful contentment surrounded us as we sat among the vines where the Ceja Chardonnay grapes are harvested.  This is only a glimpse of the wonderful day we had...


Passaggio Wines

Monday, July 4, 2011


Wine is definitely my passion, but how did I get here- not just physically here, but how did I know that a wine life style was my passion, my goal? Good question!

I really did stumble into this quite by accident. I probably always knew that I was supposed to like wine – but for this to be a driving passion in my life, now that took me by surprise.

One of the fondest memories I have was being a child and stomping grapes in a big wash tub (the kind they used for the old wringer washing machines) in my grandmother’s kitchen. My grandmother’s brother used to pull up in her driveway in his old pickup truck with bushel baskets full of grapes from his vines. I was too young to appreciate or care how many vines he had or what kind of grapes he grew; but I do remember how happy both he and my grandmother were talking about the wine they would bottle from the crop he had just delivered. He grew the grapes; my grandmother made the wine.

Flash forward several years and I was going to college. Being involved in the wine industry never crossed my mind as I was trying to figure out what my major should be; I had an aunt that told me I really needed to focus on business because that was where the money was. I took her advice, majored in business with a concentration in accounting. (Trust me; the personalities that do audits and tax returns are polar opposites of people in the wine industry!) I went to work in public accounting and then passed the CPA exam (not on the first try, but who’s counting?) Being in public accounting was tough; the hours were long and grueling and I was so exhausted at the end of the day that I couldn’t even enjoy a glass of wine. All I did was sleep so that I could get up and do it again the next day.

After a few years, I moved from public accounting to the private sector with a bang. I went to work for Richard Childress Racing (NASCAR, #3, Dale Earnhardt). I worked there for more than 10 years. The first few years were lots of fun but there was always something missing; the fulfillment you get from doing what you were meant to do. So I left and went to work for Richard Petty – another NASCAR icon, but the simple change in environment didn’t fill that void. After only two years at Petty Enterprises, the team was shut down. I was laid off work in January, 2009. For the first time ever, I was out of work and didn’t know what to do with myself or my time. But the timing couldn’t have been better!

Thanks to Murphy Goode, I decided to try out for the Murphy Goode Lifestyle Correspondent in the summer of 2009. While I didn’t land the job, I did dive headlong into the wonderful world of wine via social media. I was happy just surfing the net and tweeting about local wine events or half-price wine nights at local restaurants, etc. Then one day I received a DM (direct message) from a follower on Twitter. He wanted to know if I would look at his website and just let him know what I thought about it. Of course I said yes, but didn’t really work it into my schedule. So a couple of weeks later when he saw me on Facebook he asked what I thought of his site. I immediately jumped over at this point to check out the site and see what he was trying to do. The site wasn’t bad so we chatted online for a bit; then he asked if I would call him. I was so outside of my comfort zone calling this “stranger” I had met online; but I did it anyway.

This stranger is now my business partner on our website NC Vineyards , but I will never forget that first phone call. The first thing he said to me was that he didn’t want me to think he was some sort of pervert.

He told me he was married, had 2 children, and a steady job and that this website was just a business venture that he was trying to get off the ground. Since we live in the same area and had the same interest in North Carolina wines, he was hoping that I would take an interest in his website and help him. Turns out I am the wino; he is the techie, a perfect partnership.

About the time I really started cranking up my wine life style, I was called back to work by the Petty’s. Going back to work was a difficult decision but I needed a way to pay the bills. Two years later I am still working my 9-5 and even though I haven’t given up my day job, I am fortunate enough to work only four days a week and have Friday off. That’s when I visit local wineries, tweet about their wines and try to partner with them to promote the winery and their events on our website. That’s where I shine and it shows in the way I interact with the wineries.

We recently had a big wine festival here. It was so rewarding to be setting up my own booth to promote who we are and what we do; but to take it to another level, as each of the wineries got their own booth set up before the crowd flooded the streets, the winemakers and winery owners had a few minutes to walk around and say hi to each other. I was amazed at how many of them knew me (me???) and would stop to chat or give me a hug. The service we offer them on our website is working. We are getting the word out to people about the wineries and we are driving traffic to them.

My life continues to evolve and one day not too far away I will be able to say goodbye to my 9 – 5 job and spend my days talking wine, sipping wine, promoting the wine industry and traveling to great wine destinations.

Posted by Passaggio Wines

Monday, June 27, 2011

Making the Connection

It was a pleasure meeting Tammi Ramsey for the first time. We sat and talked about our passions and our dreams. Tammi's passion for making wine shows forth in great style and confidence. Read about how she made her dream come true.

I love connecting people and I love connecting people with things they need or want. I guess you can say my career started out with the Girl Scouts of America. I loved selling cookies! Back then I wore my uniform and went door to door and when someone answered their door, I said "What is your favorite kind of cookie"? When they answered, I had the solution in my hand!

My folks never paid for summer camp because I sold so many cookies each year. I loved how people smiled when they had the cookies in hand. Thin Mints seemed to be a real "closer". Times have changed but my love of making connections has not. I love to help find solutions to people's wants or needs.

I became a design engineer. I love figuring out how to make something work or how to make things work better. This path fed my constant need to be challenged. One day the company I worked for moved me into a position as a sales engineer. I happened to "oversell" our capabilities and my boss said “Well, you told a client we can handle this project, so what are you going to do"? I replied, “I could go find more engineers to work here and they could work on the project".

At that moment I became a great recruiter and connector. Clients had needs and I could be part of helping them find the solution. Around the same time I was given a winemaking kit. After the first batch of wine was made, I was in love. I figured out that wine makes people happy and connects them with other people whom they would never have met.. It was my "AH HA" moment. I noticed the same love I had for connecting; I now shared the love of making wine.

I left the corporate world 2 years ago and have made wine in 12 states working under some amazing winemakers. It was an awesome learning experience. I have been to Rhone, France to compete on the PBS reality show The Winemakers Season II. I just returned from Chile as an apprentice winemaker for Lapostolle Wines. I will be releasing my personal wines, TJR Select, later this year. I have no idea how big my dream will become but I am excited to put my name on these wines and share them with you! I love connecting people with each other and my wines help that connection happen.

I hope someday we get to meet face to face and enjoy a glass of wine together!

Posted by Passaggio Wines

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Follow Your Heart and Do What You Love

Meet my friend Sherri Housman. I met Sherri on twitter and have had the pleasure of meeting her several times in person. She has such a passion about her that radiates to others around her. Follow her blog, Wine with SLHousman, and enjoy her passion.

I’m a huge believer in following your heart and doing what you love. People find serenity in many different ways with many different passions. Over the years I have found my passion in a couple different things. I have been drawing and creating pastel art since the age of eight. I always find a crazy beauty in flowers maybe because once in bloom their beauty only lasts for a short time. There’s something special about catching a flower’s natural beauty on a blank sheet of white paper and turning it into something vibrant. I love this quote by Georgia O’Keefe, my favorite artist whom I have admired for years. O’Keefe says, “Nobody sees a flower really-it is so small it takes time-we haven’t time-and to see takes time, like a friend takes time.”

Over the years I have loved and found a great satisfaction with writing and expressing my feelings on paper, which has made wine blogging so perfect for me. Being such an enthusiast of wine, I love describing an incredible bottle. Describing that bottle in words not only helps me savor every taste but also gives others who have not yet had the chance to taste, an idea of what that wine is like. With every new bottle comes that surprise, that mystery of not being entirely sure what you will get. You can have an idea of what it may taste like but many times I am pleasantly surprised. Blogging about wine has come to be very enriching for me. I’m always learning about wineries, appellations, varietals, and the whole wine making process that goes into producing incredible bottles. I have met many other great wine bloggers, winery owners, wine makers, and just other wine enthusiasts. My passion for wine and writing about it is huge. While exploring different wines I have definitely found a varietal that I am most passionate about. That would be Cabernet Sauvignon and the RockPile appellation. This RockPile appellation produces exquisite juice. I find layers of structure making this wine unforgettable. Russian River Valley Pinots are another favorite of mine, with their earthy and complex flavors. The hunt to find that new great bottle for my next blog is part of my passion. Wine Blogging has so many rewards beyond drinking great wines. It was an incredible feeling the first time I heard one of my blog readers tell me how much new information they learned about the bottle shared in my blog.
My readers can’t physically be with me and share a bottle but I hope I am able to give them an idea of what the wine tastes like and the nuances of its terror. If I can do that, then I’ve accomplished my goal.

In closing Id like to leave you with my very favorite wine motto, “Wine makes every meal an occasion and everyday more civilized.” Cheers!

Posted By Passaggio Wines

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jump Into Your Passion

Tammy Colson and I became friends on twitter when we each probably had about 100 followers. We became instant friends and have been friends ever since. I look forward to meeting her in real life one day and talking more
about how our passions changed our lives...Read her story...

Jump Into Your Passion

Following your passion can be hard work. Its always a journey. And sometimes there is a long road between what you do, and loving what you do. I was a United States Marine, a historian, and a pretty kick ass Human Resources professional. I'd been in the HR field for over 15 years, and I loved it, or thought I loved it. The last few years are debatable.
You see, about 4 years ago, I fell in love. With wine, and the outdoors. I realized I was no longer in love with HR – and I had been – passionate about good business and helping businesses be good to their people. I was good at it, but I was no longer enjoying it. I'd lost my passion in the bad business practices.

I needed a change so I decided to start building a path towards my love. I began doing wine and hiking tours through my business, Southern Wine Trails. It was part time, when my HR career allowed, and I loved it more than my full time, pay the bills job. But HR got in the way. Or maybe I let HR get in the way. My existing HR career was an easier path. Building a business from scratch was hard.

Then a few things happened that changed my perspective. I lost my HR job in the deep south, I met an amazing man while on a business trip, and I moved to Cleveland, OH when we decided we lived too far apart. I was at a definite fork in the road. Was it time to jump into my passion, or return to the safety net that was my career? I knew the wine world was really where I wanted to be. I was talking about wine, and introducing people to incredible wines, wineries and winemakers for free again. This really was my passion. It was time to use my skills and my passion and stop being afraid.

My company, Southern Wine Trails has been reborn in Cleveland, OH as a service provider to small businesses in the wine world and wine consumers. Our focus is new media marketing and consulting for wineries and retailers as well as planning private wine tasting events. And yes, we still do all-inclusive wine weekends for the adventurous tourist or business.

Following your passion isn't just about what you are skilled in, or educated for. Sometimes its about finding your love, and getting good at it. Much like the relationship that blossoms at a most unexpected time, so may your life's passion. You may just have to listen to what you talk about when you aren't talking about your job.

Tammy Colson can be found on twitter at @tlcolson and @sowinetrails. Southern Wine Trails helps wineries and wine retailers grow their businesses. And she creates wonderful wine tasting events... its all part of being a southern girl.

Posted by Passaggio Wines

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Ultimate Passion Feast

Twitter has introduced me to so many wonderful friends. I met Peg on twitter (better known to me as @twinklyred) and finally got to meet her in person on her trip to Napa. She is a person who definitely lives her passion and encourages others to do the same.

“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” T. Alan Armstrong

My love of food and the cultivation of my creativity started with my grandmother. Not only could that woman cook, but she and local friends grew some amazing veggies! I vividly recall biting into her succulent tomatoes and being rewarded with, beautiful juices running down my cheeks. Ahhh the wonderful taste of food, my grandmother taught me that you could add things together and get amazing results with spices vinegars etc. Life often has twists and turns, my mom divorced my stepdad and we stayed way up in Alaska away from grandma. I often missed her cooking and the comfort it brought. Being the oldest, I recreated that comfort by taking what I learned from grandma to make the simplest, straightforward dish take on a personality of its own.

This need to be creative with food flourished from a simple beginning. As a single parent, Mom was on a pretty tight budget so creating some excitement with food was a challenge. My first creation, a fried egg sandwich, was a hit that generated constant orders from mom’s friends. It was my foray into cooking for the joy of it and, frankly, I haven’t stopped since. My passion to make food taste good and look good had begun. Through my teen and young adult years, doors opened that let me explore that passion which quickly evolved into a second passion as I moved into management with the opportunity to train and motivate people.

I have worked for restaurants, food distributors, food brokers and now I am the Rep for a cocktail mix and dry blending company. It’s a great gig because it combines my two passions: food and people. When I work food shows, I get to see some amazing talents on the big stage as well as sample tantalizing new products like spices, sauces and exotic produce. Working as a rep also lets me work with, motivate and train my broker teams. Yes, selling the product is important, but imparting my passion to them and watching them develop their own passion is rewarding! I am happy to say it shows in the numbers they produce and the fun we have doing it.

My experiences in life and my desire to show others my passion for cooking, wine, and eating “clean” led my brother and I in our creation of FoodieFitness.net My brother and I shared a lifetime passion of taking care of ourselves, staying strong and aging well. I’ve done seven half-marathons and just ran a full marathon (at the age of 50!). My brother rides 30+ miles on his bike and loves circuit training in the gym. My brother is a genius in organic gardening. He has helped me start an organic garden that you will see mentioned in our food site.

My passion of food, connecting with people and healthy living has led me to a very satisfying life. I’ve learned that if you are truly happy to spring out of bed and you lay your head down at night and sleep well, then you have the ultimate passion feast. Your one passion can easily grow into many that feed off of each other and enable you to gobble up life. And if you think your done, look at Oprah and remember what she said, “It’s time to dream a bigger dream”. Gobble on…

Posted by Passaggio Wines

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Slingshot to Passion

If you haven't had a Tinhorn Creek Wine you have been missing out. Winemaker for Tinhorn Creek, Sandra Oldfield, talks to us about how she found her passion.

Following My Passion
Sandra Oldfield

Sandra and her sdopted daughter Melody 2005
I was not raised with wine in the house. My father was not a winemaker. There were not 7 generations stretching back to the “the old country” that handed their knowledge down to me. I never worked the land or grew up on a farm.

I backed into the wine industry as a diversion from a relationship gone bad.

If you go to work at a winery and find yourself staying later than you’re scheduled for, not taking lunch breaks, absorbing every tidbit of information you can glean--you may have to recognize you’ve found a career that is right for you. Even if you already have a degree in business. Even if you’ve never taken a college science class in your life. Even if your parents think you’re whacked. Even if you are on the rebound.

My passion for wine was carved out by myself. It was not handed to me. It led me to 2 ½ years of Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, and Biology classes in between working one full time job and one part time job in the wine industry. It led me to the Master’s Program at the University of California Davis. Once there, it opened up a world of learning that I could take to any level of my choosing—and I sucked the marrow out my two years in the program. I learned that a little bit of knowledge leads to a universe of knowledge yet unknown. I was treated as an equal by professors who I had only read about and admired for their lifetime’s work. Idolized. I also learned what it was like to attend a real college party—two or three times a week!

My passion for wine led me to my husband.

A Canadian studying viticulture at Davis, starting a new venture in some place called the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. It pulled me North. Away from my home and my family and the only life I had ever known. Away from my colleagues in the wine industry and away from my mentors and classmates. Away from my support network.

My passion for wine was now intertwined with a new life where I was once again very much on my own. Working through what would work and what would not work based on trial and error. Learning the rhythms of nature and seasons and weather. Walking row after row in our 130 acres of estate grapes to get a sense of place. Learning not only how to be managed but how to manage others. Employee after employee, consumer after consumer, and friend after friend, I began to build a new house of support. A new network of interactions. Not a home I had been given but one I had built myself.

A rebound that turned out to be a slingshot to a new life.

Posted by Passaggio Wines

Monday, May 23, 2011

Walking the Vine With Liz

I love Liz's products and her story about her pilgramage to the place she wanted to be. Liz Healy-Kay explains her passion and inspiration for I Walk the Vine. Read about her guiding principle and pet peeves.

Following My Passion!
Name: Liz Healy-Kay
Website: www.iwalkthevine.com

Creator/Owner of I Walk the Vine, LLC an apparel and gift line for wine enthusiasts, with national placement in over 50 wineries throughout Oregon, WA, CA, Napa, Sonoma and Texas.

Inspiration for I Walk the Vine:
I started this line from my own frustration of never finding hip, stylish wine tees when in winery gift shops – you don’t have to wear rhinestones to declare your love for wine!

Professional background:
Over 20 years experience in diverse marketing & management roles, primarily in the recording industry. I launched “I Walk the Vine” three years ago.

Education: BA in Political Science, Stockton State, Pomona, NJ

Residence: Portland, OR

Following Your Passion:
Great ideas can come simply from your gut especially if you are bringing to market something different. Products that “wink” and make people smile set a great foundation for enthusiasm. I knew nothing about developing a gift or t-shirt line, running a full commerce website or selling to the wine industry. I had always worked in a tough, competitive, creative industry where you only survived by being special – that translates in whatever you do.

Best way to keep competitive:
Keep it fresh with new designs & products; find ways to communicate & engage with your fan base

Guiding principle:
Always be moving forward & improving – complacency will never grow your business

Yardstick of success: Continued growth in tough economic times.

Best business decision: Trade-marking “I Walk The Vine”

Toughest business decision: Investing in outside consultants to help me grow

Mentors: Entrepreneurs & risk takers

Word that best describes you: Dedicated

Like best about the job: Autonomy

Like least about the job: Uncertainty

Pet peeves: Bad design and cheap t-shirts

Most important lesson learned: Tap your smart friends for business advice

Most respected competitor: I love the story and the massive success of Johnny Cupcakes t-shirts – not a competitor by any stretch but a product & entrepreneur I respect.

Greatest passions: Wine and cooking for people I love

Favorite wine: Buttery Chardonnays and big reds – bring on the Jam!

First choice for a new career: Launch another great idea!

Favorite quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them” – Dr Maya Angelou

Most influential book: The Color of Water

Favorite cause: Big Brothers, Big Sisters – I am a mentor to 8-year old “little sister” Promise

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction

Favorite music/musician: Johnny Cash, of course! All great singer-songwriters

Most treasured possession: My wedding ring

Favorite food: fresh, local, simple with really good olive oil & herbs

Favorite vacation spot: Equally Mexico & Hawaii

Favorite way to spend free time: Cooking

Posted by Passaggio Wines

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chase Down Your Passion

I would like to introduce a wonderful friend of mine, Elizabeth Smith. We met on twitter and have actually met in person a couple of times when she has visited wine country. She is known on twitter as @cestbeth and on facebook as Elizabeth Smith and Traveling Wine Chicks. Elizabeth has so graciously shared her passion with me. Read what she has to say...

Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night. ~Terri Guillemets

I fell in love with the French language in high school, yet I failed to see it as one of my passions until after my sophomore year in college. I began college as a political science major, then I became a computer science major, but I was always minoring in French. One day it dawned on me, "French is my calling." I talked to my parents, crying, as I told them I wanted to major in French. They supported my decision and gave me their blessing.

Between my junior and senior years, my dream of studying in France came true. I spent a summer in Paris, the Loire Valley, and studying at the University of Provence in Aix-en-Provence. From that sprang my second passion, traveling.

I continued my studies in French and language education through the doctoral level and have taught both French and Spanish at a Virginia community college since 1989. I met my boyfriend in 1997 and am in my fourteenth year of commuting to and from Yonkers, NY and around the world. In 2008, a virtual frequent flier friend of mine saw my love and gift for travel, and decided to take a chance on hiring me as his company's travel manager. From this, my part-time travel company, C'est Beth, was born. I also began blogging about travel and subsequently created a Twitter and Facebook presence for my new business. This year I took the next step and became an independent travel agent with Montrose Travel's home-based travel agent division.

Wherever your passion lies, seize it and live it now, for all we really have is today.

Posted by Passaggio wines

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Generation of Passion

Following Your Passion is something that we all dream of doing. My blog features contributors who have dreams of their own. Melissa Gresham, my first guest contributor (and daughter-in-law) writes about her passion. Read what she has to say.

What is my passion? I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before, and so directly, to make me really stop and think (and write) about it: What is my passion? Mine?

So often I think we lose sight of what truly excites us. We become bogged down with our nine to five jobs, the Monday through Friday routine, and trying to stay afloat amidst our busy, always on-the-go schedules. We get overloaded with doing chores and, if we have kids, helping them with their homework or breaking up arguments. Life is hard, exhausting, and with all the responsibilities we have it doesn’t leave much time for following dreams.

Though if you’re like my mother-in-law Cindy, she has charged her once tucked away passion and found a way to follow it. With ambition, vigor, and strategic planning she has made her dreams reality and to our benefit, with the creation of Passaggio Wines.

With her great accomplishments in mind and her challenge to me to write about discovering my own passion, I find myself excited to share with you.

I have several passions, but only two that truly move me to top a level of excitement that the others do not. My passions, igniting my heart, are simple: fitness and writing.

When I was in high school, I convinced myself I was going to become a personal trainer and do that for a living, for my career, for life. But I was discouraged.

Personal training is not a real profession, people would say. You also have to have a “real” job.

And as the pressure of other peers going off to great colleges to get four year degrees began to perpetuate the dissuasions of my foggy plan, I found myself formulating the same idea for my own short-term future that would follow in my peers’ footsteps. I would go to a four-year college myself.

So I put my real passion on the backburner and went to Southeastern University. Not really doing the due diligence I deserved to give myself by researching degree options, I went without a plan and began an education undeclared.

Saddened to find that there was nothing physical fit-related to study there, I pursued a Journalism degree. And through my junior and senior years I began to really uncover my love for writing. It was all coming together, and the joy of being at college, this college, excited me more and more. A passion, dormant in my heart, was being unleashed.

My father, who I attribute the roots of this passion, is a writer. He has authored songs, stories, articles and books galore, and continues to do so even in into his graying years. He is one of my deepest inspirations.

My Journalism degree sparked an interest to become an avid blogger, documenting family life and notes of inspiration about my Lord Jesus. I also became a freelance writer for the Manassas Patch where I contribute weekly to its hyper-local focus. And I get to write about what I love: this hometown of mine that melts my soul.

My passion for writing is unmatched. There is nothing that blesses me more than touching someone with words on a page and relating to them in a way that no one else can. There is nothing more exciting to me than formulating stories to touch a heart or help someone recount a memory or inspire them to find their own passions. And so I write. All the time.

After discovering and living one dream, I decided to revisit my aspiration for fitness all over again. And six years after college ended I pursued a Personal Training Certification. This past February, I obtained that degree.

My zeal for physical training started when I was young with gymnastic lessons. And soon, I learned that my highs came from using my body to perfect physical technique, skill, and precision. And when I was in this mode, this mindset, nothing could stop me. I was on top of the world. Gymnastics led to cheerleading and simultaneously, an interest in softball. I found such purpose in being active, in keeping my body moving and in shape. I constantly craved reaching new levels of excellence and helping others find the same excitement to perfect their own bodies.

I am not up to par to teach lessons with my new degree at the moment because, excitedly, I’m a soon-to-be first time mom. And needless to say, I am out of shape and lacking much drive to do anything that requires a strong center of gravity or balance! So, starting this sub-career will wait.

For now, I am happy just to say I passed the test and finally accomplished this goal.

Though it may take time, or a different route to figure out what you truly love to do, don’t give up on it.

Discover your passion. Live your passion. Follow your passion.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mom's Big Hat

Mother's Day is right around the corner. My mom has always wore a Big Hat during Easter (well, she really always wears one) and so that was what inspired the making of the 2010 Grande Cappello Rosé. This wine is great for a Mother's Day gift or to just enjoy with family and friends.

Passaggio Wines is offering a 15% discount on the Rosé from Saturday, April 23 - Sunday, May 8th. Just type the word twitter in the coupon code box on the website.

Wishing all mothers a Happy Mother's Day


Passaggio Wines

Friday, April 1, 2011

Passaggio 2010 Grande Cappello Rosé

Coming Soon - Passaggio 2010 Grande Cappello Rosé

Passaggio Wines thanks all those who helped bottle the 2010 Rosé and to Justin for taking these awesome photos...


Follow Your Passion

Passaggio Wines

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Big 5-0

Well...I knew this day would finally come. Yep...the big 5-0. I have now joined forces with those who are members of the AARP. (LOL)

My birthday week-end started off with beautiful flowers from my son and his wife and a wonderful bottle of Chateau St Jean Reserve Malbec. Sunday morning...the big day had arrived. Members of El Cerrito United Methodist Church sang Happy Birthday and we had an awesome time in the dining hall with cake. (of course they had to put my age on it...LOL) After church I ventured up to Domaine Carneros where I met with some wonderful friends, sipped on some marvelous champaign, ate some awesome food and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon. That evening the chef from the Depot Hotel, in Sonoma, made me a special dish, and of course we ended the day with Passaggio Unoaked Chard.

What else can one say...? It only gets better from here!!! Can't wait!!!


Follow Your Passion

Passaggio Wines

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Radical Thought #4a (Your Inner Circle)

OK...I was asked to expound on my last blog about surrounding yourself with positive people. Here goes...

This is what has worked for me...Pick four people.

First person - Your Rock to lean on - someone who will see you through your good times and bad times. Someone you can tell anything; your sounding board. Someone who will be faithful to your cause...no matter what.

Second person - The Believer - the person who believes that you can do big things with just a little...someone who believes in what you have set out to do no matter how big the task may seem.

Third person - A powerful voice - impetuous - someone who will tell you like it is. Someone who will not tickle your ears but give you honest advice and believes in you.

Fourth person - This is your BFF - someone you trust with your soul. Someone you can count on. Someone willing to make sacrifices to help you be successful. Someone who loves you dearly...

Well there you have it...your inner circle.

Keep Following Your Passion,


Passaggio Wines

Friday, January 21, 2011

Radical Thought #4

We are on step #4 of a Radical Thought to "Follow Your Passion"

Step #1 - Are you willing to take a chance
Step #2 - What will it take
Step #3 - Never lose site of your dream

Step#4 - Surround Yourself with Positive People

Surrounding ourselves with positive people can be a great asset to keeping your eye on the prize. Pick a few of your closest friends - those who know you best and tell them what you want to accomplish. Let them help you stay grounded and on target with your goal. Now...I am not saying pick people who will tell you what you want to hear. Pick people who will tell you what you need to hear - most importantly those who have faith in YOU.

Sometimes all we need to hear is "You can do this"

Keep Following Your Passion


Passaggio Wines

Friday, January 14, 2011

Radical Thought #3

We are on step #3 of a Radical Thought to “Follow Your Passion”

Step #1 - Are you willing to take a chance
Step #2 - What will it take

Step #3 - Never lose sight of your dream

Remember the carousel ride...? Did you grab the Brass Ring...? Hopefully that image reminds you of how you can reach out and grab your dream. Keep your eye on the prize…never let it go.

I know all of you have wonderful dreams of doing great things or seeing great things. You can...! Now that you have written it down...visualize it. Come on – I mean really visualize it. Never lose sight of it...

How does that look to you? What would it take? Really – what would it take to reach out and grab your brass ring?

You can do anything you set your mind to do...I know you can because I did...


Passaggio Wines

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Radical Thought #2

As we continue the steps to following your passion I am reminded of all the wonderful things that have happened in my life since I decided to Follow My Passion. It has been a wonderful journey and I want to share my process with you. Step #1 was - Are You Willing To Take A Chance

Step #2 - What Will It Take

Write down what it will take for you to Follow Your Passion. This worked for me...I always find it better to write things down, especially if it's something that may take me awhile to accomplish. What will it take? Make a list. Will it take packing up and moving across the country? That was the major item on my list. In 2004 I took that leap of faith. I left a 15 year law enforcement career, packed the car and drove across the country from Virginia to California to begin my dream.

So...write it down and look at it. How does it look? How does it make you feel? Are the gains worth the risk you may have to take?

Radical? You bet...


Passaggio Wines

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Radical Thought

If you could change anything about your job or life what would it be...?

What if you decided that you wanted to leave your current job to "Follow Your Passion" How would that impact your life? How would your life change? How does following your passion change how you look at things?

There are many people who have changed their lives for the better by taking a leap of faith. They jumped off the diving board and made a big splash into a world that they are happier, healthier and more comfortable in.

Step #1 - Are you willing to take a chance

To "Follow Your Passion" is not an easy task by no means, but it can be done. You can change your life. You can be doing what you have always loved doing. You can make a difference in your life and others around you.

"Follow Your Passion" - A radical thought? You bet it is!!!


Passaggio Wines