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 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