February 2016 marks an exciting, yet challenging month for me. Next week will be my last week at Talley Vineyards as my boyfriend, Nelson, and I embark on a new chapter of our lives. We have decided to do some extended traveling and on February 11th we will board a plane headed to Norway. The decision to leave our jobs and travel around the world was an extremely difficult one that I waver on daily, but the more people I talk to about it, the more comfortable I get as almost every person exclaims things like "you have to do it!" and "it's the trip of a lifetime!"
This isn't the first trip Nelson and I have taken to Europe together. Back in 2010 we were lucky enough to travel to Italy to visit a friend we had studying abroad there. Once we got off the plane and settled down into our B-N-B in Rome, I was awestruck by everything I saw. In Europe, history has such a deeper meaning and there were so many landmarks I just couldn't wrap my head around. It was an amazing experience that I remember in such incredible detail and after we returned to the states I knew it had happened; what everyone told me would happen - I got the travel bug. I decided then that at some point I would go back and see it all. It's taken longer than I'd imagine, but the time has finally come and I couldn't be more excited to see historical landmarks, taste wines in every country, and make friends around the world.
I've never been good with change and the feelings I have been filled with these last few weeks have weighed heavy on my heart. I very much enjoy my job, my boss, and my coworkers and that has been the hardest part of this whole decision. As I look forward at this amazing adventure we are about to begin, I can't help but be reminded on all the wonderful times I've had in my 3.5 years at Talley Vineyards. If you'll indulge me, I'd love to share a few!
If you reference back to the second blog I wrote, it was about my first sales trip with my boss, David Block, which will always be a highlight for me. I still remember the wine shops and restaurants we visited, the people we met and the best guacamole I've ever had at a local spot in Scottsdale, Barrio Queen. Watching David work with buyers and managers set the standard for how I would conduct myself as I began to travel on my own. I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a wonderful boss that I respect and look up to. The amount of wisdom, expertise and storytelling skills David has taught me over these last few years will carry over into all of my future jobs, in and out of the wine industry.
At Talley Vineyards we are lucky enough to have incredibly generous owners that open up their home to their staff on regular occasions. Another highlight for me will always be the many events I've been able to attend, like the "raid the cellar" pool parties, which not only allows everyone to pick a bottle from the Talley's cellar to share (seriously!) but also wood fired pizzas cooked for you by Brian Talley himself. These parties allow everyone to let their hair down and create personal relationships with our coworkers, bosses, and owners, creating lasting memories , which I am forever thankful for.
There are hundreds of other little moments throughout the years that I have enjoyed and will always cherish. Like on my birthday last year when the staff hosted a chip and dip themed lunch for me (one of my favorite foods), or the ridiculous conversations that happen when a group of us take our daily walk down to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, or even jumping in on the bottling line or lending a hand sorting fruit when the production team was short staffed. I will miss hearing our cellar master, Nacho Zarate, singing loud enough to echo throughout the winery; I will miss the countless moments of hysterical laughter my officemates and I have shared; I will miss my morning walk to get tea from the tasting room and stopping to say hello to my coworkers, my friends, along the way.
I feel so lucky to have been able to work for this company and make the relationships I've made. I'm so excited to begin my travels but also sad to say goodbye. I'll look forward to my return and visiting the winery to see all my old friends. In the meantime I'll be somewhere in Europe, probably enjoying a glass of wine and planning the next chapter of this great adventure.