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Entrepreneurs are always on the go.  Heads down.  Planning, thinking, executing.  It never stops.  Not for the evening, the weekend, vacation or anything else.  We believe in our mission, support our employees and do our best for our customers and partners.  Every so often, I take a deep breath, stop the madness just for a few minutes and reflect.  Reflect on life, reflect on our business, and enjoy a moment of gratitude for the incredible journey.  

Today we learned that Votto Vines has earned a spot on the Inc 5000 as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for the seventh time.  It hit me hard, and I vowed to take a moment to reflect.  

In October 2006, my wife and I visited a little winery in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany.  We loved the wines and asked the winemaker where we could buy the wines in Boston or New York.  Much to our disappointment, he told us that we couldn’t as the wines were not being exported due to various concerns and issues that the winery had faced in the past.  That was my aha moment.

I came home and told my brother, brother-in-law and cousins that we should consider importing Italian wines as a family passion project and start up business.  Everyone told us it was a terrible idea and that the wine industry was one of the most difficult to crack in the US.  

Undeterred, we pressed ahead hammering out a business plan and my wife came up with our company name while sitting around my parents’ pool in the summer of 2007.  Votto Vines was born.   

Two years later we launched the business during the great recession, and now fifteen years after that fateful trip to Italy, we’ve earned a spot on the INC 5000 as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for the SEVENTH time.  The first wine company ever to do so. 

As I reflect upon our path, I am constantly amazed by the incredible people that we have met and the lasting friendships with suppliers, customers and partners that we have formed.  That’s my favorite part of the journey.  All the wonderful people.  All over the globe.  All walks of life.  Those people I’ve met through a shared experience of building a business from nothing into something.  It’s an amazing process and gives me profound respect for all entrepreneurs.  Those people with the courage and conviction to try and build something special.  Day after day.  Week after week.  Year after year.  The grind never stops. 

On this day of reflection, I’d also like to thank our incredible network of family and friends for buying our wines, sending texts and emails of encouragement, attending events and supporting our family business in every possible way.  I am eternally grateful. Now, back to work…