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Making wine and making successful wineries.pdf

Their enthusiasm for learning should not however be

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Their enthusiasm for learning should not, however, be confused with endowed skill sets, as most acknowledge that they face a steep learning curve, do not readily understand exactly what it is that they need to learn or what resources they need to develop, how various resources interact and often struggle with acquiring the routine operational details plus site-specific idiosyncrasies. The central problem is that winemaking provides a once a year opportunity to get things right; failure can be costly under such conditions. The natural variation in climate and growing conditions makes it difficult to identify issues that were causally related to subsequent problems. In other words, it continues to be expensive to “learn by doing”; yet they often lack the technical knowledge or the resources to avoid such a behavioral approach. Many massively underestimated the costs necessary to sustain them in the early years. Seven of the wineries said it was much more difficult selling their wine than they had imagined, having put their resources into making wine as best they could but then found that they lacked the reputational significance to sell the volumes they produced. Two wineries have, in fact, reduced production by 20 per cent over the past three years, and all but one had undesired inventories from previous vintages. Wineries in this category are the ones most likely to stage weddings and other “formal” events and market themselves accordingly ( Taplin and Nguyen, 2016 ). In fact, in six of the cases, weddings were seen as a necessary source of income, and in two of them, owners said that this was their “real” focus. In each case, such events provided them with the revenue that enabled them to stay in business. Not surprisingly, wine quality is more likely to be problematic in these instances, as resources go to the immediate revenue stream of “events” rather than the longer-term prospects of winemaking. Unfortunately, this can impair the overall reputation of the industry in the area, thus damaging the marketability of others’ wines. Figure 3 captures the sense of the resource development process for the Avocateur wineries. These wineries by and large approach founding without knowledge, without a strategic vision and without financial resources. The owners simply have an idea, and to further their idea, they first participate in formal networks through which they are 133 Making wine and making successful wineries Downloaded by Walden University At 08:05 13 November 2018 (PT)
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recipients of explicit and codifiable information and knowledge that others already possess. Understanding terroir and the tacit dimensions of this business is not on their radar. Thus, their progress in leveraging into other strategically important resources is slow, almost linear and sequential rather than bundled. In the long run, they usually have struggled to acquire some financial resources and – even further down the road – possibly more sophisticated concepts about managing the business.
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