This past weekend was our annual Harvest event—a designated time and place for Wine Guides to meet, learn, and get energized for the upcoming wine season ahead. From welcome cocktail receptions to grand wine tastings, from keynote speakers to dinner and dancing, Harvest is always a spectacular time! For more about Harvest from a Wine Guide’s perspective, read on for Guest Blogger Leah Johnson’s top highlights—
A weekend at wine camp!
Wine camp—yes, it’s a thing. Something that all Wine Guides wait for every year, our annual convention, Harvest. For 3 days we connect, learn and grow in so many ways. This past weekend we gathered in St. Charles, MO and had a blast!
I personally love 4 main parts of Harvest: the WINE, the FRIENDS, the LEARNING, and the EXPLORATION!
Highlight of Wine Camp for everyone is finding out about the new wines that are in the pipeline for the upcoming months…and then TASTING THEM. Yup, our winemakers bring samples for us to try, and this year did not disappoint—with 12 wines to sample. Whether we are sampling new vintages of long-time fan favorites or getting excited for a brand-new wine (excuse me Never Have I Ever canned fizzy Sauvignon Blanc), having our winemaking team there to answer all the questions and provide the tasting notes live is truly priceless. This is what I use at every event through the busy holiday wine buying season!
Do you have a bestie that lives far away? How about 400? That’s how it feels when you get to the hotel. We don’t do handshakes at Traveling Vineyard because after all, we are family so get ready for the hugs to abound. I’m lucky to count quite a few of my fellow Wine Guides among my closest friends and it is truly fantastic that we can write off a trip to see each other every year! Accountability partners who work together day in and day out through the year finally get to be face to face. Wine Besties (I’m looking at you Braden Wicks!) get the biggest hugs and life catch up over a glass in person, which we all can admit is much needed. Oh, you’re new? Cool, let me introduce you to so and so, and by the way we are hanging out in my room tonight it’s 110, you better be there! No one is a stranger, and you will never feel more accepted and loved than at Harvest.
As an adjunct professor, I like to say I am a lifelong student and am super comfortable in a classroom. Harvest provides me that outlet but in WINE!! From learning with five-star keynote speakers like Brenda Ster on the direct selling industry or national coach Valorie Burton, to wine knowledge from our wine making team and other wine guides (looking at you Mel Eitel!), we always have massive takeaways. In the past few years, our very own Wine Guides have served as keynote speakers and this year Kiersten Ray-Kuhn blew me out of the water. She spoke to my soul, not just about business and wine, but life and self-development. Traveling Vineyard really cares about us learning and growing in all facets.
I LOVE to travel and although we do spend a lot of our time in the hotels/conference centers soaking up that Harvest High, we do have time to explore the surrounding area of places we may never have thought to go! This year St. Charles, MO was a wonderful host. Such a beautiful town with fantastic food and drinks—oh you like activities, sorry I’m all about what goes in my belly, but I did hear something about an arch not too far away?? And next year, you bet I’ll have my toes in the sand and a glass in my hand in Jacksonville, FL—Our Harvest 2023 destination!
Overall, Wine Camp is the perfect way to kick off the new Harvest year, and I look forward to being part of the House that Harvest Built—are you with us?
If Harvest sounds like the place that you need to be, then join us! Who couldn’t use some extra fun, friendship, and fulfillment in their life? To chat with a current Wine Guide about their team and experience, click here!