Wine for Wheels
Years back, someone called me from California. The fellow wanted to start a metals newsletter for institutional investors. It would be a sort of 321gold but aimed at the institutional market. He had some experience with that market, having been the publisher of a magazine for institutional investors.
We've tried to help a lot of gold sites and newsletter writers. We don't view them as competitors. It's not as if a reader can only go to either Gold-Eagle or 321gold, but not both. Every gold site is a little different and attracts a different base of readers. But in the back of my mind, I knew that you don't really aim at institutional investors the way you aim an arrow or a rifle. You are actually far more of a target for readers.
He went on to say that as sort of a part time job he raised grapes on a hilltop in between the Napa and Sonoma valleys. He was a part time wine maker. That did get me thinking of grapes and bare feet and bathtubs. I'm not sure how successful anyone is going to be making wine in a bathtub.
Time went on and we knew his site was around but little more. It clearly wasn't his focus the way Barb and I focus on 321gold. Then one day someone called me up and asked me to fly to Reno to go on a tour of a gold project. I knew the area and a little about the company, so I accepted.
I flew into Reno and the group met for dinner that first evening at a nice steak house. I suppose we had six-eight people on the tour. I knew most of them. And then someone walked into the room carrying half a dozen bottles of wine. He handed the wine to the waiter and introduced himself to the group.
He name was Gordon Holmes. He runs The Gold Report. He also makes wine. All I could think was "Oh shit." He was the fellow who contacted me years before.
I was caught in a quandary. Here's a very nice guy who thinks he should be in the wine business who intends to share with us some of his homemade wine.
The waiter popped open a bottle of Pinot Noir and after the traditional cork-snorting trick, we all had a glass. I will confess, I approached my glass with great trepidation. The color was nice, not nearly the harsh red I was used to. It didn't smell too much like turpentine. I sipped and much to my great surprise, the wine was the best I had ever had.
Then Gordon told us his story. Many years ago, he did indeed publish a commodities magazine aimed at institutional investors. He sold it. For a lot of money. Enough that he could afford a small vineyard overlooking San Francisco Bay, right on the ridgeline between the Sonoma and Napa Valley. A vineyard, albeit a modest vineyard.
It was a good story. Gordon made a bundle as it were when he sold his magazine. Raising grapes was a dream of his. But doing something for others was more of a dream. Gordon actually felt guilty at making a big profit out of his wines. And he knew everyone in the business so was able to get the top people in the industry designing wines for him. He would buy or trade the grapes they needed and make the wine according to the recipe he was given.
His wines are heaven. But there is a secret to them. With every case of wine he sells of what he calls his Library Wines, he sends a wheelchair to someone needy. When he sells a single bottle of his Current Release Wines, he sends a wheelchair to someone.
It was an interesting evening. We were half sloshed on the best wine I have ever tasted. Gordon had an easy explanation for that. Word got around about his Wine for Wheelchairs Program and all the best wine makers in the business wanted to work with him.
I've always had a quandary about people who make big money. It seems to me that the fastest way to screw a kid up is to give him everything he wants. What do you do if you are Warren Buffett or Bill Gates? Give your kid the whole pot? It also seems to me that if your children have an entrepreneurial bent, if they can't make a business go with a million dollars, they can't make it go with a billion dollars.
I see a lot of do-gooder fund raising for various charities. People dress up in black tie and expensive ball gowns all in the name of collecting donations to help feed the poor when they wouldn't dream of having one of the poor unfortunates show up at one of their dos.
Wine for Wheelchairs is real. It's Gordon's way of sharing his superb wines with his friends and wheelchairs for those who most need them.
If you want to do something special for your someone special this Valentine's, consider Wine for Wheelchairs. The wine is special and the wheelchairs even more so.