Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day visiting several wineries in the Coonawarra Wine Region in South Australia. Safe to say that I do appreciate a glass of red wine, so taking the time whilst on family holiday to visit the Coonawarra was akin to a child in a candy store.
That said, despite loving the experience of being immersed in some of Australia’s oldest wineries, what I was pleasantly surprised with was the pride and passion in which some of the wine makers discussed their history and the importance of being part of something greater than just themselves.
Now to clarify, this wasn’t the case at every winery. For example, entering the famous grounds of the Wynn’s winery was a brilliant experience in terms of the history and elegance of the building, however what was abundantly clear was the fact that commercialisation (not to mention being owned by Treasury Wines) has resulted in a sense of its beginning, history and legacy slipping away in place of production and profitability.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, I couldn’t help but ponder whether this is the path the original founder of the Wynn’s behemoth, John Riddoch, would have wanted for the winery?
In contrast, I had the pleasure of spending 30 minutes or so at Redman Wines, only a stone throws away from Wynn’s where the experience was in stark contrast. We were greeted in the cellar door (noting that the normal cellar door was closed for a renovation) by a man who was dressed for work in a vineyard and the rigours that this presents who then happily and openly spoke about their wines, the famous soil of the Coonawarra, the history of the vineyard and some of the personal stories that are present in a family business.
At the time, the man at Redman didn’t introduce himself in a humble kind of a fashion, however I sensed that we were in fact talking to one of the Redman’s so curiosity got the better of me after I left and I turned to my friend google, to discover we were talking to Bruce Redman who is the current wine maker and custodian along with his brother and 2 sons.
What was interesting was a sense that the pressures of running a business and competing with the likes of Wynn’s was ever present however what impressed me was the desire for the family to continue to own and operate the winery. What a meaningful legacy that Bruce has been left with from those in his family before him and one can only imagine what the future will look like as the next generation take hold…… no matter what, the desire to leave a legacy is the purpose for this winery and one that I personally connected with as a result.
So, my question to you is, what is your legacy?
By legacy, I am not meaning that we all need to rush out and buy 100 acres of soil and start a winery but more so, what is that driving motivation in your mind to leave this world in a greater place when you leave?
Being privileged enough to help people define their future and desires for their next generation I have many examples of what legacy means, which has taught me a great lesson in that, legacy means something different for each person.
For example, in my wife’s family, there has been a property in the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria which has been handed through the generations and is approaching 100 years in the family, which is a truly remarkable example of legacy. That said, the easiest decision over the years would have been to sell this property as it would have resolved many issues and removed a financial commitment that goes with this. The desire to retain this and allow another generation to experience the joys of spending time with a family at the property has outweighed the other factors and so it remains. It however remains at a monetary cost, which means that as a family the motivating factor for this property was not money (if it was it would have been sold) but rather something so much more than money. The reason I share this with you is to highlight that a legacy doesn’t need to be in the form of money!
So, how do you create your own legacy?
The first step is to understand what you would like your legacy to be. Is it, to adopt the adage of teaching your children to fish so that they never go hungry (figuratively speaking), be actively involved in a community today and make something that lasts beyond your time or to have peace of mind knowing that your family appreciate the impact you have had on their life……
There are many versions of what a legacy looks like however the success to leaving a meaningful legacy is to be clear on what that legacy is and putting appropriate effort into turning that into reality!