How The Time Flies
I've been busy. I said I'd take the summer off. A third excuse for effect.
Honestly, I’m not making excuses for being busy, but I have been. Turns out that since going freelance, I have a huge sense of guilt about turning things down.
People approach me to do things, and I say yes, then figure out how to do it afterwards.
I ended up with a quite a few things to do, as well as all the things that I’d already decided I wanted to look at. I want to write more*, I want to kick about at a winery, I want to get paid to talk about wine.
So, I say yes to everything, and before I realise, a few weeks have gone by without me writing the newsletter. I’m enjoying everything, but I’ve been busy.
I’ve also started running again, and I’ve picked up my guitar more this summer than I have for a few years. You have to factor in down time, too.
The MW Exam Results.
I still don’t have them, results day is September the 26th.
If you’ve read the last newsletter you’ll have seen the full rundown of the wines. Lots of people read that. I’ve no idea if it was cathartic for the other MW students that read it, or if it was off-putting to anyone that was thinking about joining the study program, or if it’s just total nonsense for those that wouldn't dream of it.
Either way, I hope you found it interesting. I feel exactly the same about it, I’ve just got to sit and wait it out for the results.
A few of the other students have suggested we feel like Schrödinger’s MW student at the moment, and that’s where I am too. Neither on, nor off course.
Holiday then Harvest
I’ve got an actual holiday booked, abroad and everything. I leave on Wednesday 14th, I’ll be back on the 21st, and get the MW exam results on the Monday after.
When I’m back I’m straight into U.K Vintage 2022. The grapes have grown. It’s been dry and hot, and we’re looking OK.
I’ll be doing my first actual stint in a working winery, which is one of the only things in the industry I haven't done. I’ve said for ages that I’ve worked as seller, buyer, marketer, talker, taster, reader but never as yet, maker.
I’d hardly describe myself in this scenario as wine ‘maker’, but it’ll be the closet I’ve got so far to picking the grapes, and being involved in the process of turning them into wine. I’m very grateful to Flint Vineyard for giving me a job.
It was rather a fortuitous situation that meant all of the above could work. The last piece of the freelance puzzle. A few days per week at the vineyard cellar door with an eye on the winery come September, meant I could do everything else around it.
The first Solaris grapes come into the winery next week, which is early by any standard in the U.K!
Which brings me to the delicate position of how to carry on with the newsletter.
I read a ‘Grow Your Audience’ email from Substack the other week with some great tips & techniques on how to do just that. Obviously I’m going to ignore most of it, and then wonder why nobody is paying attention.
The one thing that caught my attention was a subtle model for giving people a reason to sign up to the Paid Version.
At the moment, it’s all free for everyone, always, but you can choose to pay if you want to support my MW progress. The original pitch still holds firm, that if you chip in, you’ll get some yet-to-be decided reward once I’m a definite MW. Yes, that might take another three years, and yes it might never happen.
In the interim, I’ve decided if I pass Stage 1, then from October I’ll keep all posts ‘free for all’… until I send out the next one.
That way, the ‘archive’ is only for the absolute legends amongst you that are paying subscribers. Everyone else will just need to read it super quick**
Except. ‘Indie Insider’. I’ve posted a couple of these, and will expand on them, they’ll stay free for all, indefinitely.
* Not just in this newsletter, and thankfully, a few people like what I do here, enough to ask me to do it elsewhere.
** OR PAY ⬇️⬇️
A couple of Instagram accounts from other MW students I’ve really enjoyed recently. I’m certainly not the only person documenting the process pretty thoroughly.
Samantha has been posting regular videos of her blind tastings at home, with a really approachable, interesting, open take on the process.
Antonia & Irem are both Stage 2 Students. Irem has recently started a new series on their IG posts, with a diary of her MW journey.