Well, we made it! 2020 is in the books and can return to being a figure of speech, something about hindsight. There's no way we could have predicted this past crazy year, but we couldn't feel more grateful to have survived it, and to have Allegro survive it as well.
I turned off a radio program the other day because they were running a "2020 News in Review" segment. I remember what happened in 2020. I didn't particularly want to hear about it all again. So much of the year was bitter, heart-wrenching, sad, anxiety-producing. To deal with that load, we've all gotten more tools in our tool-boxes, strategies of flexibility, priority-gazing, and appreciation to help us get through. I am particularly grateful for Carl's particular socket set.
One of Carl's favorite podcasts is Pivot, hosted by Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher. And I must say that Carl certainly put his own personal pivoting skills to good use in 2020. As the pandemic threat loomed and businesses all around the world were being shuttered, we went through many days of uncertainty, not knowing if we would be allowed to stay open, if we and our employees were "essential." From one hour to the next on some days, we'd get updates and mandates and Carl would have to quickly navigate through the information, heading into strategy sessions seeking ways that we'd be able to keep making and selling wine. When retail stores and restaurants closed, our curbs remained open. Customers found our wines in grocery stores and we delivered the wine straight to their doors.
There are many reasons why we survived 2020 as a business, and Carl stands behind all of them. Two decades of his work to grow and diversify the ways we make and sell wine mean that when one door closes, he's already framed out three nearby windows.
We purchased our second winery and vineyard in Stewartstown just before the pandemic changed everything. Well...back on September 11th, 2001, we had also just gone "all-in" with coming to Allegro in the first place. We've had practice with navigation through troubled waters, and this guy's got quite a rudder.
Priorities these days seem as clear as the winter night sky. Family, employees, customers. Some days, they all seem like family to Carl. That's a special thing.
Despite last year's rough times, loss, and uncertainty, the energy heading into this particular new year feels really good. We feel smarter, leaner, pragmatic, focused. We've really enjoyed the bonus days with our boys and the meaningful connections with all people Allegro. Life is good.
2021: Bring it!