I've been a software test engineer since I graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1996. I have worked with brilliant people who made me a better professional and in some cases a better person. I also feel extremely fortunate that I have been employed through this entire time.
But today I'm leaving the corporate job to dedicate all my energy to my dream.
A few years ago I began a transformation in my life, one that would take me back to my earliest memories. This is not something that I had planned. It began as a simple quest to understand something that has always been part of my life - wine. I started making it in a small village in the Northeast region of Portugal when I was 6 years old. But it wasn't until early 2005 that I became very curious about the winemaking process that I had known and practiced for so long as an amateur winemaker. So I dug deep into technical aspects and I experimented. I wanted to understand why wine tastes the way it does, sometimes mundane, sometimes magical... and I felt in love.
From this point on wine was no longer a hobby for me. I became obsessed with it - with all of it. The long and often stressful grape growing season, the exhilarating feel of harvest, the energy and "chaos" of crushing, the smells of fermentation - I wanted to do this for a living! But how? Well, I managed to get myself into what is commonly known as "to be in the right place at the right time" when I connected with a local Massachusetts winery that was looking for some winemaking help. It didn't take long for me to developed the confidence in my skills (perhaps naively) and in 2008 I launched a micro-winery that I call Travessia (Portuguese for passage or journey across life).
Since then, there have been many days that I've asked myself... "What the hell am I doing?" I've come to tears a couple of times and I've felt physical pain from pushing myself to the limit. Being told that my wine sucks and that I don't know what I'm doing? Check. Not knowing if I would have money to pay next month's rent? Check. Pallet of falling glass bottles stuck on the sidewalk outside the winery? Check. Exploding wine press? Check. Yes, I had a business plan and I knew this was no romance, but little could have prepared me for the challenges that I've faced. I have no degree in enology and there are aspects of winemaking that frankly still baffle me. I'm still forming a "feeling" for the kind of wine that I truly enjoy and want to make. Hopefully, it will be wine that people will find interesting and want to pay their good money for.
I couldn't have reached this day on my own. Several people provided advice, others inspired me. I will however single out one person without whom none of this would be possible - my talented and beautiful wife. She's a mom, a family CEO, an artist and my strongest supporter. There's also the customer. It's because of each of you who has come to Travessia Winery and made a purchase over the past 3+ years that I get to finally do what I love - Thank You!
Is this really going to work? I'm more confident today than ever before. From this day forward I will be putting all my energy into my dream. Actually, it's no longer a dream… it's really happening!