Although I am a wine merchant and writer, I am hopefully defined by many more things. I am a son, a brother and a husband. I am deeply passionate about travel and living an experience rich life. I am motivated by challenging myself personally and professionally and am always open to meeting as many people as I can.
I consider myself very lucky; I have had the benefit of a decent education, have great friends and although I open a bottle more than I should occasionally, I feel pretty healthy. I live in the picturesque town of Chester in the North of England but endeavour and aspire to create a location independent business. The ability to pack up and spend a week working in Barcelona or Belgrade without it being detrimental to my income or relationships is extremely important to me. I am a citizen of the world (Brexit will not be holding me back) and I intend to fully live in it.
Where I started
In my early 20s I spent some time living in the South of Italy. While there I worked in family vineyards and discovered the joys of wine. As the end of university drew closer, I started to think about what I wanted to do next and subsequently became set on creating a good old-fashioned wine business. Straight into the real world, I took a job in a gorgeous new shop that had recently set up; it looked the part, kitted out with expensive oak racking, tiled floors and a central tasting. table to encourage a focal gathering point. It couldn't fail.
It did of course and although things could partially be blamed on the onset of global recession, I learned a harsh lesson in just how tough and competitive the wine industry was. I moved back to Italy where I travelled around Sicily for a while, visiting vineyards and speaking with producers.
When I returned to England I joined an accountancy firm and began my training. Alongside this I took the WSET exams (respected wine industry qualifications) with the ambition of rejoining the wine trade at a later date and with some additional business acumen.
After two years I could stand the desk job no more and took the plunge, forming Caputo Wines. Initially it was known as Cantina Caputo but over time customers would refer to it as Caputo Wines and gradually it renamed itself without my permission. There's a lesson in branding somewhere there I suppose. The business started well, then plateaued and as I started to chop and change things looking for the magic answer, I began to loose sight of my goals. I wanted a change. . . .
Why I started this blog
It was clear something had to be done and major planning was needed. I had to ask myself basic questions about the future and what I wanted from life. I would wake up with the nagging feeling that I needed to fundamentally change the way I was doing things. The path I was on was not leading to the destination I desired. Although I had followed my initial dream of running my own business (and life), I realised that the trajectory was all wrong and that I needed a new dream. The business I started in my early 20s was no longer in sync with the goals I wanted to pursue in my early 30s. The daily and weekly cycle of keeping bills on foot meant that I didn't really get a chance to stop and analyse what I was doing and what I wanted from the next chapter of my life.
So, I find that writing helps me express why I am doing things. Having to articulate ideas in long form ensures genuine reflection on an opportunity or problem. Beyond that though, when things get difficult or I start to feel that I cannot see the wood for the trees, these writings act as a beacon to navigate back towards my objectives. Sometimes..
The purpose today
This blog represents an opportunity to distill my ideas and clarify my thoughts. It represents those musings on entrepreneurship, personal development, productivity, freelancing, travel and wine that I believe have been contemplated long enough to be fit for public consumption. I hope you agree. Please feel free to get in touch and let me know if you don't. I won't be offended.
In reality though this site serves three purposes. Firstly it is an online home for my career. I point clients here for useful information about the way I work and for examples of things I have done in the past. More importantly it is a forum in which I seek to build trust with people who havent got to know me yet. I would encourage anyone stimulated by these posts to reach out. I'll do my best to get back to you as quickly as I can. Finally it offers an opportunity to journal my thoughts and business experiences in a way that helps me to clarify my goals, form productive habits and reflect on my progress.
Goals for this blog
Asking myself what my goals for this blog were and what would constitute success . . .
My professional objective at the moment is to build a sustainable income from doing the things I love most. This involves a lot of travel around vineyards, meeting producers that make fantastic wines and being able to share my knowledge and experience with people who care. Consequently achieving the geographic freedom to facilitate that is important.
My goals for this blog then are to highlight some of the work I have done to potential clients, to offer value to anyone who would like to read it, and finally, to keep me on track when I forget why I am involved with any given project.