Combining his commitment to sustainability and his love of good wine has given Andreas Wetzel the perfect business opportunity.
What’s your story?
I have been a business entrepreneur my entire adult life. I have founded and operated companies across a number of different industries from automotive, wholesale distribution, restaurant, agriculture and wine production.
Each enterprise gave me new skills that I have been able to build upon, which brought me to my current operation. Though my path was circuitous, each business provided me with additional skills that serve me well to this day.
Ultimately, my passion for sustainability on this planet greatly influences my love for food and wine. How wine is produced and what it adds to life are my daily goal.
What excites you most about your industry?
In Oregon, on the US west coast, around the 45th parallel, you’ll find some of the world’s great cool climate vineyards. From these vineyards, within the Willamette Valley, world class wines are produced. Our grapes are sustainably farmed, from which we produce our wines.
Though Oregon, as a wine producing region, is small the handcrafted nature of our products and the attention given to producing quality wines is well established.
Though much of what we produce is sold in the US, we also offer our wines on the international market.
Quality, limited supply and reputation provide Oregon with a great future.
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My goal to this day is to produce wines from our region that are true to the grape varieties from which they are produced. That means wines that are authentic in nature and reflect the effort that goes into growing the grapes. Taking care to allow the fruit to be the recipient of the accolades a wine earns is more important than the influence of the winemaker. Over delivering on the quality to value metric which a larger consumer base can enjoy is my daily aspiration.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
As a serial entrepreneur, learning that we are not able to be exceptional in all areas of business is critical. Knowing that working with talented individuals in various fields will make you better at what you can focus on is key. Whether that is finance, marketing, legal, human resources or more.
I have learned over the years that life must be a balance of work and family. Without being well anchored, you are easily consumed by your day to day. Having family to share this journey, gives me energy and keeps me focused.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best advise I ever received was “know what you don’t know”. As illustrated in the prior section there have been a number of situations in my career where seeking out the advice from those more capable than I has saved me a great deal of hardship and headache. I recall some years ago having a planning session with our corporate accountant and taking his advice on capital expenditures. His advice prevented me from spending capital that was better served in other areas of our business.
Who inspires you?
I’m grateful to work in an industry where the sharing of knowledge and open willingness to elevate what we do is a common thread. Those may be colleagues within the industry or professionals that provide talent and assistance from other fields.
The world is an ever changing place and there is so much to learn each and every day. Taking on new challenges or getting inspiration from people in other fields helps me to grow and think outside of the proverbial box.
Being humble, grateful, and open to new ideas, allows inspiration in.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m fascinated by all the technological advancements that are taking place everyday in our world. Not only are we seeing individual technologies such as AI, AR, Biotechnology and other industries accelerate, we are seeing a convergence by many of these technologies that are helping to solve some of our planets greatest challenges.
This knowledge and what it means for the 8+billion people on this planet gives me hope and a mindset to adapt, learn and add to making it a better place for all.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe as we get older and look back on our lives we sometimes will say, “I should have done this, or I should have done that”. In the end, who we are today is an evolutionary process. We are the sum of all the good and bad choices we made. Sure, if we could go back and do them differently we may have avoided heartache, discouragement or financial setback but would that also have changed how we handle difficult situations? Would it have changed the learning that came from those experiences and made us better?
How do you unwind?
Our world is so demanding from when we wake till when we rest that sometimes just pausing and being appreciative of that which we have in our lives is grounding. For myself physical fitness helps me unwind from stress, meditation helps me “debug my brain”, conscientiously being grateful for what I have; not taking things for granted reminds me of what is truly important. Find what works for you, practice it, make time for it and feed it regularly.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
As I have grown in my life experience, I have come to realize that I don’t have to do everything in my organization to make it successful. I have to accept that not everyone I work with will do things the same way but in some cases will actually do it better than I can. Your organization is an extension of your family – you have to let them make mistakes, learn from them and then set them back down the road to avoiding those pitfalls.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Future is Faster Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.
This is an amazing look into what the future can bring to virtually everything that touches our lives and what it will do for all the inhabitants of our planet.
Shameless plug for your business or career:
If you are looking for genuine, handcrafted wines that over deliver on quality for their price then seek out our wines in your local market or order them on-line at www.wetzelestate.com
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.