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Wine Making

Is it already that time of the year?

I’m not talking about Fall… instead about wine making season!

This is one of my father’s absolute favourite family traditions.

You wouldn’t know it, because he seems so stressed out throughout the entire process

  • from what he paid for the grapes,
  • to the quality of the grapes,
  • to making sure my brother and I clear our schedules the moment the grapes arrive.

But that’s just how my dad approaches everything…

…and honestly, he enjoys every second of it.

The picture you see here is my dad’s wine press. Pretty cool, eh!

This thing was originally my grandfather’s. 

It has some miles on it, but still does the job!!

There is a reason I bring up my family’s wine making tradition… stick with me, I will explain everything.

My family has been making wine for decades. 

You would think by now we would be world-class vintners (fancy word for somebody who makes wine lol). 

But I assure you that is far from true. 

We have definitely gotten efficient in the various processes of wine making…

…but the wine itself has not gotten much better.

Honestly, from year to year, the final product is a bit of a crap shoot as far as taste and quality goes.

My brother and I often joke that a successful batch of our dad’s homemade wine is one that is “drinkable.”

My brother and I got involved in the process several years ago. 

We don’t love it as much as our father, but we do really enjoy getting to spend that time with him and carry on the family tradition.

We couldn’t believe how “old school” our dad’s approach to winemaking really was. 

There was no recipe, and no end goal for the type of wine he wanted to produce.

This didn’t make sense to us.

If we’re going to invest two days in this, we were at least going to ensure that the end result was a glass of wine that you could drink without cringing.

One year, my brother hit the internet hard and went all in on his research. 

He even got fancy with it and began combining different recipes and techniques.

Speaking of cringing, you could see it in our father’s face every time we strayed from what he had done for years. He was skeptical to say the least.

Low and behold, year one of Mike and I getting involved in the process, produced arguably the best batch of wine to ever come out of our father’s cellar. 

He doesn’t outwardly admit it, but the fact that he laminated the recipe, tells us that he’s pretty thrilled about the new approach to winemaking.

Not trying to beat our drum but I think we’re actually at the point now where people say “not bad”!

My dad’s winemaking “plan,” is not all that different from a lot of people’s financial plans. 

Most people blindly follow an outdated plan that was probably passed down to them, and likely has no real, specific objective.

Here’s the plan that is probably being followed my most…

Go to School >> Study hard >> Get good grades >> Get a job >> Get promoted >> Save 15% of your earnings in your RRSP >> Invest your RRSP in a diversified portfolio >> Retire at 65 and Live Happily Ever After.

Although maybe a bit more detailed than my dad’s wine recipe, still just as vague, if you ask me.

Just like making wine, in life, you get what you put in. 

If you put very little thought and effort into your financial plan, then don’t be surprised if in the end you’re the one left cringing.

More than ever, it’s important that you take an active role in your own financial situation.

I urge you not to rely solely on your bank advisor’s one-dimensional approach to investing.   

There’s a whole world of investing opportunities out there outside of the stocks, bonds and GICs.

Just like with wine, first determine your desired outcome, and then find/create a detailed recipe that meets your specific desired outcome.

I may be biased, but real estate investing and mortgages, in my opinion, are key ingredients to any good financial plan.

Real estate protects the value of your hard earned money and mortgages help you to achieve the real estate portfolio you need in order to achieve the bigger financial goals.

I don’t say this out of theory, I’ve taken a personal active role in our financial plans and real estate investing has been a very strong pillar to get me and my family closer to our financial goals.

I hope you take this as a friendly reminder to look deeper into your own financial goals and start or modify to achieve them.

All the best,
Vince Castagna

P.S. If you ever cross paths with my father, please don’t mention to him that he used to make really bad wine. This is still something that does not really get talked about in our family…

P.P.S. If you need to discuss anything about your financial goals and need help, please hit reply and reach out to us with your story.