Wine, Divorce, & Rebirth

Updated: Sep 14



For 10+ years, I ran a family wine business in Paso Robles with my ex-husband & his father. At the time, the wine region was still up & coming. We were a tiny producer compared to those who went into the business for a tax write-off, corporate retirement, or water rights - but we had history and a scrappy ‘can do’ attitude.

It was a giant leap of faith & a HUGE learning curve. In addition to sales trips and wine events all over the country, exporting, marketing, social media, & running our tasting room, I was also creating & shaping three very young boys (who are now 16, 15, & 13 - wow).

I worked my tail off and rarely put my needs first. Have you ever used a breast pump in the LAX airport bathroom? I don’t recommend it!

We grew a trusted brand based on quality and consistency. After struggling through the 2008 financial crisis, the bank called our loan, and we had no choice but to close. We almost lost everything; ultimately, it cost us our marriage.

To this day, I will say my ex is an incredible winemaker, especially when it comes to Pinot Noir and Sangiovese. I recently took myself on a date to see the Downton Abbey movie (partly set in the South of France), and I sat with the wonderful memories of the six months we spent in Italy & France while he worked on his craft.

I’ve been asked why, after heartbreak and loss, I would give entrepreneurship another go. While at the bottom of the well years ago, I knew I had to find a way to climb out, for me but more importantly for my young children. I went back to school and got my Master’s Degree, advocated for disadvantaged children & parents, and now I’m helping other women examine and overcome their pain points so they can soar in business and life. The most authentic way to do that is through my small business, Poppy Grove.

I will always continue to strive for quality and consistency - in the wine I enjoy, the people I adore, and especially in the service I give to others.

P.S. In case you're curious, here’s a little glimpse into Ortman Family Vineyards


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