A couple years ago, the virtual meeting space, Zoom was nearly unheard of…then came coronavirus. As wineries navigated closures for nearly three months, many of us were thrust into the practice of engaging online as a survival strategy during the pandemic. Our winery needed to move in a very different direction from anything we had done before and embark on a new way of connecting with members and guests. Within days of the Covid-19 shelter in place order, Frank Family was one of the first Napa wineries to introduce virtual wine tastings.
Our pivot to address the new market conditions unfolded quickly and the outcome has been overwhelmingly positive. “When I look back on the growth of this program, it’s astounding. We definitely were learning as we went, and facing unexpected challenges at every turn,” said Director of Hospitality Liam Gearity. There was certainly a steep learning curve, but not before long, our team members became pros at producing high-quality online connections, toggling between cameras, and dazzling our viewers with our newly acquired tech skills. Indeed, Frank Family has leaned into the times, offering everything from virtual cooking classes and live broadcasted concerts to private and corporate tastings.
Despite distances and computer screens, our Zoom meetings and webinars have nurtured and strengthened deep emotional connections with old and new friends across the country. We have been fortunate to celebrate so many of life’s special moments with our viewers, even as the world seemed to stand still. Our hospitality team has been invited to bachelorette parties among separated friends, witness heartfelt family reunions, and host milestone birthdays and anniversaries. We even watched parents share their love of Frank Family with their grown children and had the privilege to provide those young adults with their very first wine tasting experience.
“It has been an absolute privilege for me to be invited into the homes and lives of so many people during this incredibly challenging time. This year has given me some of the most cherished and rewarding moments of my career,” said Liam Gearity.
Even after Frank Family reopened with new safety protocols in June, our virtual experiences, which were originally introduced by necessity, are now here to stay. We recognize how meaningful connecting virtually with friends, family, and colleagues has been for all of us since the shut-down began. Frankly, we didn’t know how such small screens could make our world feel more expansive and we plan to continue the conversation online in the year to come.
Visit our website to view our previous events or to book a private virtual tasting with a member of the Frank Family Hospitality team to connect one-on-one. Stay tuned for new virtual experiences as we work on our 2021 calendar of events. Be sure to join our mailing list to receive notifications of upcoming events straight to your inbox. In the meantime, check out some highlights from 2020 below!