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Our vineyard and tasting room are not on the main road. No one stumbles across us. Word-of-mouth works, but as another winery owner once told us, "A business with no signs, is a sign of no business."
To get signs installed that point to your location is not quite as easy as it may seem. Not everyone wants you to put your sign on their property. Some are fine with it. You never know. Knocking on their door is basically making a cold call.
Our Vineyard Manager, Kees Stapel, said he knew the person who lived up the road at a perfect spot for a sign. "Let's go knock on his door, " Kees said.
Al Mandigo answered the door. He invited us inside. He listened, seemed non-commital and then said, "Sure, go put up your sign."
Al grew up in Waterloo and in Ovid and spent many years in the Navy. He also has experience as a rodeo rider. At 72 years of age, he has a lifetime of stories. If you ask Al a question, you don't get an answer right away; you get a story.
Because Al likes to answer a simple question with a story, we have given him the nick-name, "Socrates." If you ask him a question, prepare yourself for the answer.