“Don’t hire people just to fit the first job they will do; hire people you want to share your life with.” Ray Dalio, Principles
These are words we take to heart at Realm. The people who comprise our team are some of the most talented in the industry, with experience and skills that could land them employment at any number of wineries. But the people who work here, and who succeed here, possess something more than proficiency at their jobs.
It’s never been easy to work at Realm. We’ve experienced so much transition and upheaval since 2012; we’ve faced bankruptcy, an earthquake, a flood, two fires and a pandemic. We lost an entire vintage to smoke taint. We’ve also had success, in some cases, beyond our wildest dreams. The Realm Cellars of today is so different than the Realm of 2012. And so, in large part, are the people.
From a team of six in 2012 we’ve grown to a group of more than a dozen. In the intervening years, many people have come and gone. In an entrepreneurial setting like Realm, people who are right for certain roles at one point in time aren’t as good a fit down the line. It’s hard to grow quickly with the same people. The needs of the business change. And the reverse is also true; employees’ needs and desires may change, for either professional or personal reasons.
What we’ve come to understand is this: to make it at Realm, you need more than skills and experience. You have to be passionate, you have to care deeply, you have to be willing to pour your heart into something, you have to be willing to fail and then pick yourself up and start over. You must have confidence in yourself, your teammates, and in a brighter future. You need to embrace – no, embody – the core values we’ve set out for ourselves:
Quality is everything. We are relentless perfectionists. Good is never good enough. We obsess over the details and the last 1%.
Dare greatly. We are not afraid to take risks, to be vulnerable. We have moxie, force of character. We push boundaries and challenge the status quo, including ourselves. We dream big.
Be resilient. We embrace failure; we always get up. We never give up, we constantly learn, adapt, evolve. We have grit and determination.
Realm is not for everyone. We demand a lot of our team members. We always have our eye on the horizon, on what we can do better or differently. It’s challenging to be pushed constantly; people earn their place at Realm every day. But we like to think we offer a lot as well. There’s tremendous energy here, excitement about the future, and a shared sense of purpose. Our work at Realm is meaningful; on the best days, it’s why we’re eager to get out of bed in the morning.
Scott: “For Benoit, Eden and me, Realm is our life’s work. We think constantly about the culture here, about what we ask of our team, and what we give back. In some ways, it boils down to this: we want people to discover their purpose here. For ourselves, we define this as finding meaning through the cultivation and creation of beauty. In our case, beauty lies in the growing, crafting and sharing of great wine. In time, we hope others find their meaning here, that we can inspire more people to build a career and life at Realm.”
There are so many people who have been part of the Realm journey, dozens of team members as well as growers, vendors, contractors, salespeople, distributors, harvest interns, friends, and mentors. Whether they were here for one day, one harvest, one year or the entire journey, every person who has walked with us has made a significant contribution to Realm. Our hope is that we have inspired them in some way. And we are grateful to every one of them.