Lumi Light Edition 2: Nadine Kuc of Baie Wines.
For our second instalment of #LumiLight we shine focus on family owned and operated Baie Wines.⠀
Located along the Bellarine Peninsula, Baie is a small scale winery creating some of the tastiest drops our region has on offer.⠀
We sat down with owner, sales and marketing director Nadine Kuc to chat how she's had to adjust her approach to operate during COVID-19. Read more below..
What inspired you to create Baie Wines?
Love - is the simple answer..
Simon’s love of agriculture, my love of people and our collective love of wine and living and running a small batch business on the Bellarine Peninsula.
Together with Simon’s parents we planted 20 acres of vines on the family farming property some 20 years ago. In the first few years we sold the grapes to some of the bigger vineyards. Simon and I then decided to move to the Bellarine Peninsula for a trial year upon the birth of our son Luca.. it became apparent that this was where we were going to stay.
It was at this point we decided to start producing under our own label - and BAIE (derived from the original name of the property BAIE Park, also meaning body of water - reflective of the waterfront location) was born.
Fastforward 13 years and we have stayed true to everything that was important to us right from the start - we are hands on with every part of the business, Sim and his Dad strive for excellence in the vineyard, my Mother in Law Anne and Sister In Law Lauren look after weddings here at BAIE and I love working with local restaurants and wine stores and hosting cellar door pop ups. Its been a wild ride and we are so very thankful for all the support we have received over that time.
What’s the best part about being a business owner?
There is so much that we love about being business owners ..
but I think that you live or die by your passion and hard work - so that what you put in is what you get out. And we couldn’t be prouder of how far BAIE Wines has come in the last 13 years from simple beginnings of producing a few hundred cases to now utilising all the fruit from the vineyard often for sell out vintages before we can release the following years wine.
We love the people we have gotten to meet - customers who have become friends - or BAIE INSIDER’s as we call them - part of our VIP Rewards Programme, definitely working other small business owners, and the beautiful brides and grooms and their families and friends.. we thrive on connecting with amazing humans!
The creativity and flexibility that running our own business is also a great privilege, I can still get to a Mum's morning tea at school on a Friday morning and then deliver to a local wine store that afternoon and host a private tasting on the weekend - its lots of work - lucky we love it and we know how to fit it all in!
How much impact has the restrictions in trade caused by COVID-19 had on you and your business? How have you had to adapt?
We here at BAIE Wines operate on 3 levels, supplying our wine to restaurants, independent wine stores and also directly with our customers.
It’s been super sad to see our Restaurant friends businesses close and subsequently our work with supplying them on pause… we are so impressed with every single one of them in how they have adapted, and chosen the path that best works for them to survive this.
So whilst we are no longer supplying restaurants we are still very grateful for the opportunity to work with wine stores.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself at the start of 2020, what would it be?
Cripes I’m not sure I even know how to answer that - the change, trauma, and fear we all have experienced - for all ages, races and all walks of life is unprecedented. But I know the mantra in the back of my head and that I have repeated to our children since the pandemic began is to stay 'calm and kind’.
Look for the ways to have empathy and be helpful both for ourselves and to others, and to make sure we take a moment to deal with the tough moments to make sure we don’t react in a knee-jerk / over anxious way.
Lastly, what are a couple of your favourite local Geelong small businesses and why?
Gosh that’s like asking who your favourite child is - we respect and admire so so many local wine store owners and restauranteurs… so I think too hard to choose. I definitely would shout out to 3 amazing women I have just had the opportunity to work with on our Mother’s Day Gift Box - it’s been a great privilege to get to know them and their businesses better - and believe me these are women who are passionate about what they do - and rightly so - their products and services are phenomenal…
Karen Strachan from Luminosity,
If you haven’t heard of these business you must jump online and check out what they do - you’ll definitely thank me!