Monday, July 25, 2011

Haute Moms Make Wine Too!

I have tons to share about my birthday trip to Napa. One of the BEST parts of the trip was visiting one my favorite wineries, Honig. Honig makes two types of wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. I love Honig because not only are these wines very drinkable with a variety of foods but they are affordable. Their wines have received a number of awards including "Best Sauvignon Blanc under $20"! I mean, part of being haute is being money savvy and it can be done with Honig. What haute mom sits around drinking $30 bottles of wine everyday, right?

The Honig winery is family owned, environmentally and family friendly. If you have ever been to Napa, you know that not all wineries are created equal in the kid-friendly department. Many wineries hosted Haute Mom so that I could share the family-oriented atmosphere that these wineries have adopted but Honig topped them all. I was graciously met by Stephanie Honig who showed me around personally and is a haute mom herself (3 little ones under the age of 4)! I was lucky to have a chance to ask her a few questions, mom to mom.

1. How did you get so involved with Honig? Did you being a mother have an impact of how family friendly the winery is?

I have been in the wine business since 1997 in various capacities but mostly handling sales and marketing for wine companies from all over the world. I worked with wines from Champagne, Burgundy, Tuscany, The Napa Valley (to name a few) and I also imported my own wine label from Argentina (where I grew up). I had also been studying for my Master of Wine and completed my Diploma for the WSET in 2004. When I married Michael Honig, who has been running the family business for 28 years, I organically became very involved in the business handling National Sales, International Sales and Public Relations.

Our winery has always been family friendly but Michael and I have become parents, there's definitely been a more significant emphasis on this demographic.

2. You are a career woman as well as a mother of 3, including one under the age of 6 months! What are some things you do to help you balance your family and your career?

It's great to have a career that revolves around alcohol because I definitely need a few drinks at the end of the day with 3 kids ages 4 and under...ha-ha. The truth is that our business life and our personal life are extremely intertwined. Our children come with us on many of our trips and participate in some events. I don't like leaving them for long so we find ways to have them close. Our 4 year old, has been an American Airlines Gold Card member since she was 2 years old. It's not easy and it's not perfect but my husband and I are always looking for creative ways to prioritize our family and do what's best for the business.

3. What are some things you do to find time for yourself?

We have been fortunate enough to find a nanny who is now like part of our family. She stays with the children when Michael and I spend time together without the kids. She also steps in when Michael is traveling and I'm home alone with the kids. My mom lives far away but we see her often and she gives me a few hours here and there. My in laws love playing with their granddaughters and they sometimes give us a little break on the weekend.

4. All moms need a little pampering to restore their sanity. What is one thing that you so to pamper yourself in your busy schedule?

I practice yoga about 4 times a week. It's great for both my mental and physical health. It makes me a better mom and business woman. I also enjoy entertaining and spending time with friends. Once in a while I get to squeeze in a massage or a pedicure but that takes a little more planning these days.

5. What would be one piece of advice you would give to busy moms trying to stay "haute"?

Take care of yourself! Being a mother is more fulfilling than anything I've ever done. However, it is important for any woman's self esteem to have adult interaction, feel challenged and do things they enjoy (regardless if women go back to the work place or not after becoming a parent). Aside from the business, I make an effort to meet friends, have date nights with my husband, be involved in a book club and an investment club. I don't think I've ever met a mom who doesn't struggle with how to balance her needs, the needs or her children and her profession. It can be stressful but it's also a ton of fun!

Honig is also part of the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group which really focuses on the "big idea" of sustainability. They practice everything from using solar energy to installing bird and owl boxes to help keep the insects and rodents under control. For all of us with children, we know that taking care of the earth is most important for future generations and I was impressed with the amount of leadership and commitment Honig has dedicated to this.

A BIG thank you to Honig for not only hosting Haute Mom, but to Stephanie for taking time out of her busy day to show us her home and business. It is refreshing to find that there are places like Honig who allow us haute moms to enjoy what we love, without having to compromise being a family. We will definitely be returning to Honig with Stella and drinking plenty of their wine in the meantime! You should too! Us haute moms gotta stick together right?

Haute Mom Stephanie Honig

The main tasting area at Honig.  Plenty of shade and space for the little ones!

The "kids" cabinet complete with sidewalk chalk and puzzles!  Genius!

A separate "family-friendly" tasting area

A bird box in the vineyard - all but one were inhabited!

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