Daniel Gerard was part of the Upward Projects family at Postino, then moved to France to work on a vineyard. We got in touch with him to learn more about his journey and what the future holds.
We love his story!!
What brought you to Postino?
While staying with a friend and trying to get back on my feet after a tough time, I went to La Grande Orange every morning for a pick-me-up breakfast. I interviewed with them but learned that they did not have any positions available. They suggested I walk over to Postino and try my luck there.
As soon as I walked in the door, I knew Postino was the place dreams were made of. It ended up being the place that would give me the materials and tools to build my dream from a crumpled-up blueprint still guarded in my pocket.
How did you make the decision to pack up everything and move to France to chase your dream? Tell us that story.
When I was a child, I never imagined growing up to become an adventurer or a farmer. I’ve always enjoyed drinking wine but I never actually considered the painstaking process it took to create it.
One afternoon in early June 2010, at Postino Central, I was delighted to see a regular guest and friend of mine waltz through the front door. She and her friends were celebrating; her sister from Phoenix had married a winemaker in the Côtes du Rhône. She offhandedly said, “I wish you could try his wine”. I asked if there was a chance I could work on her brother-in-law’s vineyard and she offered to ask. After a short email conversation and a long distance phone call, I learned if I could scrounge up the plane ticket, there were grapevines awaiting my arrival in Saint-Cecile-des-Vignes in Provence.
If you were to give any advice to those contemplating a big life move, what would it be?
It’s important to take advantage of opportunities if they’re in our best interest — some may never come around a second time.
Before you aim towards a new adventure, make sure your path is firmly connected to the other side. Visualize your objective and commend yourself with each step you take in its direction. Remind yourself constantly that it is possible! Your potential is limitless. Keep your head up with your eyes on the prize.
Like the French say, “Il faut rêver.” (It’s necessary to dream)
What do you miss the most about the states?
I miss the proximity to my family and friends—the people that made me laugh every day. I miss my dog, my Jeep Wrangler, and the winding mountain roads in Arizona. I miss being an American in America, speaking English, watching live sports, less-expensive supermarkets, peanut-butter, and spicy food.
What’s the best thing about France?
The accent, the bread, the cheese, the weekend marketplace for fruit and veggies, and yard-sale items. I love the authentic six-course French cuisine at a dinner table with a big family on a vineyard, the city festivals, the architecture, the history, the landscape, the women, the Mediterranean beaches, et bien sûr (of course) the wine.
What song would play at your funeral?
Purple Rain – Prince
Where will you be in 5 years?
The ultimate goal is to purchase and grow my own grapevines so I can produce a small-label organic red wine. One of the most essential parts to a great wine is the “terroir”. It’s important to discover the perfect combination of climate, soil-character, sun, and landscape. I’ve got to find a place to build my castle and my treasure hunt is still on!
Anything else you want to add?
Yes, please! First, the reason I want to share a bottle of my wine with the world is to combine the forces of flavor, laughter, and music. I want to contribute to the phenomenon of the Postino Effect.
Second of all, some people might say the adventure is too dangerous for them. I say that routine is deadly. Break the cookie-cutter mold and the robot routine—it is never too late. Do what makes you feel good. Go out and live your dream.