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50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2019

Ledson Winery & Vineyards – Bottling poetry in the form of wine with skill, patience, and experience

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“We have learned to simplify everything and really just focus on giving our customers an exceptional experience, a quality wine and making their trip memorable for them.”

Throughout human history, wine has received its fair share of praise, almost even worshipped. It's arguably the most beloved beverage in the world. Wine rises steeply above a mere "beverage" in the minds and hearts of these wine lovers. Wine is a living thing. It is made, not only of grapes and yeasts but of skill and patience. While drinking it, remember that to the making of that wine has gone not only the labor and care of years but the experience of centuries.

Wine has been used in novels, plays, movies, and real-life! That's why so many wine parables revolve around wine and truth, wine, and words. Wine has a unique and mystical quality to it: unlike most other beverages, it frequently benefits from aging. Crafting the perfect wine is an art. So there is a bottled surprise which is always waiting to be discovered.

Given the preceding, we're overwhelmed to present you Ledson Winery & Vineyards

Ledson Winery & Vineyards is a gothic blast from the acres of rolling vineyards and pastoral calm charming family wine estate. Its 16,000 square foot French Normandy winery in Sonoma Valley is known as “The Castle” around the world. The castle was initially intended as the Ledson family home in 1989 before they decided to use it for the winery. It has serene ambiance elegant gardens in front and a range of wines to try within. Ledson specializes in small varietal lots that reflect the genuine diversity of its selected vineyards and appellations. The firm produces approximately 70 different varietals. These include reds, whites, and dessert wines. Wines are sold exclusively at the winery in Kenwood, in its online store, and at the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma.

In conversation with Steve Ledson, Owner, Winemaker, & Entrepreneur at Ledson Winery

What is the reason behind the genesis of Ledson Winery and Vineyards?

I wanted to continue our heritage and see it flourish into the future, expanding a company is only possible with an exceptional team as I am a firm believer that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with and they're only as good as you

What challenges did you face in your initial years?

Everybody has challenges, but it is all on how you perceive them. I've learned to not beat myself up over them; instead, I take a positive approach and understand challenges as a learning experience. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company's reputation?

Providing our customers with an exceptional experience by making every customer feel good, monitor your brand regularly, set guidelines for conflict management and responding to negative feedback, making sure our social circles are a positive reflection of our brand.

A company's `behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products. How do you interpret this saying?

Our behavior is our image; our image is how we are perceived in the world, and how we treat others as well as how we want to be treated. Do we give back from our success? Do we share our rewards? Are we willing to go that extra mile to make a difference? We all strive to make everyone's day special, as we all love feeling special.

Is it true that striving for both 'ethics and success' in a business is a tough feat?

Success will never be genuinely reached without ethics. Good ethics attract customers, employees, partnerships, and relationships. People learn to trust you, respect you, and will always come back when your ethics are on the top of your list of importance. Ethics that I believe in our honesty, integrity, keeping promises, trustworthiness, loyalty, fairness, concern for others, respect for others, law-abiding, and morals.

What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

It's hard to please everyone; however, in today's world, we all do a lot of talking; everyone tries to tell people what they want to hear. We have learned to simplify everything and focus on giving our customers an exceptional experience, a quality wine and making their trip memorable for them, so they want to tell everyone about their visit to Ledson.

Is your company a 'leader or follower'?

We strive to be leaders; however, we will follow and learn from others, always knowing there will always be room to learn and grow as long as we never think we know it all. Our core values come from within our strengths as a team. We strive every day to stay on track with those core values we have established, never setting goals out of our reach as a team.

What are the five factors that have been the biggest asset to your organization?

Employees are a company's greatest asset, and you want to attract and retain the best, provide them with encouragement, stimulus and make them feel that they are an integral part of the companies mission, because they are. Then customer service and customer retention will be at its highest, giving the company the most top image, in delivering consistent and quality products.

Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?

Growing our reputation, increasing revenue, streamlining our business, doing only what we are good at, working smarter not harder, and continue to achieve our goals as a team.

The man behind the glorious success of Ledson Winery & Vineyards

Steve Ledson, a 5th generation winemaker, has been farming with his family since he was five years old.  The Ledson Family is one of the oldest families still farming in Sonoma County.

“I've learned to not beat myself up over them; instead, I take a positive approach and perceive challenges as a learning experience."