It’s hard to believe we’re already looking back at 2021, especially when we reflect at how much has happened in the last two years alone. We can’t believe the number of times the team at Traynor has had to adapt and pivot with all the uncertainty around the industry and the world as a whole. The continued success of the winery and the growth of the team is a beautiful symbol of resilience when times get tough.
Somehow between harvest in Prince Edward County, the holidays, and the beginning of the new year, we were able to catch up with winery owner and winemaker, Mike Traynor, and chat about 2021, and what’s to come in 2022.
So, we made it through 2020, and then 2021 happened. What was the biggest accomplishment at the winery in the past year?
MT: Our team was amazing. They took the year head on and rose above every challenge that was presented. We were under constant construction, and everyone was adaptable and positive to any of the changes that were forced upon them. Everyone maintained a positive attitude and was excited to show up to work. We had a record number of visitors, and we believe we delivered an awesome experience to the best of our abilities.
What were some of the biggest obstacles the winery overcame in 2021?
MT: Besides COVID, the construction on-site and the cool end to the harvest were some of our biggest obstacles. We also expanded our production significantly which proved to be logistically challenging as we are basically bursting at the seams. Our new processing facility was delayed due to COVID-related issues, and we have been fighting an uphill battle with space all year. We have also had a hard time sourcing bottles. They can be difficult to come by and shipments have constantly been delayed. The prices of bottles have also more than doubled.
What were some of the most important lessons you learned in 2021 that you will be taking into 2022 with you?
MT: Patience is a lesson that is circular in nature. You think you learn it, but then you need to learn it some more. Everything takes longer and costs more than you think and sometimes you just need to grind your teeth and find another way to get to the destination. Red light, turn right. Keep the wheels moving and eventually you get there.
What was your personal favourite Traynor wine that you sold in 2021?
MT: Cabernet Franc.
What were the top three wines sold on the patio this year at Traynor? How did that differ from what guests were looking for online?|
MT: On the patio our Pét-Nat, Piquette and Gamay Noir were our best sellers. Online tends to tilt a little more conservative. Pinot Noir, Cabernet France and Sauvignon Blanc were our biggest sellers there.
What did you pop open at midnight on January 1, 2022?
MT: We had a bottle of the Green Meanie — one of our newest additions to our Pét-Nat line.
Any predictions for 2022 when it comes to wine trends?
MT: More variety in package formats and lower average price point pressure. There might be a bit more polarization on pricing with ultra-premium and then consumer price point with the middle class of wine shrinking.
Any sneak peeks into Traynor’s plans for the new year that guests or online shoppers can keep an eye out for?
MT: We are trying to figure out a subscription program, which feels like it has been in the works for almost five years now and we would like to diversify our product lists to include more products from local vendors. I’d also like to see more gift packages being developed.
What wine releases do Traynor fans have to look forward to in early 2022?
MT: Fun stuff! New vintages of our Big Eazy line — Marmalade Pie, Cherry Bomb and Breakfast in the Vineyard — should be out by the end of January. By late February or early March, we should see the release of the new vintages of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and maybe even a Rosé.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022 in terms of the winery’s growth, or the wine industry in Prince Edward County?
MT: I am most looking forward to getting our production building built and getting our store back. Since COVID, we haven’t had a retail store and storage has been tight. Getting that back would be useful. I think the County will continue to grow with new business and new experiences. There is so much talent out here and it’s amazing what is around every corner.
If you could summarize 2021 in three words, what would they be?
MT: I am exhausted.
It’s an amazing time to give the winery a visit and sit by the fire while enjoying some delicious wine. Check out @traynorvineyards on social for real-time updates and details about how you can visit.