Reflections on Thanksgiving 2016 by Sam Timberg

It is just a couple days until Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. It is a day to be with family, relax, and reflect. A day to cook extravagant meals, to open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion, and to remember what is important to you. And Thanksgiving 2016 cannot come soon enough. For so many reasons, personal, professional, and political, this year will not be one that I forget quickly and in the midst of this crazy time I wanted to take just a second to share my thanks.

Above everything else, I will remember 2016 as the year my father, Bob Timberg, passed away. He died just over two months ago and I’m still processing his death and I’m certain that the holiday season will be an especially challenging time. However, I am deeply thankful to my family and friends that have been so gracious and helpful during this difficult time. The outpouring of support from all over the world, and from every facet of my life has been affirming and comforting. Thank you.

As Meridian Prime continues to grow, one of the most rewarding aspects, for me, is feeling our small team grow to become my extended family. Ross and Kristin Toombs took a leap of faith asking me to join them on this adventure and the past three years have been far and away the most challenging of my life from a business perspective. However, it has also been the most rewarding. Ross and Kristin are great friends, great parents, and they understand what is important in life and prioritize accordingly. Thank you both for being such great leaders.

A little over two years ago, having never sold a bottle of wine in her life, Anna Zuck, Meridian Prime’s New York and New Jersey Sales Manager, joined us. She quickly learned the ropes of selling wine in the world’s most competitive wine market and has grown leaps and bounds. I am so thankful to have her on the team representing Meridian Prime. Her tireless work ethic has set the bar incredibly high and future Meridian Prime staff will have to live up to her example.

Patrick Hughes, Meridian Prime’s consultant on everything from distribution and portfolio to pricing and label design, has been an absolutely indispensable addition. I have had the pleasure of working with Patrick in various capacities for over 8 years now. His mind is sharp, his knowledge over the US wine industry is second to none, and I am incredibly thankful for his friendship and guidance in business and life.

I am proud of the Meridian Prime team, but we would be nothing without the trust placed in us by our incredible partners in South Africa. Every day that I have the opportunity to sell wines from our portfolio I feel lucky and humbled. We currently represent wine from 10 of South Africa’s gorgeous grape growing regions across 15 top quality producers. For us, it is a prerequisite that the wines we represent are delicious, however, what makes me most proud of the producers we represent is their unwavering commitment to growing the South African wine industry sustainably. The producers that we work with go above and beyond to provide for their farm workers and for their local communities. There many excellent upliftment programs our farms are spearheading, from providing safe clean drinking water to those in need to providing homes and deeds to retiring farm workers. I am incredibly thankful that our partners in South Africa take these projects on and over the coming year we will be showcasing many of these projects on this blog.

All of this falls apart without our wonderful retail and restaurant partners in the USA. In the face of tremendous competition from multi-billion dollar distributors, other small and equally passionate importers of great wines from all over the globe, I am so thankful for each and every account that has chosen to work with Meridian Prime. I look forward to growing our roster of accounts in the years to come, but to those of you that have been with us from the start, thank you so very much.

All too frequently, I have found myself cursing 2016, but through all of the hard times, and there have been plenty, there is so much I have to be thankful for. I hope that all of you that take the time to read this will take a moment this week to reflect on what you have to be thankful for. From the Meridian Prime Family to you, Happy Thanksgiving!