For this week’s Ladies We Love feature I caught up with one of our BAIE’s, Nadine Kuc. In the short time I’ve known Nadine and been working with the BAIE Wines brand, Nadine already feels like a friend I’ve known for years. The Co-Founder has a fun and hard-working personality, and combined with her enthusiasm and passion in everything she does, has the ability to lift up those around her.
Thank you for featuring Nadine! Enlighten our readers to what you do for a living, your passions and your hobbies?
I work as the Sales and Marketing Director for BAIE Wines, the company my husband and I co founded together a little over 10 years ago in 2006. We are so lucky that what we do resonates with people – they like our wine, and that we are a small hands on business – I often joke that Simon does the hard work and I do the drinking and talking, and that I’m very good at those!
My passion is around producing great wine, and working collaboratively with other small businesses just like us so that people get to enjoy literally the fruits of our labour!
I am committed to being the best wife and Mum that I can be, so I work hard to be kind, patient, fun and available to them when it’s family time. I’m a bit of a gym nut 5 days a week at 5.30am – for no other reason than that I am a better person when I walk back in the door at 7am. I also love reading, going to the movies and spending time with friends, however I have to confess that I do struggle to find time to slow down so these can fall off the radar – I have some gorgeous girlfriends that hold me a bit accountable for having some time out!
BAIE Wines looks to be growing a bottle at a time. Where did it all begin?
BAIE Wines was truly born as a passion project for this little family. Simon and I had married in 2005 and were expecting our first child in late 2006, so we moved down to the Bellarine Peninsula as a ‘test’ year while I was on maternity from a corporate role, so that Simon could give his all to his one true love – viticulture and farming. Needless to say that year passed and I rang my old boss and said we were in love – with our little boy and life in this region. We had decided that rather than sell the grapes from the family vineyard to other bigger wineries, we would start producing under our own label and BAIE Wines was born. It was humble beginnings, which often saw me with a pram and baby standing at a bar pouring and talking wine with some very understanding and kind sommeliers!
What do you love most about your job? What are some of the challenges you face?
There are so many things I love about this job – I love that Simon and I have created something that people support and enjoy, I love that I get to work with Simon and we share the highs and lows together, I love that no day is the same, one day I might be on the road delivering wine, the next I might be pouring wine at a festival and the next I might be speaking at a dinner – the list goes on and I love the change and challenge, I love the people that we work with – we have made some awesome friends with so many wine store owners, restauranteurs, BAIE Wine devotees – which is a truly unique and fulfilling place to be.
Challenges for me are the same as probably most small business owners – to make time to work on the business not in it, to ensure processes and structures are in place to make sure we are working as efficiently as possible, to keep up with the ever changing technological environment we live in – but that’s OK, life would be boring without learning new things and solving problems.
With over 3,000 Instagram followers to date, what are some of your greatest achievements with BAIE Wines so far?
I will never forget delivering wine to a restaurant right before Christmas a few years ago when a patron sitting in the restaurant commented – “oh isn’t that great – they stock BAIE Wines” and I felt so proud that someone new who we were and they weren’t our family or friends! So probably our greatest achievement are those pinch yourself moments when we release new wines and people like them… and when people turn up at our pop up cellar doors… so much so, that for the last few years we are selling out before we can get to the next vintage!
BAIE Wines is a close-knit small family business, how does this help the BAIE Wines brand? How does it help your day-to-day life in terms of flexibility and spending time with your kids?
I think working as a family means that people get to know who is behind the wine – they are not just investing in our wine, but in us!! We all have a critical role in the day to day running of the vineyard and the business – be it viticulture, wine sales, weddings – its’ all done by us – so we make sure we look after people! The flexibility we have carved out for ourselves is the best part of what we do – we are committed to being available for our kids after school and on weekends – so we make sure that the business doesn’t cut into that time too much – not easy sometimes, but it’s something both Sim and I were committed to from the get go!
It’s like choosing a favourite child I know, but can you tell readers what your all-time favourite wine is?
I’m all about ‘a different wine for almost every situation’ sort of girl – so not too fussy, I love our Pinot Gris – it has a bit more texture to it and awesome pear and honey flavours – but I’m also a sucker for our Rose’ amazing berry flavours with a dry backbone.
Can you run us through a day in the life of Nadine? What do you like to do outside of work?
My day to day life involves getting up at 5.30am and hitting the gym – it means I’m home by 7am before everyone else gets up, with a spring in my step and a clear mind for the rest of the day. It’s then all hands on deck getting ready for the day and kids off to school, before I start my work day around 8.30am.
As I mentioned before every day is different for me – which I love, I could be on the road delivering wine to local restaurants, pouring wine at a lunch or writing a blog for our Wine Tribe members.
And then I have the amazing luxury of clocking back on as a Mum at 3.30pm with school pick up and after school sports, dinner and family til 7pm and maybe at bit of admin after that – but I am notorious for falling asleep ridiculously early and never making it to the end of a movie!
Outside of work is lots of family time – bike rides, breakfast outings, farm time (the animals continue to multiply), and then spending time with friends – making the effort to fit in a coffee or lunch with a girlfriend or cooking dinner for other families we are close with.
Lastly, what are your hopes for the future?
We like to keep it pretty simple I suppose, keeping healthy, enjoying our family and if we are lucky, keep doing what we are doing – producing great wine and working with great people!! If we can manage to pull that off – then I will be one happy lady!
+Emily, Senior Account Manager & Bella, Project Assistant