Yesterday, my husband and I sat down next to a burning fireplace at our favorite restaurant for an all-afternoon planning session. We were planning for some not-so-distant events and, unbelievably, we were mapping out a loose path to retirement. It’s not exactly around the corner, but it’s also not nearly as far away as it used to be. We want to make sure what we’re doing now is leading us where we eventually want to be.


Brian has some definite ideas about how he’d like to switch to a job that is more in line with a hobby he loves. Me, I’ve only been writing for about six years after a long work break when my boys were little. I’m not sure I want to plan for something different to do during our retirement years, but there is one other thing I might like to do. I might like to have a winery.


Recently, someone pointed me to Ailing Winery Transformed into Greenest in the US on Sustainable Business. The piece highlights the Parducci winery in California and how a decade ago it was at risk of being in violation of state environmental regulations and now it’s one of the greenest wineries in the country.


In the vineyard, where insecticides were once sprayed to manage unwanted aphids, now rows of wildflowers invite beneficial insects that eat the aphids. Owl boxes house owls that control the rodent population instead of poisons that not only made their way into the rodents, but also into the vines. As dozens of other changes have been made to the Parducci winery both the ecosystem of the land the output and quality of the wine have improved drastically.


It makes me want to get into the transforming wineries business at some point in life. Okay, it probably wouldn’t be wineries. It would be probably be just one winery. Or one stressed-out, over-worked, over-chemically fertilized piece of farmland that was just begging to be transformed into a small, sustainable winery where I could live out my retirement fantasy where I tend the vines during the day and write about what I do at night.


I could do both, right? Just because I retire doesn’t mean I have to stop being a workaholic, does it?


Do you have any retirement dreams where whatever you get to live out your sustainable work fantasies? 


Related on MNN:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Transforming wineries, a retirement dream
Planning for retirement? What about transforming an ailing winery into a sustainable one?