Before Laughing Stock, David and Cynthia Enns led conservative, methodical, calculated lives in the financial industry. In 2003, they did the unfathomable: they followed their hearts, and bullishly invested everything into the wine industry. Their pin-striped peers thought this move was an emotional decision, fiscally foolish and financially unwise.
The Laughing Stock name may have unwittingly been conceived at this time. Heaven knows David and Cynthia heard the term over and over again from their Bay Street and Wall Street colleagues. This was a venture that had to be pursued, regardless of dire financial forecasts. David often says that the move to producing wine was their ‘vow of poverty’.
Prior to acquiring the Laughing Stock property, the Enns sojourned to vineyards and wineries across Europe and the United States. They met talented winemakers, insightful viticulturists, and successful winery owners, and gained a wealth of knowledge from their collective wisdom. David had started as a true ‘garagiste’ winemaker in 2001, creating beautiful small-batch wines with fruit imported from some of the best vineyards in Washington State. He augmented this experience with courses and workshops at UC Davis, then continued on to apprentice under some of the best wine-makers in the Okanagan Valley.
Cynthia transformed from MBA suit to vineyard manager. Even though Mother Nature’s curve balls can be wilder than the stock market’s biggest swings, the satisfaction of watching the vines grow and grapes develop has been very grounding. Ten years later, they continue to look for positive outcomes in volatile conditions and savour wines in the garage. Some things never change.