Friday, April 24, 2009

Sometimes one can only shake one's head.

I spend last night in a round table discussing the wine business and I came away shaking my head. It amazes me at how differently people look at the hospitality business. With the economic issues, many people are traveling more to get their brand out to the public and wineries are participating differently in events. Many of the people I sat across the table from yesterday complained about "having to be on" all the time as well has having to be public 24/7 for the brand. all I thought was COME ON PEOPLE!

We work hard everyday trying to craft great wines and create wonderful wine country experiences-why wouldn't we enjoy bringing them forward for people to partake? In my opinion, some people have lost the understanding that we create a product that goes to the public. It's our public that makes our brand successful. We (as direct to consumer business model or even if one goes through the three tier channels) can't thrive as a business on medals or scores alone. We must want to connect to those who enjoy, sell and represent our wines. Those of us that are open to the public should understand and welcome the commitment we have taken. It's not 100% about the wine solely any more-it's the entire package we offer. I'm proud of the complete package we present and therefore use that in our marketing message. We sell ourselves and the wine to people-how else can we do that but bond with the public on the personal level. If that means traveling and/or pouring at events, I say bring it on!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Passport Week

Passport weekend is approaching quickly and we are trying to ramp things up. With close to 2000 people expected to come thru the doors, the DCW has been hard at work readying the site. Our wines are ready to barrel taste-the 2008 Maple Zinfandel-Bill's Block, 2007 Cooney Cabernet Sauvignon and our newest vineyard, Maboroshi Vineyard Pinot Noir. We selected an incredible cheese to pair with our barrel samples. Our food and wine pairing stations are the focus of the event for DCW. The roasted rosemary grapes have become our signature with our Stuhlmuller Chardonnay so that will be here for sure. With our Sauvignon Blanc, we put a little twist to our shrimp pairing-just a little heads up to those who are attending Passport. The third station has this rockin' lamb dip (OK, so french dip is my favorite sandwich-what can I say but YUM) paired with one of our Cabernet Sauvignon. Inside our tasting room is our newest release-2006 PORT-we'll definitely have something with chocolate to pair with that wine (my mom is in charge of that pairing).

Passport is the Wine Growers of Dry Creek's big event and we happily participate. It allows the valley to show the points that make us unique. We're a valley who grows (and grows well) several different varietals-from Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel to Syrah. I'm going to make a very bias comment here but I do believe that we have the most beautiful valley in all of Sonoma. So I hope people come enjoy the scenery, hospitality and great wine. This valley (as with a few others) have the untouched genuine family feeling of what wine country experience use to be 20 years ago.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hanging with My Winemaker

Just a quick thought for today. Easter dinner with Kerry-had great food and people, interesting conversation and also, Kerry barking with the dogs at the dinner table. Evening ended with Kerry smoking cigars with the guys and when it was time to go-he was sad as he was having too much fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Dinner

Easter fast approaches and I haven't figured out the meal. This is going to sound terrible but every menu that I put to paper seems to limit me with the wine I can serve. The weather is absolutely beautiful and a heavy meal don't inspire me at the moment. As for ham, I never seem to hit a home run with that wine pairing. I'm loving the idea of Italian but one of my guests thinks French sounds good. I don't know, the idea of numerous one pot dishes came up. The best part of this day will be the guests. They are the type of people that adore wine and love to explore the unknown in wine. Would like the food offering to allow the possibility to pull some fun wine from the cellar. The best part of wine for me is sharing/experiencing/discovering each bottle with those I love-Easter sounds like the perfect time to pull a few of those special ones.