May 2009 Archives
By the time you read this, I'll be 35,000 miles above ground headed to Minneapolis. This will be the first of 4 cities in 4 days visiting distributors who sell Dry Creek Vineyard wines. I've armed myself with plenty of vitamins, Tylenol PM and sensible shoes to last a trip twice as long. I've learned the hard way, getting stuck on more tarmacs and living through more delayed business trips than I care to remember.
It will be a very different experience than the one I had this past weekend. Before it's a distant memory, I need to say thanks to all who came to our Day in the Loire Valley event. Other than the sweltering heat (temperatures soared to over 100 degrees) it was a delightful gathering of Wine Club members, Loire-inspired wines (including a 1995 Cabernet Franc that was a real eye opener!), delicious foods, musique à la francaise, artists in residence and pétanque under the trees. There were familiar friends and faces, along with a lot of newcomers who quickly became part of our extended winery family. Kevin, I sure hope you and your group from Iowa had a good time!
In chatting with people, I found it fascinating that what our winery direct customers (consumers) tell us is often quite different than what we hear from the marketplace. Consumers want unique wines, wines for special occasions, and wines that appeal to all five senses. As an example, that new Rosé we just released is nearly sold out! But I can just imagine the rolled eyes and frustrated stares if we wanted our distributors to start selling it in their market. The last thing they want is another obscure wine that needs a lot of explaining.
This contradiction between the consumer and wholesale side of the wine business is perplexing. I mean, aren't consumers supposed to drive product development? Aren't end users the ones who determine the softness of tissue, the number of chips in a pint of Ben and Jerry's (which by the way, has gotten rather skimpy as of late!), or the desire for more fuel efficient cars? I'm honestly not sure anymore.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, as a consumer, distributor or member of the trade.
No, I did not fall off a log. And, I did not run off with the mailman. But it has been a challenge finding time to write. I guess it's what you'd call blogger's block. I'm not sure if anyone has coined the term, but for non-professional writers like me, it's a constant struggle to A) find time to write B) remain inspired when I'm busier than a cat covering up #%@$. And, since I'm inherently a guilt ridden person, I'm thinking about having guest bloggers, who from time to time could take over my posts. For the time being, you'll still be hearing from yours truly! But watch for new and improved Wilmas in the not too distant future.
One of the reasons for the lapse in posts has been the frenzy surrounding an exciting new wine we're getting ready to introduce. It's a groundbreaking release and one I never thought we'd do, especially after all the fuss we've made over the term Fumé Blanc. It's a 2008 Sauvignon Blanc that we're calling... are you ready for this? Sauvignon Blanc. Produced from exclusively Dry Creek Valley fruit, this wine sports a modern new package and is designed to appeal to a whole new generation of wine drinkers.
It's kind of like that advertising slogan, This Ain't Your Daddy's Oldsmobile. Although just between us, I'm praying for a much more successful outcome than the poor folks at GM.
The blend includes 6% Sauvignon Musqué and veers toward the more tropical, floral, fruity side of Sauvignon Blanc as opposed to the grassier herbaceous spectrum found in our classic Fumé Blanc. It's still bone dry with vibrant acidity and refreshing flavors, but the combination of the valley's sandy gravelly soils, slightly warmer climate and cooling coastal breezes produce a striking Sauvignon Blanc that at once showcases the ideal growing conditions found here. And that, my friends, is what we're banking on. The Dry Creek Valley as a world renowned appellation. We believe so whole heartedly in this region that in 2002 we moved 100% of our Bordeaux varietal program here. This new Sauvignon Blanc continues the evolution.
If I've piqued your interest, please stop by this Saturday, May 16. We'll be pouring the new Sauvignon Blanc at our Day in the Loire Valley event along with a few other special surprises. Then next week I'll be on the road to help introduce the wine to distributors. That's just the beginning. There will be trade shows, media tours, and sales meetings to get everybody on board. It's an exciting wine and an exciting time for us.
Now if I could just quit saying Fumé instead of Sauvignon
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
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