May 2012 Archives

Looking back at my last few posts, I realized that my tone was a tad in the dumps.  It's easy to get frustrated in this business.  Yet, at the same time, I can't overlook the wonderful aspects of the wine industry and all the lasting friendships I've created.  So, rather than focus on what's bad, I want to share with you what's really great about our industry.  I thought maybe a top 10 list would be appropriate.


The weather.  This one seems silly but really, the weather in wine country is as good as it gets.   All year long, we enjoy a wonderfully temperate climate.  I think that's why our grapes are so happy!


The perks. Yes, the perks are good.  It's pretty neat to have a chef send something special to our table or to have a hotel partner comp us a room.


The Food.  Amazing.  Incredible.  World-class.  We are fortunate to be in an industry that is so closely connected to the culinary world.  And the food we are blessed to try is nothing short of remarkable.


The Travel.  As much as I might complain about this one, the travel can be fun.  I love New York.  Seeing new places and experiencing a different city is really quite fun.


The Education.  I thought about this and what's remarkable about our industry is that we never stop learning.  Someone is always showing me something new and different.


The Romance.  Our industry exudes a sense of romance about it.  Just a few weekends ago, we witnessed a marriage proposal in our picnic grounds.  Wine country is a romantic place to be.


The Satisfaction.  I love the sense of completion of projects and having things become successful.  There's a lot of satisfaction and pride when I sell one of our wines to a restaurant or retailer.  It's a sales "high" of sorts. 


The Lifestyle.  This is easy to talk about.  You take much of what I mentioned above and then add your family, close friends and small town charm to the mix and well - that cocktail is pretty darn great!


The Product.  Maybe this should be #1.  No matter though.  At the end of the day, wine is what we do and I just love our wines.   I am so fortunate to have such a great portfolio of wines.


The PEOPLE!  Isn't this what life is all about?  The people in our industry are incredible.  There are so many talented, passionate individuals - not just selling or marketing our wines but in the wine industry as a whole.  And in the scope of the business world, we're a relatively small tribe so the camaraderie we all share is special.  After more than 25 years in the business, some of my best friends are from the wine industry. 

Dry Creek Vineyard Staff - click photo to enlarge

So there you have it.   That's my list.  What's yours?  Feel free to chime in.  I'd love to hear from you.

| | Comments (2)

I have some pretty good excuses why I haven't written in a while. Hmm, let's see...

No time? Too tired? More pressing projects? You get the picture. My plate is very full these days. But I love my new role and feel invigorated despite the long hours and constant frustrations of the wine business.

I know what you're thinking..."yea right, what frustrations?" Isn't it all about the bucolic, wine country lifestyle? On the outside, it might look like that. But the truth is despite the many wonderful aspects of the wine industry, it can be frustrating as hell.

Let me give you some examples. I just returned from Los Angeles where I participated in the Sonoma County Vintners "Sonoma in the City" events. These are a series of trade and consumer tastings intended to showcase the many wonderful wines of Sonoma County. As the flagship winery of the Dry Creek Valley, it was important for us to be there.

It felt a bit like Groundhog Day as I looked around the room and recognized vintners who have been doing this for just as long as me: Julie Pedroncelli, Michael Deloach, Joy Sterling, to name a few. We are the hard working descendents of pioneering family owned wineries that helped shape the California wine industry.  So here's where the frustrating part comes in. I can't tell you how many people came up to my tasting table and said they had never heard of Dry Creek Vineyard. Furthermore, they didn't know where we are located. Ahem, doesn't the name Dry Creek give any clue? With SO MANY new wineries in the county today, (let alone the world) it's easy to get lost in the shuffle if you aren't careful. And apparently, it doesn't much matter that we've been at it for 40 years.

Twenty four hours later the converse occurred.  Fussy wine buyers are fixated on the obscure and unknown. Suddenly, it can work against you if your winery actually has a reputation and a loyal brand following. I experienced this first hand as I made a presentation to a very important buyer for a series of popular LA restaurants. While he was very impressed with the quality of our wines, the fact that our wines are distributed nationally, have decades of successful vintages under their belt, and a trusted brand reputation, in his mind's eye--these are a deterrent for adding our wines to his wine list. We are simply too well known.

Go figure. One minute no one has heard of us, the next we're too popular. Talk about frustrating!

Happily I returned to my office with a big surprise on my desk. A 2 page spread in Wine Spectator featuring our Fume Blanc and Heritage Zinfandel in their "Best of the West Under $25" story. 

click photo to enlarge

Oh yea baby, that sure feels good!

"Dry Who" my arse...

| | Comments (1)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2012 is the previous archive.

June 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine sit back, take a sip and enjoy!

about me

our wines

our winery

our events

contact me

privacy statement

favorite posts

A Lifetime in Wine

Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery

The Dreaded Family Meeting

Board Meeting Jitters

Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?

The Case of the Overweight Bottle

Wine and Dementia

Wanted: Talented (Normal) Individual for Family Owned Winery

A Sea of Wine

The Heroes of Our Industry

monthly archives


Hopes & Dreams

Owning a Coastal Cottage

Sailing for 6 Months

Getting a 100 Point Score

Favorite Haunts

Coast of Maine

Dry Creek General Store

Dry Creek Kitchen

Healdsburg Bar & Grill


Sonoma Country Antiques

Baci Cafe & Wine Bar

The Farmhouse

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Bad Ass Coffee

Bistro Ralph

Bits of Press

Food & Wine Magazine

The Wine News

Wine Enthusiast

Wine Spectator

Press Democrat

Sunset Magazine

Connoisseurs' Guide

Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

Cruising World Magazine

Oprah Magazine

The Washington Post

Coastal Living Magazine

Wine & Spirits Magazine

People Magazine

SAG Awards Magazine

Forbes Magazine

Favorite Magazines

Coastal Living

Down East


Country Living

Quarterly Review of Wines

Wines & Vines

Wine Spectator

Wine Enthusiast

California Grapevine

Connoisseurs' Guide

Practical Winery & Vineyard


Vineyard & Winery Mgmt

Blog Buddy List


Hip Tastes

Pinot Blogger

All The Best

Julia Flynn Siler


Winery Web Site Report

The Pour - Eric Asimov

Dr Vino

Steve Heimoff

Start Up Ladies

Good Wine Under $20

Blind Muscat

The Wineroad Blog

Gabe's View

Wine Peeps

Vici Vino

Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk

Uncork Life

WineVine-Imports Blog

The Wine Witch


Honorable Mentions

Wilma Hits The World of Blogs
Most Intriguing New Wine Blogs of 2008
Midwest Wine Guy
Winery of the Month
Julia Flynn Siler
Meritage wines - and a fascinating glimpse into family business
Winery Web Site Report
New Winery Blog: Wilma's Wine World
Start Up Ladies
Insider's View of Family Owned Dry Creek Vineyard
The Glue that Keeps the Whole Thing Going
Atlanta Dish
Blog of the Week
Blind Muscat
The Merits of Meritage
Boston Wine Expo exhibitors, and the reason why winemakers are so darn happy