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.