I’ve arrived back in CA after a whirlwind trip back to my home state of South Carolina. Unlike previous visits this was a business trip selling wine. My first trip of it’s kind and I thought it was quite appropriate that it was taking place in SC. The first day of the trip which I outlined in my last blog post was highly eventful and resulted in me arriving into Charleston at my hotel at Mid-night. Funny enough I was fully awake at that point, feeling a bit like a kid before Christmas; anxious and excited all at one time.
It’s a bit scary, facing buyers and trades folk, with a product that you’re so close to and have spent so much time with. You put it out to the world and hope that it’s well received.
The Emma Pearl Chardonnay and Merlot were very well received, which I was very happy about. I really enjoyed the roof top pouring because the sky was blue and the day was warm. We had a fantastic view of Charleston harbor, a soft warm breeze and very enthusiastic guests. The hotel, Market Pavilion Hotel, (www.marketpavilion.com/) I have to recommend because they were extremely accommodating and the rooms were first rate! Definitely check them out if you’re in the area. The food was phenomenal at the lunch and at the open pouring afterwards. The roof also converts to a bar in the evenings offering a fantastic view of the bridge there as well.
I had a lovely winemaker dinner together with Daniele Cyrot of St. Clement Winery with some of the area store managers of Harris Teeter, our exclusive southeastern retail partner for Emma Pearl and was able to spend some time getting to know them which is always nice. The dinner was at Anson’s (www.ansonrestaurant.com/) where I had their She-Crab Soup and Flounder with Apricot Chutney. I finished with a slice of Pecan pie which is a southern staple and must be tried as it was fantastic. Actually I didn’t have any food that wasn’t fantastic there.
The next day we traveled up to the upstate which is my old stomping grounds as they say. The Women in Wine luncheon at Stella’s Southern Bistro in Simpsonville http://stellasbistro.com was fun because I was able to meet with quite a few female wine buyers and restaurant owners in the area. Again, the food was excellent, paired beautifully with the wines and I was able to finally quench my thirst for sweet tea.
That evening found us in Greer at Bin 112 (www.bin112.com ) where we had a happy hour for Emma Pearl and I was able to visit with family and friends who had come out to taste the wines for the first time. The mussels and the Pimento cheese dip were amazing.
That Thursday I was paired with a Southern Wine and Spirits representative and we ran all over Greenville going to visit restaurants and shops to sell Emma Pearl. Again the wines were very well received and I was very happy to see so many great restaurants and wine shops opening up in Greenville.
It was an action packed, whirlwind tour but it was great to be back in the South even for a few days.
Meanwhile, back in CA, we’ve had bud break happen this past week so it’s only a matter of time before Harvest 2011 begins… I’ll update on the vintage soon!