Selling Out the Shop in Toronto

11.22am, South Congress St, Austin, Texas, USA

Toronto, Friday 25/9/09: Final!
Capping off Toronto, I spent two days working with Mark Moffat, the lovely young bloke from distributor Mark Anthony. He used to run a smart restaurant in Toronto and now has jumped the fence and is talking wine every waking moment for a living. Nice thing is that a lot of the wine he talks about is ours!

We finished off Friday night with a consumer tasting at the Summerhill LCBO store, where they set us up with a tasting bench. We had an opportunity to speak with the good people of Toronto, and they had a chance to try the 2008 Wild Ferment Chardonnay and the 2007 Y Shiraz Viognier. We nearly sold the shop out, so we did really well!

We were inside a dozen left of each when 8 o clock ticked over, and we called it a day. Thanks Mark, Kath and Colin for setting that up. These are the “hard yards” jobs at the coalface that really make a difference to having a presence in a town or not. You can never open too many bottles of wine to show to “the consumer” – that’s the person who buys your wine and tells your story – and we love ’em!

Then folks, it was off to the sports bar to watch the 2009 AFL Grand Final hosted by the local team, the Toronto Downtown Dingos. Lots of St Kilda and Geelong scarves and jerseys attached to lots of Australian accents in the packed bar, and to be honest, the first half went OK. I was absolutely shattered, and had an early flight to the US on Saturday morning, so I did actually leave the bar at half time when we were just ahead. But I wasn’t happy. In the second quarter, we kicked 1 goal 5 and Geelong kicked 4 goals 1. Therein I think lies the tale! I was woken up by a text from a mate saying, “so close!” And I felt a bit hollow all day Saturday, and I still have just that “shaking my head, I think that was one that got away” feeling. So it’s still one premiership in 137 years for the Saints, but by heavens – we had a hell of a ride this year! Thanks Roowey, Kozzy, Milney, Lenny, young Zac, the Sams, Nicky D, Big Mick, Scneids, Faron Ray – all the lads in the red, white & black – you were magic. And we’ll see you at Frankston in February for Family Day – I have a strong feeling that 2010 is going to be our year!

Goodbye Toronto and see ya next year!

I’m off to work now, but will catch up the last couple of days in Texas tonight, as we’ve done good things in Austin and San Antonio already.

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