7.12am, Tuesday March 9th, Starbucks next to Home Depot, Pleasanton Square shopping centre, CA, USA
Just a quick hi & bye, folks. Had a manic day on the roads yesterday doing two jobs in the Bay Area. Remember that old Australian saying, “we’re going around the bay for a bob” which basically meant you’d go out on the water for a bit of a sail round and round the harbour? Well that was me yesterday. I set a new driving record of four bridges and a tunnel, and I took some photos of the toll plaza leading onto bridge 1 for the day – the Bay Bridge.
Then through the city streets to job one, which is a wine club that we wanted to present our new labels of the Y Series and our Barossa Eden wines to. They look after several high-profile national clubs across the USA and have been really supportive of our Wild Ferment Chardonnay. I’m telling you this is re-setting the idea of elegance and style for Australian Chardonnay because I keep hearing this from folks on a daily basis from all levels of the trade and consumer population. So we went in and showed the whole new lot, admirably assisted by our Northern Cal Sultan of Sales Chris.
What’s with the pink-and-black fluffy dice hanging from his rear vision mirrow? Do you think he’s aware that those were Elvis’s favourite colours?
I think things went over well, and with any luck we’ll see some of our wines stay with the clubs, as it’s an excellent way of getting national exposure on a regular basis – and the folks running the clubs have red hot palates, so you have to be good to make the cut – it’s a 5 star slot!
Then off across the Golden Gate Bridge and back up to the NUSA office in Napa to get my passport out of the safe – as I found out last week that the security folks at the airports don’t like internationals travelling on just their drivers licences. Rest assured I stayed very zen as I was subjected to the highest level of attention, barring the strip search. More good fortune for them – I’m not thrilled about seeing me in my underwear – they would have been even less impressed!
As you come into the Napa, here’s the sign that warns about the introduction of the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter – a pest that has a set of jaws like a chainsaw, chews into the vine anywhere it likes, deposits some nasty bugs that cause a “plaque” to grow on the inside of the juice tubes of the plant, building up over time to cause complete shutdown – like clogged arteries. And there’s no cure! We’re lucky in the Barossa. We’ve got a viticultural treasure trove unique in the world: We have never had phylloxera and no sharpshooter in sight! Keep that quarantine tight folks!
Then back down to Pleasanton last night, so effectively went in the east side of the Bay, across the city, up the west side of the Bay to Napa then back down the east side again – so “around the bay for a bob” behind the wheel. Good thing Jimmy the jeep is travelling well, although the coolant hose has started to hiss, but I can’t find a leak, so bought a roll of duct tape this morning – just in case!
Off back into the trade today, then into the city tonight for an event at Bistro Lulu, then to Seattle tomorrow and Portland Thursday. Looking forward already to this weekend – my first two days off in a row since arriving!
PS More on my quest to meet the folks from the “Castle” TV show – not celebrity stalking I assure you – I just set myself an outrageously unattainable quest each trip. Took me 4 years working London to run into Hugh Grant. Makes for great consumer dinner stories. Anyway it turns out that the cast and crew will be doing a question-and-answer session next Tuesday night in LA at the Paley Centre for Media. I found out last week when I was in LA but didn’t get a ticket as I was scheduled to be working Orange County. Now it looks like I’ll be in town and yep – you guessed it – it’s sold out. Just like tonight the Zac Brown Band (check them out – great Georgia-based band) is playing Oakland in the East Bay (my hood) and I’m working in the city. That’s the way it usually rolls. But hey, things are converging already!