8.28pm, Powell Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
Here we are, almost finished the California adventure. The Jeep safely home at the NUSA office and all my gear stuffed into a couple of cases and a heap of shopping bags! Best intentions this morning, but I just threw it all into bags and am sorting it out tonight. I thought it was more important to get to morning tea with our distributor warehouse and logistics folk in Benicia, and to have lunch with the team at Negociants USA – seeing as these two teams are the wheels under the wagon that I take out on the road. Well – that and the fact that there was stuff everywhere in the hotel room and was too big of a job to tackle in a couple hours this morning!
So I said goodbye to the people at the Larkspur Landing Hotel in Pleasanton who have looked after me so well for six weeks. They’ve tried a few bottles of our Y Series over this time, and I think we’re building a bit of a Yalumba fan club out there in the suburbs – and headed north to Benicia where the Henry Wine group HQ and warehouse are. I visited for the first time eight weeks ago when we started this job, and we had nine wines in the “front racks” – where the top 200 moving wines in their portfolio are shipped from. I went out to walk through the racks with Pete who runs that section, and was super pleased to see 27 of our wines there now!
That’s a good result!
I left a heap of Easter eggs and chocolate rabbits for the boys and said a big thanks very much, then went in to catch up with the gals who have been taking all the orders from the salesfolks – process the orders into shipping loadnotes, and make sure they get out to the customers. They also have been arranging for the samples we need in our day-to-day trade work to be where we need them to be – on 24 hours notice!! So it was two dozen doughnuts and a massive Easter egg basket for the whole office, plus special Disney Princess and Dora the Explorer eggs for them! Lenah, Tammy and Dina all turn out to be Nathan Fillion fans as well – if the boy only knew, we could organise him the best cellar of any actor in LA! So it was good to meet, and I’ve promised to make sure the blog stays up to date as they hitch a virtual ride on to our continuing Yalumba tour across the US to Chicago and Minneapolis and then on up into Canada. Great folks, and they have all the machinery churning away to make sure that our wine gets to all those great retail and restaurant addresses that we’re at across California. Thanks HWG HQ! And we’ll see ya next trip!
On up to the NUSA office, returning Jimmy the Jeep in one piece – and had lunch with the Negociants USA crew that is our agent for the complete country. These folks are great. They’ve co-ordinated the whole eight-week exercise with the distributor and made sure that it all kept ploughing forward. And we had a diner lunch of burgers and pulled pork sandwiches with pie for dessert, as they know I like that sort of thing. As I said – good folks. And my goodbye and thanks a lot present? Unique! A pillowcase with Nathan Fillion’s head saying that “my favourite thing about California is that Ferrari is in it!” Tragic but true folks – that sort of thing gets me all teary! Well done the talented Crista, and I took a pic of the three of us so you could all roll your eyes and shake your heads.
Lots of hugs and see ya next trips, and down to San Francisco to get sorted before flying to Chicago early Sunday morning. And here’s my prime opportunity to catch the blog up before leaving town. So I’ll post this then get back to San Diego.