Down San Diego Way – Sunshine and Good People

9.01pm, Friday 9th April, Powell Street, San Francisco

Back to Tuesday April 6th – Cardiff By The Sea – about 25 miles north of San Diego on the coast

Had brekky at Pipes Cafe, met up with Kevin, and went to work. This is an interesting part of the world. Everyone is out and about surfing, jogging, biking – lots of convertibles with the tops down, very spring break, and there is a seasonal influence on the food and wine trade in the area. So we saw both retailers and restaurateurs, and in fact we had a really nice day meeting really nice blokes – yep blokes at all the accounts but the last one – and that was a nice bloke and gal! So we got amongst the sunshine and bright blue sky-driven “good vibrations” type of day that was served up to is … and did pretty well, I thought.

Our first call was at Mille Fleurs, one of the top dress circle restaurants for a long long time in the area of Rancho Santa Fe. Here we tasted through our top end from the 2008 Bush Vine Grenache to the 2004 Signature, and it looks like the 2008 Scribbler has found another home. And for the girls! I did stare at Julian the owner, who was on the original series of The Bachelorette (for the folks at home – reality show where a single female got to eliminate one by one a squad of extremely attractive blokes – of which Julian was one). I’m here to tell you that whoever that bachelorette was – she obviously had no idea. I definitely think we need to work more with Mille Fleurs!

Then we flew up and down this section of the coast visiting:

The La Costa Wine Company, Encinitas Wine Merchants, Farr Better Wines & Spirits (they already have the Y Viognier and Museum Muscat), and ended up at the Rendevous restaurant right above the beach at Del Mar. They do the Patchwork Shiraz already, and we showed right through our line with some of the Asian style “tapas” on the menu. One of the best combos was the Schezuan Eggplant with the Y Shiraz Viognier – and I took the pic to prove that eggplant IS a good looking veg (editor’s note: photo coming soon!). We had a great time here, and for an upcoming gourmet week, it looks like our 2008 Botrytis Viognier is going to be paired up with a Chinese stlye pull apart sticky dough with egg custard laced through it. Winner!

Then back up the coast to the Seaside Market – top supporters already and a great opportunity to actually catch up with folks who have discovered our wines, put them on the shelves without ever being near Australia – and we get to come by and spin some yarns with them, show some of our top wines as well – lots of wineries only open their more commercial things, but we open the lot up to the tippy top – and folks appreciate the opportunity to try it all.

Then I had to follow Kevin on the freeway as traffic was starting to build to our last call for the day, which was a bit closer to town. That was a crazy moment. It’s one thing to get through that traffic on your own, but quite another to stay on someone’s hammer – like driving through spaghetti! But a magic last call at Wine Sellar – who also know us well without ever having visited. We got into a fair bit of detail here, and it looks like we might be able to do some work with their wine club people next trip which will be great – as I said earlier, a lovely day with lovely blokes and one gal!

When we finished the day around 6.30pm, I set the GPS on least use of freeways, and went for a bit of a drive up into the hills behind San Diego and down into the city – they’re longer days down here, and it was just a lovely evening to see the sun set in the canyons, then chase the road down to the marina – full of old sailing ships and brand new warships – seeing as this harbour is a major naval base – and then into bed and out like a light. Day 1 of 2 in Southern Cal – good day.

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