8.12pm, Friday 23rd March, Broadway, San Diego, California, USA
Evening folks, I’ve just been dropped off at the fab Sofia Hotel – the old original Pickwick Hotel which was the first in San Diego to have baths ‘in the rooms’ – and I’m making the smart decision to have an early night before driving up to Los Angeles tomorrow. So instead of doing the walking tour of the Gaslamp District a few blocks toward the beach, I’m staying in because we have a big consumer tasting at Hi Time Cellars – in Costa Mesa a couple of hours north of San Diego on the way to Los Angeles.
But it’s also a good opportunity to catch up a couple of the neat things that Dave Townsend – our area manager for the big time surf and sunshine section of Southern California – has organized for us. Have a look at this view from the side window of The University Club – up on top of Symphony Towers downtown. It’s the old ‘El Cortez’ art deco hotel at the gateway to Balboa Park.
The University Club is a tremendous address for our wines to be listed – the view is magic, I wish I could have caught the sensational sunset – the staff are just the best, and we’re in tremendous hands up here on top of the San Diego skyline. The Club Food & Beverage Director and Club Sommelier are the delightful blokes Frank Polinski and Stan Streblow, and they set up the ambitious Yalumba tasting event for club members last Wednesday evening with 15 wines – 3 flights of 5 wines each. This covered most of our winemaking world from the sparkling Jansz from our Tasmanian vineyards through the consistently well performing debutante wines – the 2011 Y Vermentino and 2010 Strapper Grenache Shiraz Mataro – to the fortified dessert wine double of the Antique Tawny and Museum Muscat. Whew! Lots of pouring and polished glassware, and a big night had by all!
Another view of San Diego – from the front window this time – down toward the Naval Docks and open harbour.
We had a top supporting cast for the wines in local wine personality and collector enthusiast Richard Long – thanks very much for your kind comments on the balanced line of wines – and closet comedian and all around good guy Englishman resident now in San Diego – and my new partner in wine stand up comedy – Tony Turnbull. Thanks for the unrehearsed act – we could be very good together at this sort of thing around the complete country!
And thanks a huge amount to all the members who came out on a school night to see what we’re currently up to wine wise back in the Barossa. That would be the ex patriate Sydneysider and Shad Thames London local, the folks heading to their daughter’s place in Brisbane next year, the local gals escaping the schoolroom, the folks from the Artisan Design Group – thanks for the sunset photo, I just can’t figure out how to upload it! – and the other folks who visited Australia and support our wines in such a staunch fashion. Not forgetting the gal whose mates didn’t show up, and she now has a bagful of stories to tell them – and some fab wines to show them!
I had a lovely time at the tasting, our Chief Winemaker did a wine dinner here last year and had the same good time – and for the record … thanks very much University Club for being such a fortress for Yalumba in Southern California … love you all, love the view, and we hope you’ll have us back next time we’re in town! See ya for now …
I’m sending you a big choc doughnut heart from me!