Yesterday I posted some updates and pictures from my recent trip to California. As my wife told me immediately preceding my departure for California wine country, this trip was not a vacation. I did have a great time, but my activity was dictated by the fact that I was on the West Coast looking for gainful employment. The book is still out on how this whole story will unfold, but I did make some great connections, and had some really good interviews. I am keeping my fingers crossed, and continuing to work on landing my dream job in the wine industry, but for now I will finish my update for the week that I spent in CA. Yesterday I made it through Tuesday of last week, so I will pick up on Wednesday.
From early on in my trip planning I knew that Wednesday was going to be one of my busiest days. I had been asked to be on Wine Biz Radio almost as soon as they found out that I was going to be in California for a week. The WBR guys have been crazy supportive of my efforts to move into the wine industry, which I really appreciate. I also ended up having one of the biggest interviews on my trip land on Wednesday, so I was very excited about the activity for that day. My interview went great, and this was one of a couple of jobs that I thought that I would make the best fit for. It was like all of my life experience had been geared towards preparing me for this job. When I had finished my interview, I received a call about another interview the following morning, which was going to be my last full day in California. I booked the last minute interview for 8:30 in the morning, which would leave me time for all of the other activities that I had on Thursday.
I actually ended up with a pretty big gap between my interview in the morning and my Wine Biz Radio recording in the evening, so I wandered around the area for a while. I decided to head over to the Kaz Winery a little early so that I could get some pictures, and hopefully change out of my yuppie interview clothes. I know that it doesn't really matter what you wear on the radio, but I also knew that WBR has been Ustreaming the show, and I felt silly in my khaki's and button up shirt.
I brought a couple of bottles of Lubbock wine, a Pheasant Ridge Pinot Noir and a Llano Estacado Cellar Reserve Cabernet, to taste with the guys. Randy Hall had promised to mercilessly mock my wines, but they were all really surprised at the wines that I brought. I think the PR Pinot really surprises a lot of people because they have such low expectations for a Texas Pinot, and it is actually quite good. So the wines went over well, and the rest of the show was a blast as well. I talked a little about why I was out there, and hopefully the publicity will yield some positive results.
Thursday was #Cabernet Day all over the world, and I had the opportunity to join the party at some really great locations. First I had my morning meeting over coffee, which went pretty well, but is unlikely to produce any short term results. I did a little work on the patio at Starbucks, and then I worked my way over to Marita's Vineyard for their private lunch and tasting. My buddy Ed Thralls was there as part of his ambitious #Cabernet tour (I think he hit four different wineries), as well as the crew from VinTank and Cruvee. The food was incredible, and the vertical tasting of the Marita's wines was spectacular.
I rushed over to St. Supery for a meeting with a lead that I had gotten from my buddy Drew. I had been planning on attending the St. Supery gathering anyway, but I needed to make sure and be there to meet with one of my Twitter friends about a possible job opportunity. The St. Supery event was great. There were too many wineries present for me to count, but I really enjoyed tasting the St. Supery Cabs, as well as wines from Caymus and Cornerstone Cellars. I had been meaning to catch up with Craig Camp from Cornerstone all week and hadn't been able to, so it was good to see him at St. Supery. I have to give some mad props to Rick Bakas for doing such an incredible job at organizing the #Cabernet event.
After the #Cabernet festivities, I headed back toward the city to meet up with my friend Steve Paulo and his wife Heather. I got to spend the evening hanging out with them at their favorite Walnut Creek bar, Dan's, and was much closer to the airport for my Friday flight back to Texas. I had already had the opportunity to hang out with Steve quite a bit at the Wine Bloggers Conference, but this was the first time I had met Heather. The Paulos were so nice to offer me a place to stay, and I really enjoyed spending time with them.
So that pretty much ends my whirlwind recap of my trip. I have so many people to thank for providing me places to stay, job referrals, random acts of job hunt assistance, and advice. I hope that I don't forget anyone, but thanks to William Allen, Andrew Lazorchak, Jill Dever, Steve and Heather Paulo, Steven Washuta, Kaz, Randy, Mr. X, VinTank, Hardy Wallace, Rick and Jamie Bakas, Chris Oggenfuss, Ed Thralls, and Amy Gardner. I really appreciate the support that everyone in the online wine community has given me as well. When I finally land that dream job, it will be because all of you have helped to make it possible.
I now return you to your normally scheduled blog.