I'm in day five of a five-day swing through Southern California, with stops taking me to Pasadena, Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Long Beach and (later today) back to Pasadena. This is a long trip for me; I am not usually gone over weekends, and not usually gone for four nights. But I believe that it is essential that we stay visible in this economy, and so I have scheduled more events open to the public and more days on the road this spring than ever before.
It does not appear that the economy has dampened the turnout at most of these events. At the Family Winemakers tasting in Del Mar, I underestimated how much wine I'd need and ran out two hours before the event was over. I had to ask the winemakers at the table next to me to let people who came by the table know I'd be back shortly as I ran out to get another case of wine from my car. At my dinner in Pasadena (at the beautiful Athenaeum at CalTech) the Athenaeum managers who were planning to come to the dinner had to give up their seats to a last-minute flurry of reservations, and the room had 86 people in it.
There are several opportunities for people around the country to come and see us in the next couple of months, and I wanted to highlight some of most exciting. As always, we have a complete list of upcoming events on our Web site: http://www.tablascreek.com/upcomingevents.html
- San Francisco: Rhone Rangers Tasting, March 21-22: I'm on the board of the Rhone Rangers organization, and this is our biggest showcase. Three seminars (moderated by Jon Bonne and Karen MacNeil), a 15-winery winemaker dinner, and trade and consumer grand tastings of over 125 American producers of Rhone varietals make this an amazing opportunity to delve deeply into the world of American Rhones. More information is at http://www.rhonerangers.org/calendar/sf_grand_tasting.php
- Washington, DC: California Barrel Tasting at Macarthur Beverage,
March 21st and Tablas Creek/Beaucastel dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak,
March 27th: We're coming to DC next week for two events, one the
east coast's premier futures offering of California wines (where we'll
be showing the Esprit de Beaucastel from the spectacular 2007 vintage)
at Macarthur Beverage and the other a wine dinner in conjunction with Beaucastel at Charlie Palmer Steak in Capitol Hill.
- Atlanta: High Museum Wine Auction, March 26-28: Atlanta's highest-profile wine event benefits their tremendous art museum, and includes seminars, a gala dinner, and one of the country's leading wine auctions. I'll be participating in all three, as well as hosting a winemaker dinner at ENO in Midtown on Wednesday, March 25th. More information on the event is at http://www.atlanta-wineauction.org/
- Austin: Texas Hill Country Food & Wine Festival, April 16-19: I love Austin. It's a beautiful, hip city, and its signature wine festival is no different. It includes a great collection of seminars, two big tastings, and several associated winemaker dinners (including one we're hosting at Mirabelle on Tuesday, April 14th). More information is at http://www.texaswineandfood.org/. We'll also be nearby in San Antonio for the Paso Robles Grand Tour on Wednesday, April 15th.
- Los Angeles: A Culinary Evening with California Winemasters, May 16th: This benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is always one of the country's top five charity wine auctions, and it's an honor to be invited. The event includes a wine tasting (many top vintners who don't otherwise show up in person come to this) followed by the auction. All the events take place at the Warner Bros. lot, and more information is at http://www.californiawinemasters.org/
In addition to those highlights, we're continuing our seminar series here at the vineyard with our annual blending seminar on April 11th, and also participating in events around the Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival, Hospice du Rhone, and the Paso Robles Wine Festival.
I hope that we'll see you at one or more of these events. And if you have an event that you're aware of (or you participate in) that you think we should consider, please share...