I get to pour wine at lots of dinners, and even more tastings. Doing so is a key piece of how we have chosen to market ourselves: not just waiting for people to come and discover us, but going out to where they are and introducing ourselves. It's a wonderful consequence that these tastings often allow us to support partners in our community whose work we admire.
Every now and then, the setting transforms one of these events into something extraordinary. One such event happened this past weekend. We have long partnered with Festival Mozaic, the summer music festival that brings world-class musicians into the Central Coast each July. Born as the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival forty-one years ago, Festival Mozaic stages their orchestral and chamber concerts not just in the area's performing arts centers, but also in its vineyards, its missions, and some of its most sublime private homes. But for me, the most spectacular venue they've chosen is Hearst Castle, which opens its doors to the festival one night each year for a reception and dinner on the Sea Terrace, followed by a chamber concert in Hearst's own theater. This was the event at which we poured Tablas Creek on Friday. The setting:
Having such a beautiful and well-known landmark to yourself is breathtaking enough, but the food (catered by Hearst Castle's own chef) and the music pushed the evening over the top. To our backs was the famous Neptune Pool:
I spent the whole evening feeling like royalty, from when Meghan and I were waved on through the gate to drive up to the hilltop to bidding the guests farewell in front of the castle's majestic indoor pool. Experiencing an event in such a unique venue really is unforgettable, and the fact that by donating wine for it we are not only bringing the arts into our community but also providing for the upkeep and restoration of one of California's most impressive landmarks just makes it all the better.