Part of my job, year round, is to travel to various markets I am in charge of and work with our wholesalers, bringing recognition to our brand by presenting wine to both retail and restaurant wine buyers. As an example I’ll use my trip last week to North Carolina where we are working with a new wholesaler.
My week began as I headed from SFO to Charlotte on Monday. The next day I was picked up at 9:30 by Charles and the first stop of the day was very unusual. We met at the retailer’s home. This was a first for me in all the years I have worked various markets. And it was fun too-he treated us to a great pot of coffee while there. Our stops over the day included many gathering spots across Charlotte and lunch at Rooster’s, a former restaurant for Charles who was a chef before getting into the wholesale side of things. With great response to our wines I moved on to Raleigh where I would be stationed for the rest of the week.
I hadn’t worked this particular market in quite a few years. I had forgotten how very genuine and friendly North Carolinians are. As we worked our way through the accounts on Wednesday, I met up with old friends who have sold our wine for many years as well as meeting new friends who appreciated the wines for their QPR-quality-price ratio. Dinner at one of my favorite spots, and well known gathering place, The Angus Barn completed the day.
Josh picked me up on Thursday for a focus on the Hope Valley/Chapel Hill area. More visits, more conversation, more sales as I was whisked from account to account with great conversation flowing in the car between stops. Fueled by a really good cup of coffee of course. I had mentioned how much I love champagne and sparkling wine and we ended our day at a lovely spot with a glass of bubbly.
To finish off the week I presented our wines to the sales team at the wholesaler’s offices on Friday. Talking about my family and our history in Dry Creek Valley while going through each of the wines in their portfolio was fun because at this type of meeting there is more give and take between the sales reps and me. Some of them called out a favorite wine, some asked more questions about the winery. I ended up signing some wine bottles and then visited one more account on the way to the airport. I went home knowing I had planted a lot of seeds and know the next time I visit there will be even more opportunities! With a splash of Zinfandel in my Dino to all my friends in the great state of North Carolina.