The challenge with the life we lead here is that two weeks home from the national bus tour and it seems it could have been last year instead of last month that we did our tour. We are facing vines well through their early stages well on the way to verasion, 07 base blends are basically together and put back to bed for bottling early next year. We are trying to align our grape supply with the demand. And we are readying for our leadership offsite, where the leadership of our little winery tries to set the course for the next year. We do it pre-harvest (late July/Early August), and this year the theme is growth opportunities. We have more fruit than we need at the moment, which is a real opportunity. As an estate winery, that means in the short term we have fruit to sell, but in the long term, more wine we can potentially make.
We have also been scrambling to follow up on the tour. The follow up comes in two forms, some times in the same correspondence: ‘Thankyous’ and ‘Calls to Action’. The thankyous are really to everyone who came, with extra notice for people who helped to stage the performance in each market. The calls to action are for the people who represent our wines to anyone who sells it to wine drinkers, and they made up about half of all the people who have seen the play to date. We expect them to use the enhanced connection with the family and winery as a means to build our brand in their markets, and I like to gently remind them of that.
3495: Miles driven in bus
8: Performance stops on tour
1165: Play attendees throughout country
1030: Budgeted play attendees
6: Nights spent on bus
3: Truckstop Showers
0: Books read, magazines browsed
>5: Cinnamon roll haikus written
68/10%: Average temp/humidity inside bus
103/199% Average temp/humidity ouside bus
25: Percentage of truckstops that will have fitness machines to rent by 2011. Bet me.
Writing blog entries is hard. Just like someone’s grandfather used to say, 50% of it is just showing up to write something, and it is hard enough to do that. But the other 50% on a trip like that (and maybe even beyond) is trying to do basic reporting and situational descriptions in a compelling way. Editorializing, moralizing, philosophizing, waxing, dreaming, and capturing feelings are all the things I hoped to use this blog as an excuse to do. But by the time I got through describing what we were doing I was too tired to pontificate.
Austin is a great city. I am not sure it is a muse of a city, but it is a great one.
NY and LA are both great muses.
I love to say the word Brooklyn, and am happy to have been there again.
The furniture in the Cannon congressional office building is very cool.
Waffle House’s reputation is better than reality, except for the people watching.
90% of fun is the attitude you bring to it.
My dad is super cool. So is the rest of my family.
And a very few comments from the guest book…
What a wonderful opportunity to see the inner workings of a wonderful family. The fact that your wines are world class is secondary to the wonderful family history you shared with us tonight. – Paul Lonis, Judge & Dolph
Which is more charming…the GB wine or the story? We love both! – Dave Batt & Alixe Lischett, Cabernet & Co, Glen Ellyn, IL
Crikey! Was that a play or what…Thanks Aunie Gigi and young blighter Jeff, you all rock and roll. Austin is changed for the better, love the performance, keep on rolling!
– Jerome, RND Austin
Wonderful story, wonderful wines. – Ted & Jackie, Room 39, KC
Never stop what you’re doing – Ryan, JP Wine Bar, KC
Thank you truly for the awesome performance, the best wine we have ever had in our lives. Good luck and best wishes. Bridget Banks, Mama Fus restaurant, Charlotte, NC
Jim, Jeff & Gang – Thanks for sharing this amazing gift with all of us. What a treat. Your family has so much to be proud of, past and present. It’s a privilege to represent and a joy to know you. – Doug Cohen, Tryon
Towle’s Hill was amazing! What a fabulous tribute to your family and its heritage. Thank you for making Charlotte part of your 150th celebration. – Angie Packer
Can’t wait to share this play in the home town in Sonoma……