LA Story

A few years back, after I had found some minimal success placing wine in a few local accounts, Ryan flew down to LA to help open the market up further.  This strategy had been employed in about half a dozen other cities to unqualified success.  So I was excited to have some places in the city I now call home that poured our wines.  For if the people of Texas or Michigan  loved them, surely the cultured of Southern California would too.

We spent the day with a small distributor, visiting hip wine spots in Silverlake, Hollywood and its western neighbor among others, sharing wine with restaurateurs & shop managers who knew their boutique wines.  And they were well received.  I didn’t expect to see orders by the pallet but…

Sales tally:  Zero

So what was it about Los Angeles that turned them off to our wines?  Were they protecting our fragile feelings?  Did their books already have fifteen Cabs just like ours?  Or can it simply be chalked up to a lack of follow up by the distributor?  Whatever the case we gave up the big city dreams and have focused on building our brands in markets that are every bit as cosmopolitan as LA, if a bit less trend of the moment-centric.

And then I received an unsolicited e-mail from a new husband and wife team hoping to bring some small production wines into LA.

You might think my first thought was to hit delete.  It wasn’t.  Maybe I’m a glutton for disappointment, perhaps like Steve Martin in LA Story I want to be told we don’t belong with the hipper, score friendly wines that populate the wine lists of my favorite restaurants.  Or maybe like a character in another movie, every time we try to get out, they keep pulling us back in.

But the more I think about it, I’d like to begin 2010 hopeful our LA fortunes could change.    If we don’t try, we may regret it, maybe not today or tomorrow but someday.  And if all else fails…

…we’ll always have Houston.

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Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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