Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Canada & USA

We left Sunday, October 14 for Paris, then Canada (Montreal) where we had meetings with our 3 different agents who handle several of our wines on an exclusive basis. Our portfolio of exclusivities is so large that we have to work with different agents as one couldn’t focus on all our wines (in addition to theirs). We also had a meeting with a few managers from the SAQ, the wine and alcohol monopoly in Quebec, who are capable to offer one of the most beautiful collection in the world. We participated to a tasting organized in a school for active sommeliers eager to learn more outside of their working hours, tasting – sales with restaurants, tasting dinners with culinary journalists to speak about our wines already available in Quebec: the cuvees Calvet Thunevin, Calandray, Château Lafont Fourcat, Château Coucy, Présidial., Clos Badon, Château La Dominique, Château Clément-Pichon, Château Compassant, Château de Carles…

Wednesday, 17 in the afternoon, we left Montreal for Los Angeles where we arrived in the evening. We rented a car as Los Angeles is so big. Our hotel the Millenium-Biltmore was very well situated. The room was not too expensive but very noisy and a bit warned out.
Thursday, we had lunch with Jeff Leve and some of his friends, 2 Michelin stars well deserved, and drank cult wines… 03 Marcassin Zio Tony, 77 Weinert, 02 Sine Qua Non Grenache, 98 Sine Qua Non E Raised Syrah, 97 Guigal La Mouline, 98 Haut Brion, 03 Yquem.
We had dinner at the Water Grill (who carries Valandraud on its list) with one of our importers. The conversation focused on Bordeaux futures and its unwritten rules regarding allocations which you have to buy-in if you want to access some of the most sought after wines. It seems that I am one of the most difficult negociant in Bordeaux, the least cool, the most demanding compared to my colleagues who accept to sell the most sought after wines with no strings attached. I will probably try to become customer of some of my colleagues so I can access the wines I cannot get…

Friday, I had a meeting with one of my oldest and most important customer, to ask him to distribute some our wines. The meal at Patina was of very high quality, one of the best QPR. It would so great to have in Saint Emilion, such level of quality.
In the evening, we attended an event organized by a distributor. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned as only 15 people showed up when 150 were invited. The location, the date, the lack of professionalism, maybe we are not interesting enough, in any case, it was a pity… Especially when the next day, only 30 people showed up to our tasting at “THE” wine store of Los Angeles, Wally’s. Even if the results, in terms of probable sales and how the wines were received was OK. Saturday evening, the dinner organized at Spago, high class restaurant, for 24 people was a success. The quality of the guests, great wine connoisseurs made us feel better (after the bruises from the day before), as well as the friendly visit at the very exclusive California Club.

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