Monday, April 12, 2010
San Francisco Vintner's Market 2010
I attended the first ever San Francisco Vintner's Market this past Saturday. This was different from other industry tastings in that it was set up in a conventional hall at Fort Mason. 100+ vintners from all over California set up a table for tasting. In addition, there were many local food vendors offering cheese, cupcakes and chocolate..oh my! What was different about this tasting was the opportunity to purchase wine on premise. In past tastings such as Pinot Days, ZAP etc., the idea was to just get the word out about your brand, drive up mailing lists and network. This time tickets to the event cost $30 (I won a free ticket!!) much cheaper than the other events allowing tasters to purchase the wines they liked on the spot. The wineries came prepared with extra wine to sell. I saw lots of people walking out with cases of wine. I wonder how much was sold over all. Purchases have been prevented onsite before due technology. Credit cards need to be able to communicate to satellite and banks and with over 100 wineries using them, it is a large undertaking. Customers paying cash, however, saw price breaks.
Overall, I had a great time at the event! I was really impressed with the line up of wineries. I've been working in the industry for a few years and was surprised by the amount of wineries I wasn't familiar with. It was a great opportunity for these wineries to gain more exposure, but for me, it was like finding a treasure chest! My favorite winery was Ziata. Named after her mom, proprietor Karen Cakebread makes only Sauvgnion Blanc and Pinot Noir from the Carneros region in Napa Valley. The wines were amazing! Well balanced full of fruit, structure and earthiness. If you get a chance to purchase these wines, do so! I hope to see more industry and public tastings set up similar to the Vintner's Market in the future.