The Fun And Legacy Of Winemaker Travel

When I gear up to travel each time I like to say, “I’m off to bring our wine to the people!” The several trips I’ve made recently have really been a lot of fun and grueling too. We can only travel at certain times of the year, for obvious reasons; someone has to keep an eye on the grapes and the wines!  So we are very interested in maximizing the benefit of any winemaker visit. Usually I am on the go from the early morning until late in the evening. To me, every trip is worth it. I get great feedback from consumers and gatekeepers alike.

Over the past two and a half months, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Texas, Colorado, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Georgia and Florida. On these trips, called the Grand Reserve Roadshow, my main goal was to promote the sale of the Grand Reserve wines. I presented these wines to our sales teams and customers through not only the Grand Reserve blending seminar, but also through pouring the wines over and over again at retail outlets, restaurants, over key account lunches and in wait staff trainings.

These opportunities allowed me to meet and interact with members of our national sales force who are based in each of these markets, as well as sales people from our distributor partners and with select retailers who carry (or who we wish would carry) our wines.

Very often, I get to make a believer out of someone who thought that they wouldn’t like Kendall-Jackson wines. If you’ve read my blog posts you already know about our Estate vineyards, the terroir that they represent, and our commitment to quality and attention to detail. Presenting these attributes to new consumers or skeptics is all part of the fun.

On these visits, I frequently find myself thinking of our founder, Jess Jackson and where it all began. He often talked of hand carrying Vintner’s Reserve to restaurants and shops in New York, San Francisco and other major cities. I have met several people along the way who remember when Jess would come into their shop or restaurant in the early years to introduce and sell his wines. I’m thrilled that I have been able to carry on that tradition.