ValleyFogBlog


Pinot Days Chicago – Day Two by valleyfog

picture-047Our Pinot Noir Chicago weekend included a separate event the day after Pinot Days. On Sunday, November 16th, Crushpad held an open house at Just Grapes, a very cool wine shop in the financial district in Chicago. Pouring at the event, in addition to Waits-Mast, were folks from Crushpad,  and Crushpad Commerce clients Joelle Wine Company and Bon Coeur Cellars. It was an opportunity to pour our wines and mingle with people in a more intimate and low-key environment.

Floor to ceiling wine racks...sighhhhhh.

Floor to ceiling wine racks...sighhhhhh.

Just Grapes carries a wide variety of wines and really tries to simplify the process of learning about and choosing good wines. The fact that they have a section of the store devoted to Wall Street Journal Wine Picks says a lot about their philosophy.  We were parked up in the special events section of the store and had saved about 5 bottles of wine to pour for this event. That was it – we didn’t bring any additional wine for the weekend. There were more visitors than we expected and at a certain point, we weren’t sure if we would have enough wine to last us until closing time. But we actually had about half a bottle of our La Encantada left at the end of the day (which we gave to one of the store managers to enjoy.)

Brian pours the Waits-Mast lineup on chilly Chicago afternoon

Brian pours the Waits-Mast lineup on a chilly Chicago afternoon

There were a lot of Chicago-area Crushpad clients attending, along with Just Grapes regulars and a few old friends of ours that came by to visit. Many of the Crushpad clients were curious about what it was like to go commercial and we traded stories about the barrels of wine we’re making. There were also some prospective clients as well. For us, it has been an interesting experience to go from being in front of the table tasting wines to behind the table pouring wines. And people are now asking us about how we got into the “business” and how they might as well. That’s what’s great about Crushpad. It really helps you dip your toe in the whole experience and see how you like it. Inevitably, you’re hooked, so eloquently captured on the back of the Crushpad t-shirts they were giving away that night: “WARNING: Winemaking is Addictive.”

The happy winemakers behind the table, waiting for new fans.

The happy winemakers behind the table, waiting for new fans.

In addition to tasting other wines being poured at the event, we also were privy to some good bubbly. Dave from Crushpad had a “stash” of a really nice bottle of Champagne from Jean Veselle. So, when we had a break, we would dash over to his table and get a couple of hits of this lovely Pinot Noir-dominant bubby from France. How perfect to have a little champers to celebrate a successful and fun weekend in Chicago!

Now, we’re back home and fine-tuning our web store, so look for a post in the next couple of days about our wines (finally) for sale! Just in time for holiday shopping!

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A view from the table

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