We always love visiting the trade in Australia and we had an especially great time at the end of January in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and a day on the Gold Coast. We were very well looked after by our wonderful Australian distributor, Fesq & Co, and the sales team ensured we had absolutely no free time whilst there – which is perfect as we were there to work and conduct tastings with as many of the retail and restaurant trade as we possibly could!
We started with a couple of busy trade days in Sydney and Andy and I were out with different sales reps to maximise our time but then we all joined up in the evening with the Fesq sales and marketing team for dinner at the wonderful Aki’s Indian restaurant on Sydney’s Woolloomooloo Wharf. Aki’s has an extensive wine list and offers Misha’s Vineyard ‘The High Note’ Pinot Noir by the glass. (Thanks to Sommelier Harshal Shah). After another busy day in the trade on the Friday, Andy and I then conducted evening in-store tastings at The Sackville Hotel in Rozelle and at Porters Pyrmont and it was great to see some friends from Sydney (from many years ago) come along to support us! Andy and I also held a joint tasting at Camperdown Cellars in Darlinghurst on the Saturday afternoon– and in spite of it being a long weekend (Australia Day) we won a few more fans that day! Thanks to the wonderful Sydney Fesq sales team of Andy Fay, who heads the team, and also Rose Pinto, Mathew Ede, Daniel Jacobson, and Adam Cox.
The following week we hit Melbourne hard and again Andy and I separated and made about 8 account calls each over a couple of days! On the first evening we hosted a trade dinner at the very cool Northern Light Bar & Eatery, in Smith St, Collingwood. We had a lot of fun and kicked on later in the evening than intended but judging from the pictures from that night, everyone had a fun time! Joe Caruso leads the Fesq sales team and he has a great group of reps – Shane Beer, Brad Partridge, and the camera-shy Tim Vance (not!). Then it was off to Brisbane where it was great to catch up with some familiar faces from previous visits including Kiwi gal Sarah Ramwell who’s at Urbane and Brent from Wine Emporium, a fabulous wine retail store who are big fans of our wines. It was nice to meet Stacy Holmes on this trip – he’s the Cellar Master from Brisbane’s Tattersalls Club – and he loved our Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris. In fact he decided to offer our Pinot Gris by the glass, and he’s since emailed me to say it’s been a huge success at the Club which is great to hear.
We then headed off to the Gold Coast and had a very productive day with Brett Curry from Fesq, who, in spite of it being a Friday (and not usually a great day to visit the trade), managed to set us up with some great appointments that have ended up with us winning some new fans! We hadn’t been to the Gold Coast for many years and I was surprised at how things had changed there. There are some wonderful restaurants and we’re looking forward to returning and perhaps hosting a wine dinner or two there!
And by the way, we did actually did manage to squeeze in a couple of social things – including a night under the stars at the St George Open Air Cinema with the Sydney Opera House in the background which was simply marvellous and thanks to our wonderful friend Annabelle for organising that, and we also managed to catch up with some family and friends! Can’t wait for our next trip!