The Car Capital of U.S.A is a place of extremes: From incredibly dangerous neighborhoods to areas with top chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants
Our departure from New York was distressing particularly for a dog which ran onto the runway and would not go away. The officials tried to capture him for 35 minutes and then they shot it. The result, because of the poor dead dog, was that we were kept waiting for almost an hour in the plane on the tarmac and arrived in Detroit only 15 minutes before the beginning of the tasting.
Detroit, the US car city is the American version of Turin, in fact, the link between Fiat and Chrysler has brought several senior Fiat executives to the area, with Marchionne currently heading up the company. Detroit has suffered various crises from 1960 up until present day. It originally was a metropolis with a population of 2 million people which has reduced down to only 700,000 today, this has created veritable ghost neighborhoods, which are completely uninhabited and dangerous. These areas are currently being studied by social scientists and security experts because of the incredible escalation of violence which has taken place there. Despite the crisis, Detroit still has some positive aspects and desirable areas in which to live. There is a galaxy of small towns and safe residential areas which can be found across the city which in some cases are very beautiful areas in which to reside.
One of these areas, Birmingham, is where our wine tasting took place, it is a
town populated almost entirely by senior executives from the local industries.
Marchionne himself lives here. It is a very elegant district, peppered with top quality restaurants. Grosse Pointe and Ann Arbor (the part of the city where you will find the Michigan Universities) are satellite towns of Detroit both of which offer a high quality of living, unlike Detroit itself. The tasting which took place yesterday in a Hotel in Birmingham was nothing short of exceptional.
The distributor Veritas and Casey and the manager of our importer Banville & Jones (who are very good) organized, according to
the parties who were present at the tasting, the best tasting event ever to have taken place in the United States. We sold an impressive quantity of bottles: from 2pm to 6pm I always had a customer in front of me and together with the agent who introduced me to the client we tasted and then took the orders for our wines. Our Brunello enjoyed incredible success. The many technical questions and inquisitive enquiries about our wine have confirmed for me the growth of knowledge and appreciation for our company within this country. The Brunello Prime Donne 2006 was the wine which created the most interest, both in the selection methods by which it is created together with its exceptional quality.
And finally the wine dinner for our ‘ top clients’. The cuisine of the local Italian
restaurants, despite sometimes being contaminated by small exotic touches (influences from the Far East and Mexico) for example the use of vegetables or condiments which do not belong to our gourmet culture, are very close in the excellence of their dishes to those of our restaurants here in Italy. I returned to my room at midnight and literally collapsed due to too much delicious food and wine.
The next morning I delivered the distributor sales force training to Veritas in their offices and then I gave a tasting to 40 customers. I admit to having underestimated the potential of this area of the United States. This is indeed a country of enormous economic and productive resources, which is at last reborn and back on course. Last night at the tasting, which we organised for our retailers, we sold all of the Brunello Casato Prime Donne that we had in stock at the local distributors and 2/3 of our other wines which were in stock. Both the distributor and I were very happy! What an amazing and wonderful country this is!
Soon more news.