Luca Mittica reporting from San Francisco, Las Vegas, includes info on computer expert wine lovers and the shocking spectacle of pigs being slaughtered in public
The two days in San Francisco were very productive. I met the manager of the distribution company who came to Casato Prime Donne di Montalcino three weeks ago. It’s strange to be able to meet the same people within a short period of time in different locations on the opposite sides of the world and to be bound together by the same passion for great wines! This event with our local business associates was a very successful meeting, but I have to say was not organised in the same way as in the other cities- it was possibly more ..’Californian’! It took place in one of the most fashionable restaurants, ‘A16’, and started with the slaughter and preparation of a pig in front of everyone. It was very graphic and very shocking. Also the venue was quite small and a flood of people arrived for the event which proved quite difficult to manage. There were a lot of buyers from San Francisco, distributors from Seattle and managers from a shop called Tolaini di Winnipeg. Our importer Banville & Jones has proved to be an influential organisation, with a success even beyond our expectations.
I was at a dinner in Berkeley, which like all great American universities is surrounded by affluent urban districts and is full of
restaurants and wine shops. I had dinner with three of the retailers of our local distributor together with two of the most important customers in the area. One of them is a computer engineer, originally from Japan, who has one of the largest private wine cellars in San Francisco. He is also considered to be the wine consultant responsible for the choice of wines of some of the most important local citizens. In other words, a Californian ‘Gelasio Lovatelli’ .
This morning I woke up at 4am and flew to Las Vegas where I went straight to the tasting organized by our local distributor. The venue was huge and the event was well organized. This high profile professional event was only for sommeliers who in this location completely manage the business of wine purchasing and assist the buyers from major hotels and restaurants in the area.
Tonight I had dinner with the managers of the local distributor and tomorrow I will leave for Italy. I am tired but very satisfied with this visit to the USA which has been crammed full of very productive meetings.
Luke Mittica representing Donatella Cinelli Colombini in her world of wine
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