Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Tuesday night (last night) we invited 80 of our best customers (all of our customers are our best customers!) along with some appetizers and camaraderie, for an evening with our friend Bruce Neyers, owner of Neyers Vineyards in Napa and the national sales manager for Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. This was our second such event, the first being last year's terrific night with winemaker Adam LaZarre (formerly of Hahn Estates).

To fill you in on why these events are so special, for starters, they are of no cost to the customer to attend. Yes, that is right. It was free. For zero dollars, all you had to do was accept the invitation, RSVP, and show up. That was it. Our owner feels that a few of these events each year is a better marketing tool than any print ad campaign, so we absorb the cost, give the customers a great time, expose them to some great, interesting wines, and provide them with a speaker who will serve as catalyst to their continuing wine adventure. Ultimately, our customers will bring new customers in, and potentially become more loyal to us than our competition.

That's the business aspect of it. The nice part about putting on events like these is that our customers get to see just how passionate we are about this business by bringing our inspirations to them. Tonight, Bruce Neyers cleaved a few hours out of his whirlwind schedule to lead us through just a small microcosm of his wines and Kermit's French and Italian wines. Quite the tall order (he produces just shy of 20 wines alone, and Kermit Lynch is probably responsible for 500+ "SKUs" imported to the U.S. each year). We were legally only allowed to taste 6, which really doesn't scratch the surface. Yet Bruce, in the wisdom and joy befitting a family patriach, Bruce shared his passion for organic winemaking, Old World sensibilities, the much-misunderstood concept of "terroir" and the connections we make in this business, the ones that last the majority of our lives, you could tell as the customers were finishing up the conversation, making their purchases, and heading home or out to dinner, there was a greater understanding for what true winemakers put into their craft, and how quality still matters.

I want to thank Bruce Neyers for coming in and sharing a great evening with us, as well as Wendy Huff, Kymber Henson and the staff at Heidelberg Distributing of Northern Kentucky for giving us the opportunity to host Bruce and all of his wines (as well as finally delivering us a phenomenal French importer). Thanks to all our staff for really kicking ass, and to all our customers - our extended family - for coming in and participating in a great event.

Time to start planning the next one...

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