Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrating 7 Years

May 2005, first Photo on the Blog...Henley and Ali
A very Happy Anniversary indeed! Seven big years of wine sales, marketing and blogging...

May 2012 marks year 7 for the TexaCali Wine Trail.  The fact that I'm writing this from where I left my heart in 2004 - Northern California - is thrilling for me.   When I began writing in 2005, only a few handfuls of folks were even blogging about wine! Well, instead of filling this post full of boring stats and braggadocios blah blah blah, I just want to say thanks.

"Emotionally, I know I've made a great decision starting this venture - my heart and brain are soo connected when it comes to the promotion of great wine in the state of Texas. Thanks to all of you that have supported my dream "start-up" within this the low-tech, old-school wine industry. Good people hang together." -  I wrote in May of 2005. 

My Heartfelt Thanks to...

The family farmers and grape growers who allow me to have a thriving career in the business of wine.  If it weren't for your land, your hands in the dirt and your passion for growing grapes I would most likely be living in the concrete jungle of NYC on a life-long quest to find my passion.  Yeah, I almost took at job in 1999 to run online marketing for the Cartoon Channel of all things!  Thank you for giving me a reason to get up every morning to keep the wines moving forward everyday.

All the wine producers I've been so honored to help over the past 7 years.  Your skills, determination and quest to create outstanding wines have filled me with life's riches.  I am thrilled to have made a difference for you over the years while running TexaCali Wine Company.  We've lived through many great accomplishments together.  

Susana Balbo and Ali in 2005 in Mendoza
I will forever be grateful for my winery relationships formed all over the world. Sipping 65 year old bottles in France, pruning vines in California's Russian River Valley while laughing at the symphonies of frogs cheering us on, chowing on the best paella EVER in the middle of Spain, touring wasabi farms in Japan, and one I will never forget -  my historic car ride & deep chat with pioneering winemaker Susan Balbo one afternoon driving through a potato field at the base of the Andes. Hundreds if not thousands of meaningful memories are held so very dear. The heart of our business is about people, something that will never change, I am soooo grateful for this. 

My dear wine-pro friends in this crazy wine business.  I'm proud to have worked side-by-side with driven, honest and real wine professionals, especially those who work so damn hard to make Texas a better wine drinking state! It takes all of us to create success for the wineries we represent together - Farm to Table!  I am so very thankful for everyone who respects their position in our industry and takes care of business the right way.

Olivet Lane tasting in Whole Foods
The amazing TexaCali Inner Circle. Without your enthusiasm and continued support for all things TexaCali Wine Company, none of my success would have ever happened. The greatest memories over the years have been due to you - you showing up at events, receiving emails from you about wines you tried and loved, you spreading the word to all your wine loving friends and family about the producers of TexaCali Wine Co. You are the reason wineries continue to thrive, send their kids to college and keep their dreams alive.  Thank you for making choices to buy wine from family and independent producers from all over the world. Your dollars do keep these families in business!

One thing I've truly learned over the past 7 years...yes, dreams do come true, but "living the dream" does not come easy, it's relentless hard work each and every day.  Making my dream profession of selling and marketing wine that much sweeter as the years go by. I've grown and am so thankful for this lesson learned, no longer chasing the dream but making them come true.

So big changes ahead, I'm happily hanging up my TexaCali Wine Co. hat to bring the magic of Brack Mountain Wine Company (new website will go live within days!) to the world.  A serendipitous opportunity with terrific people that I've certainly dreamed of for a long time...we are creating something new in this historic business together, it's a tremendous portfolio of small lot, hand-crafted and beautiful California wines made by an ambitious and skillful winemaker and all around terrific person - Dan Fitzgerald.  Keep an eye on Dan and our wines of Brack Mountain Wine Company folks, we're just getting started. 

What about Wine Country Connect (Wine.Woot! and Rue La La), yes, I believe in these unique direct to consumer wine channels and think these channels play a very smart role in marketing wine, I will remain an ambassador.  As far as this blog is concerned,  I'll continue to post wine and food adventures all along the way on the TexaCali Wine Trail, which has remained organic in nature with a consistent voice of simply sharing with others who also love all things WINE. Thanks being here!

Livin' the Dream and Forever Grateful.

Cheers, TexaCali Ali 

(twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram - you can find me here as well!) 

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