I just returned from a three-week sales tour to several markets including Houston, Chicago and Atlanta. For anyone who travels for a living you know how demanding it is to be on the road and to be constantly on your game. Exhausting, but, very rewarding.
The word distribution comes up a lot when I am talking with folks in the tasting room and at wine events. We are fortunate to be in the position where we would be solvent without distributing our wines and just relying on tasting room sales and wine club (direct to consumer). To be honest, sometimes I feel like my time could be better spent in the tasting room meeting and chatting with visitors as opposed to traveling the country and putting on the public relations hat. On the other hand, like a lot of small premium producers, Kokomo has a growing fan base in where we have found our niche in key markets; not only among consumers, but with chefs, sommeliers and other wine professionals.
This is where the reward comes in: I really enjoy meeting people that are passionate about wine – telling them my unique story – the guy from Kokomo, Indiana - and delving into detail about the farming, the fruit, and the winemaking. It’s inspiring to meet the chefs, somms, restaurant owners and boutique wine shop merchants who buy, pour and praise our wines!
My goal is not to sell boxes of wine or to be in every wine outlet in the country. The goal is to get Kokomo on some of the coolest wine lists possible and to see our wines on the shelves of boutique wine shops where the owner is on site daily and hand sells small production wines like ours and can tell my story to his/her customers.
It is immensely satisfying to work with some of the best grapes on the planet and turn them into something that I can share across the country. I am fortunate to have the time and support to create and foster the Kokomo Winery connection.