Last week, we were honored to take part in the Kosta Browne Winery Grower's Appreciation Luncheon, where Kosta Browne wined, dined and made the 18 growers they work with feel very special. The event was in their high-tech Sebastopol winery, which we'd visited before, but once again when I entered it, my breath was taken away. Why? Because there on a table was a bottle of wine with our name on it.
I literally gasped. Tony Lombardi, KB's director of brand management and public relations who's been very supportive of our online efforts, was standing there with a big grin and said, "Feels pretty special, huh?" He should know -- Tony recently launched his own wine label, Lombardi Wines, and now gets to see his name on the bottle all the time! He graciously opened the bottle and poured a glass for me. We toasted the true beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful relationship. I had to go run and get Clay, wishing we were together when I first saw the bottle, but the look in his eye was worth the wait.
By the way, the wine was really good. I mean, of course we would think it was but, truly, it was really good!
There is absolutely no way to accurately express our excitement at seeing a bottle of wine made by Kosta Browne with our name on it. We were excited several months ago to see a barrel with our name on it, but an actual bottle of wine made from just our grapes to drink and shared by other Kosta Browne growers was a pleasure that really can't be described. Yes, there were tears. Mine, of course, but Clay was crying with pleasure on the inside. Growers with wine from 2012 received a case made from their vineyards along with a magnum. Since our harvest was 2013, we have to wait for next year for that gift.
Kosta Browne founder and executive winemaker Michael Browne gave wonderfully heartfelt remarks about the importance of the growers to KB, which was echoed by the other members of the KB family. They honestly felt that without us growers, they wouldn't exist. I guess as a whole, that's true, but it felt like he meant without US, the individual people in the that room. That's a particularly wonderful talent.
At the end, we were given a beautiful Growers Book, with a page dedicated to each grower. Seeing a picture of our vineyard and our family among these other hardworking growers was a truly special moment. And the note from the owners got us excited for another great harvest:
"It is through the hard work and dedication of our family of growers that Kosta Browne has been able to achieve this level of success. Thank you to all the growers of past and present for your support! Bring on the grapes!"