Three Feathers participated in the 26th annual McMinnville Wine & Food SIP Classic at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum from 8 – 10 March and the Oregon & Washington Wine Tasting event on March 14 in London.
With concentrated energy, the Stimac family and our marketing specialist Sandra Hogan and her companion, Dennis, set up a wine tasting booth under the awesome canopy of fighter planes, rockets and space paraphernalia that embellish the Evergreen Aviation & Space museum when normally operational.
Complete with pale grey aprons embroidered with “Three Feathers” and our names in red, and two banners of photographs with our logo by Elise, we hunkered down for 20 hours of greetings and explanations about our product. Our three licensed alcohol servers, Sandra, Victor and Cynthia, did not stop serving wine to passersby; the attendance was at its usual high and by the end of the weekend we felt well-loved despite our newbie status.
The fine art of wine tasting, spittoon and facial expressions included, is a fascinating process. Some people came with their own spittoon, others took copious notes, still others tasted 1 ounce and came back for a 5 ounce glass… sipping once, sipping twice as Maurice Sendak so aptly put it.
Well-situated, with Asiatico Sushi to our right and Pike Road Wines to our left, we could not have asked for nicer neighbors. As the hours passed, little plates of sushi and tastes of wine complemented the exchange. We especially enjoyed the music, notably The Jake Blair Band on Saturday evening, and found that it was conducive to wine tasting and selling.
A couple of days later, just as we were coming to our senses, Three Feathers partner Elise Prudhomme headed back to Paris in preparation for the professional wine tasting trade show organized by the Oregon Wine Board in conjunction with Hilltop Wines in London.
Elise arrived in Paris on Wednesday, broke down her suitcases and repacked for her departure on the Eurostar on Thursday with husband François. Unbeknownst to her, the French Customs strike was in full swing. Despite email warnings to cancel their train tickets and reschedule, Elise and François arrived at the Gare du Nord at 6.30am to tackle a three hour wait, missing their original train and finally grabbing a 10am scheduled to arrive 10 minutes before the trade show opening at noon.
Despite this stressful beginning, the venue at Oxo Tower on the banks of the Thames in London was lovely and well-equipped with copious quantities of clean glasses, standing spittoons between the tables and plenty of space for presenting wine.
Out of 395 registered to attend, visitors included sommeliers, distributors, wine buyers, wine critics and winemakers from different parts of the world. Tasters appreciated our 2018 Blanc de Noirs (still white wine made from Pinot Noir grapes), scheduled for bottling in April and our 2017 reds, finding that they were fairly unique compared to other Oregon wines presented.
During the Magnum Opus after party, when magnums of Oregon and Washington wines were especially opened for the occasion, Elise and François vanished with their carry-on luggage to St. Pancras International for their return on the Eurostar. Happily, it only took them 10 minutes to pass security and customs on the London end; a painless end to a very long but enjoyable day.
The London trade show was a perfect compliment to the public wine tasting event in McMinnville, encouraging us to hone our presentation for a professional crowd. Challenging questions were asked and comments given that will push us forward on the path to perfection.