In part two, I mentioned I had made a list of wineries to check out from ones mentioned in Jon Bonne's book, The New California Wine.
Some of the producers made wine available to purchase only to those on their mailing list, and many of those had wines available by allocation only, at certain times of the year.
I put my name in on several of these mailing lists; for some, I had no real clue how much the wines cost but I figured when the time came, I'd find out. Just recently, I did find out and talk about sticker shock - I wasn't prepared for some of the prices I saw when notified of my allocations.
For example $160 bottles from Kongsgaard. Mind you, I am not complaining or being critical since prices are all relative and who's to say what any bottle is "worth." I wasn't expecting such a high tariff is all. Yesterday Favia released their wines. Bottles for $145, a bit less than Kongsgaard. I scratched those two off my list. I had raised my wine budget but that was far above the ceiling I set.
One winery released their fall lineup and I logged in to see my allocations. I was met with a statement that I had no allocations at that time. Oh, well. Again, not complaining because I understand the spoils go to the loyal, repeat customers and that's how it should be. Maybe next time they'll have something available.
There were also a few wineries to whom I wrote with questions and never received a reply. I won't mention who they are, but I scratched those off the list as well. They were just simple questions, nothing touchy or requiring a detailed answer so as to why they never bothered to respond is beyond me. Now that, I'm complaining about. How hard is it to reply? The vast majority of wineries sent back a response.
I think I ended up with a pretty good list. Darn good, I'd say. Next time I'll start mentioning the wineries and what made me either join their wine club or, if they don't have a club, to place an order. Most of them I've never even sampled any of their wines but they just sounded good. I can't wait to give them a try.