The Internet is a Scary Place (AV, Pt. 3)
Initially, we planned to devote two blog posts to the Anderson Valley and then move on to our second source of grapes for the 2008 vintage, the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. But something interesting happened after last week's post, and I thought it warranted a little examination. As you may recall, I introduced the Anderson Valley to you last week and included a brief overview of some of its wineries. I mentioned Londer and Elke as two of our favorites, and I told you that Goldeneye was the biggest pinot name in the valley, but personally I found their wine to be "strangely over-oaked (almost distractingly so)".
Now I'm Internet-savvy enough to know that we aren't operating in a vacuum and that whatever we write on this site is open to anyone and everyone. But, you can imagine my surprise (and the "Oh Shit" moment) when 4 hours after that post went live, I was greeted with an e-mail from a very senior person at Goldeneye.
Coming from a corporate background, my first thought before I dared to open the message was, "OK, this was fun. And now it is over." I envisioned the numerous small tech companies who wake up one morning to find that Google or Microsoft has just moved into their market niche, throwing their mighty influence and dollars into making life miserable for the scrappy start-up and ending their existence before it really begins. However, in this case it is even worse. I'm such a moron that I inadvertently badmouthed (albeit mildly) the biggest player in the region and stirred the sleeping giant. Bottom line - they're going to destroy us before we've managed to press the juice from a single grape.
Selfishly, my second thought was, "Wow, someone important from a big established company read what we wrote and felt compelled to actually reply." That itself is quite an amazing thing and speaks to both the reach and the power of the Internet. Because what we write on these pages is open to anyone and everyone, our voice has some degree of influence, despite the fact that we don't know what the heck we're talking about most of the time. Cool!
With that mix of trepidation and excitement, I opened the e-mail. Much to my delight it was a very pleasant note congratulating us on our venture. The author explained some of their wine making techniques that result in their unique structure, taste, and nose, and he invited us to come visit and barrel sample their wines to get a better appreciation of what they're doing at Goldeneye. My response: I'm very very very sorry; thank you for not destroying us, and with regard to barrel tasting, uh, yeah I think we can manage that...
And, get this: he invited us to join the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association! Now, it may well be that anybody can join the AVWA, but I think it is pretty awesome that a couple of knuckleheads like us would be invited to join just about anything that includes legitimate winemakers. Needless to say, we're going to take him up that invitation. Out of appreciation (and relief), we also went out to our local wine store and picked up a bottle of Goldeneye's sister label, Migration, which we enjoyed tremendously (Migration is a pinot blended from multiple vineyards in Anderson Valley).
So, what does this teach us about the Internet? I guess the more we mildly badmouth people on this site the more cool stuff we'll get. Hmmm, I wonder how I can teach the kids that lesson.
Finally, in the good-natured spirit this site is intended (and because I simply can't help myself), I thought it would be fun to hold a little contest. There is something a little strange about the name Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association. Can you spot it? Whoever posts the first correct answer in the comments section of this post will win a signed bottle of our 2008 Anderson Valley pinot upon its release.
If you're reading this in your e-mail, you can click here, scroll to the bottom of the post and add your comment. If you're reading this post on the site, simply click on the word Comments immediately below in red.
UPDATE 7/18/08: As you can see from the comments section, we have our winner. Thanks to everyone who clicked through to participate. Don't worry, I'm sure that we'll have plenty of more opportunities to give away wine while poking fun at third parties!