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Coming Up for Air

2009 October 16

Looking back at my last post, it has now been exactly one month since I wrote anything on my blog. Yeah, I can just hear you saying, “Eric, you’re such a slacker.” While there’s really no excuse for not writing more, especially on my own blog, in my defense, I have to say that trying to cram as many things into this past month, as I’ve done, leaves very little time or desire to write. Yet, that’s what I’m doing now.

20091581Let’s recap some of the key events in the past several months leading up to me being here in wine country:

May 18, I enter my video for A Really Goode Job at the Murphy Goode Winery in Healdsburg, CA. Having no idea where Healdsburg is located, I must look it up on Google maps. Oh, hey look at that. They’re close to Napa.

June 4, After a rather inauspicious start with Paul Mabray, I’m selected as one of the Vintank 4+, much to my surprise.

June 18, Official announcement that I won the Wine Enthusiast Decanter Design contest. That $1,000 will come in handy when I’m unemployed.

June 26, Selected by Murphy Goode as one of the Top 50 finalists.

July 7, Selected by Murphy Goode as one of the Top 10 finalists. Woowhoo!

July 18, Fly to Healdsburg and meet all the Top 10 finalists. Spend a fun and frantic weekend in wine country.

July 21, Hardy Wallace gets selected by Murphy Goode to be their Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent. I fly home, happy for Hardy’s new position and turn right around and drive back down to Santa Rosa.

July 24, WBC09 in Santa Rosa celebrating my birthday with 270 of my closest friends.

July 26, Pat Roney, managing partner of Vintage Wine Estates (VWE) interviews me in Windsor.

August 17 – 18, I fly down for a second round of interviews with members of the marketing team. Searching the Santa Rosa area, I locate a possible apartment if I get the job.

August 25, Having not heard back from VWE, I assume they offered someone else the job. I figure that my life is back to normal (aside from being unemployed) and proceed to rip out cabinets in our utility room for remodeling.

August 28, I receive a phone call from Pat Roney late in the day to let me know that an offer is forthcoming. At this point, my mind is spinning and I barely have time to think about the job. Sheri and I discuss moving or staying in our house in Seattle and we decide I’ll move down for 6 months to see if things work out before we make the commitment to move to California.

August 30, I receive an email with the offer attached.

September 1, After some negotiation, I accept their offer as the new Social Marketing Manager with a starting date of September 28. I decide not to publicize it since this leaves me less than three weeks to finish the remodel of our utility room and I don’t have time to write or tweet about it.

September 4, Sheri calls about the apartment in Santa Rosa and finds out they will have a vacancy around the time I’m moving down there. I submit my application along with a deposit to hold the place.

September 13, After less than two weeks of intense work, I finally put the last finishing touches on the utility room remodel at about 10 p.m. I go upstairs and begin packing for my trip. Admittedly, the fasted I’ve ever completed a project on the house.

September 14, Fly to Hawaii to spend the week there in Waikiki resting and recovering, yet stressing about all the things that will need to be done before I’m ready to move. Enjoyed the food and the weather and got sunburned nonetheless.

September 20, Returned to Seattle from Honolulu and start packing for my move.

September 24, Everything is packed into the SUV and ready to go.

September 25, California here I come, right back where I started from.

September 26, Moved into my apartment in Santa Rosa, then attended a Sunset Wine Event at Kunde Estate Winery and actually began working, even though my official start date wasn’t until the 28th. Endured the 106 degree heat and already seeing that my work doesn’t end on Friday any more.

September 27, Drive all around Santa Rosa and down to Oakland shopping for furniture and other things I couldn’t fit into the car when I moved down.

20091579September 28 – October 2, Worked my butt off producing and editing 5 videos in a week. No time to even discuss the social marketing plan. Continued to shop for furnishings for the apartment, food and other necessities. Visited some vineyards as well as the VWE production facility in Carneros.

September 29, Drive down to San Francisco to meet friends for dinner.

October 3, Attended the Yountville Chili Cook Off. Tasted wines at the Girard Winery Tasting Room and spent time talking with Zach Long, the winemaker for Girard.

October 5 – 9, Start getting my head around all the brands that I will need to manage and wondering how I will juggle all of them at once. Start tweeting for several of the brands and introduced myself on a couple of the blogs. Posted my “moving-down” video.

October 10, Tacoctoberfest ’09 at Hardy’s place. Tacos, chili, wine, beer, bacon and cigars, oh my! Thanks Hardy.

October 13, Attended the Healdsburg Food & Wine Club.

How’s it going?

I think that brings everything up-to-date. To actually go back and see the dates makes me realize just how quickly things happened. So the question I’ve been asked most has been, “How is your job going?” And to be honest, I’ve been going 100 mph with my head on fire for the last couple of weeks that I really  haven’t taken note of my feelings about the job one way or the other. I can’t be sure if I’m even having fun, but I guess if I weren’t, I wouldn’t be staying many nights until 6 or 7 p.m. My first thought is of being overwhelmed with all that needed to be done. It makes me wonder how anything got done before. My second thought is that I miss my wife and friends in Seattle. I also miss the wineries in Washington and the great Syrahs and Rieslings they produce. And finally, I miss all my wine geek friends that treat wine with a reverence I admire and not just as some plonk with which to get drunk.

Again, if you’re in the area, please stop by and visit. Despite what appears like fun in so many photos and videos, it’s still lonely here without my wife (and best friend).

Copyright © 2009, Eric Hwang and Bricks of Wine. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eric Hwang and Bricks of Wine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. October 16, 2009

    And here to think I spoke with you TEN days prior to your offer and you sounded pretty dejected. Huge congrats Eric – well deserved man, and your hard work is paying off. I’m glad your dream has started coming together, and fast from the sounds of it. Cheers!

  2. October 16, 2009

    sound like you need a highly-paid assistant 🙂

  3. Karen Meyers permalink
    October 21, 2009

    Eric, it sounds like things couldn’t be better for you! I’m enjoying your blog. It makes it feel like we’re still working together.

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