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Follow Darren’s whirlwind trip through the States to introduce some keen American wine lovers to the world of Brockenchack; Single Vineyard, Eden Valley finesse.

DAY 8: DALLAS

The last day on our US tour was at good friend Ken Copeland’s house. We had discussed in Chicago that what most Texans are really interested in, is what meat to put on the BBQ! After a great meal at the restaurant with Scott and Ann, Brett and I were taken to an institution in Dallas; the Hard Eight BBQ Pit. Now this is not your normal fast food chain in any sense… a beer at the front door while you wait in line to walk past 8 massive BBQ pits and then your choice of 5 different meats, marinated, smoked and slow cooked. In one word “Heaven.” We took a quick drive around this amazing city and a chance to see how it has attracted 5 billion dollars…

DAY 7: DALLAS

Another day, another Airport. Left Chicago on a stunning spring day and headed into the Mid South state of Texas – that’s right, the home of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team, as well as oil fields, big ribs and unbelievable Tex Mex food! Scott and Ann Wiggins were our hosts and kindly put us up at their home for 2 nights. Some catching up from their trip to Brockenchack Vineyard three years ago and a quick decant of some William Frederick and then it was off to the restaurant with 24 very welcoming and really nice Texans, all friends of Scott and Ann’s. Great food, great wine and great company (and then the Tequila came out!). We welcomed another group of people to the Brockenchack Cousins family. We may have to expand the…

DAY 4, 5, 6: CHICAGO

The Windy City… crisp, clean and very friendly are the words that best describe this town on  beautiful Lake Michigan. Logistics were challenging here but big thanks go out to Brockenchack’s good friend Chip Miceli who is the office equipment king of the Mid West – he stepped up and sorted everything for me. I had a 50 minute window before the conference dinner began at Ditkas Restaurant to show case Brockenchack wines to 80 copier dealers from every state in America. 2016 Riesling, 2012 Jack And 2012 William Frederick were tasted and within 40 min we had 30 orders and a bunch of new cousins joining our family and no more stock to sell in Chicago. To say they loved the wines would be an understatement!…

DAY 3: MINNEAPOLIS

5.00am start and we were through security and on our way to the northern state of Minnesota. Never taking my finger of the pulse, I managed to talk about Brockenchack Wines to my fellow traveler sitting next to me on the plane and had yet another dozen of our finest sold, thanks John Petito. Landed, hotel, shower and bang we were on the road heading to another tasting at Jim and Darcy Loffler’s magnificent lake house. Our hosts were again beautiful people who welcomed us into their home with warm hugs and great smiles. Friends from around the lake arrived… Chardonnay, Jack Harrison and William Frederick all stood up and were taken on board as incredible wines. Deals were done and we returned back to…

DAY 2: SAN FRANCISCO

Slow start to our second day… we rolled out of Sacramento after a quick thank you to our great hosts, Gary and Bonnie. The Sunday traffic on Mother’s Day back into San Francisco was a crawl and a 2 hour drive doubled. We arrived at our modest digs for the night courtesy of good friend Greg Clark. I may or may not have had to wipe a little drool off the car in his garage! We were packing up wine boxes when we receive a quick visit from Steve Veytia from Three Kings Clementine Rose’ out of Provence, France. Our intentions of having a wine-free night went right out the door! The 2015 French Clementine is the quintessential Rose’ with Grenache being the dominating grape. The savoury and rich flavours give way…

DAY 1: SACRAMENTO

Life moves fast. In America, it moves really fast! To organise a trip to the states and visit 5 different cities and coordinate a wine tasting and dinner in each was an effort in itself. Flying into San Francisco, I collected my travel buddy Brett and a boot full of wine and we took off down highway 101 to Sacramento. Garry and Bonnie welcomed us to their beautiful house with 5 of their close  wine loving friends. Our Charlie Jaye Chardonnay was a hit but when our Jack Harrison Shiraz 2012 took to the stage, it blew socks off. Then the big boy stepped up to the plate – our William Frederick Shiraz 2012 and took everyone to another level. I never talk much about this wine as…