Is San Francisco the Epicenter of the Wine Business?

By definition, blogging can get personal, so here’s a doozy for you. I’m apprehensive about moving from San Francisco because it seems to be the epicenter of the wine business. A couple of things lead me to think this epicenter thought. Factoid: a recent ad for a marketing position noted that the work could be done anywhere (thank you, internet) or the San Francisco Bay Area. Factoid: Wine 2.0 held its first big event here. I could quote factoids and more factoids about other massive wine events held in Fog City.

When I moved to San Francisco four years ago, I was in the middle of an unexpected divorce. I hoped to learn more about wine, enjoy city life, and perhaps stumble across someone who’d combine the both in a romantic sort of way. Two out of three ain’t bad. I’ve enjoyed city life and learned a lot more about wine and the wine industry.

Now I hear the fog horns blowing as I sit in the middle of enough Lake-Tahoe-bound packing boxes for six months of life on the mountain and I wonder: is San Francisco the epicenter of the wine business? The place where things move and shake and new wine industry ideas, brands, concepts are born? Is the rest of the wine world simply an also-run?

Over the past years of my journey to learn more about the wine business, in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, Texas, Florida, Colorado, British Columbia, Washington-Oregon, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, among other places, I confess that I’ve met wine industry people who are just as passionate about this elixir as is anyone who lives or works near the Golden Gate. But no matter where I’ve traveled, once you say you live in California, and specifically San Francisco, the conversation seems to shift a bit toward enhanced credibility. Is this my rampant imagination at work?

I confess I’ll miss the foghorns… but they’re being replaced with the raucous morning calls of Stellar Jays, the Alpenglow, and deep gulps of clear mountain air. Once I get the wine column established for The Tahoe Weekly, I’m turning my attention to building-out a concept of managing wine brands more efficiently and inexpensively via the use of social networking tools. There’s also a lot of pent-up poetry to write, maybe a wine industry book or two to draft. Bikes to ride, hikes to take, fish to catch. The world of wines is close by via the shops and restaurants around the lake. And… it’s only 205 miles to San Francisco.

(Photo Credit: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy)

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