Time flies when you’re having fun, and wow did 2018 fly by fast!
Even though it might feel like a year went by in a day, we actually packed more events - seminars by winemakers, trade tastings, classes on demand, fundraisers, even a panel of DC Latino entrepreneurs - into 2018 than we ever have before. Expect even more in 2019!
As we say “goodbye” to 2018 and “hello” to 2019, we figured this would be a good time to look back and celebrate some of our favorite memories. If you have any of your own, we’d love hear about them!
Winemakers Visiting the Store
While we take pride in how well we know our wines and the regions they come from, it’s always best to learn from the people that make them. We had some truly inspirational producers walk through our doors this year. Sebastian de Martino from De Martino showcased his family’s wines in his master class, as did Sebastian Zuccardi.
We had the distinct pleasure of Francisco Roig of 1750 in Bolivia leading perhaps the most in depth and insightful class we’ve had to date. Francesco Cinzano from Erasmo, whom we’ve dubbed “the most interesting man in the world,” shared his creations from both Italy and Chile.
When we hosted our first Wine Club release party in May of 2016, sixteen members showed up. Many of those original members still support us to this day. This past release party we had to extend the hours to 1 to 7pm so that we could accommodate everyone! We also started inviting other vendors to bring their wares to share during the parties as well, which has been a huge hit.
Super Natural Wine Festival
We tried out a new concept this year: a series of tastings with a central theme. In this case, it was natural wine. The first event, we focused on Lambrusco. The second, Pipeño, the third, orange wine and the fourth, sparkling wine. Thanks to you, each event went off perfectly, and we will absolutely be doing something similar in 2019.
Descorchados Release Party
This year we were honored to host the Descorchados release party for the first time in Washington, DC, here at the shop. This year it was bigger and more well-attended than ever.
The event took place in two legs. The first, from 11am until 3pm, we invited industry members. La Jambe, our lovely restaurant friends next door, also opened early and hosted winemakers. The second, we opened to the public and poured from 5 until 8pm. More than twelve winemakers, all from Chile, made the trek up here to help us out!
For those of you unfamiliar with Descorchados, it covers wine from Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. We know of no guide more detailed and accurate for these 4 countries. The 2018 edition reviewed over 4,500 wines!
Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave us a shout out in their piece on the quality of DC’s wine scene. VinePair actually wrote about us twice. In February they reached out to us for their piece on why wine professionals love Chilean wine. Earlier this month, they named us in their Top 10 list for wine shops in the entire country, and number one in the Mid-Atlantic! They specifically mentioned our customer service, which we take a great deal of pride in.
While we are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish since opening our doors in March of 2016, the common theme between all the things mentioned above is you, our customers, and the support you give to us when we do something right, and the feedback when we miss the mark. The relationships that we’ve built with you individually is the real reason that we do what we do. Thank you so much for making 2018 such a success at Grand Cata, and we look forward to making 2019 even better with your help!