I figured I would introduce myself and tell you the story of how this all came about. In case you didn’t read the “About” section, my name is Alex Eagleton. In 2002, my ex-girlfriend sent me a referral link to a website called Club Vibes with a simple message: This looks like something you would like. I opened the link and was amazed at the fact that there is a website that tells you what’s going on in various cities around the world and how you can get in for free or a discount. As I browsed the website, I noticed that they were looking for people to promote the website and be a part of the street team. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and sent an email to the coordinator. Within a day, I got an email back about interviews. I immediately thought of ideas on how to get things going. Over the next couple of weeks, however, I encountered a set back as I found out the coordinator was being terminated from the company. I thought my opportunity was dead in the water, but I quickly realized that there was an opportunity to lead the region. After about 6 months of persistence, I was named the City Representative for Club Vibes. Over time, I would grow the region to over 25,000, host a series of events, help many venues with their event promotions, and many other activities.
My Early Wine Experiences
In the summer of 2005, I met up with my friend Yvette in Los Angeles and we decided to go wine tasting in Temecula, CA. Not knowing much about wine, I figured the only wine region in California was Napa Valley. Along the way to Temecula, I noticed all the various billboards promoting all the wine in the area. I was really excited for my first experience and couldn’t wait to arrive. When we arrived at the first winery, I was amazed at how beautiful the area was. We sat down and enjoyed a nice flight of wine along with a light lunch as we pondered our next destination. One of the most rememberable destinations on the trip:
When we walked into the tasting room, we were greeted immediately by the friendly staff. The Seattle native who poured for us, told us all about the winery and the surrounding area. It was great I bumped into him because he was very knowledgeable and it was nice to find someone who was close to home. I had such a great experience that I joined their wine club. When the day was done, I left Temecula wanting to know more about wine.
My next wine experience was in 2006 when my girlfriend (at the time) invited me to Thanksgiving in Wine Country in the Yakima and Walla Walla wine regions in Washington. I was shocked to learn that they had little to no tasting fees in the Yakima Valley. I was also surprised at all the great wines we had in Washington. My goal on this trip was to taste as much wine as possible and keep an open mind. I think this was the hardest thing to do because I was traveling with people who had their objections to various wines and wineries. Day two of the trip took us to Walla Walla, where I was treated to an experience that reminded me of Temecula. Beautiful and creative tasting rooms, great wines, and an overall positive experience. Over the next two years, I would visit other regions in Washington and venture off to the Willamette Valley region in Oregon.
How Stems and Legs Got Started!
Although I was learning more about wine, I felt like I was no closer to starting a wine tasting series than I was before. Well, that all changed in August 2009. I took another trip to the Yakima Valley region to see if things have changed since my first trip in 2006. On this trip, I decided to learn more about the wine makers and how the wineries operate. All along the way, I met many wine makers who were all interested in coming to Seattle to pour for our future wine tasting series. It was at this moment that I felt like I was on to something.
After the trip, I decided to start the wine tasting series. I consulted with Tom Wright, general manager for Six Seven Restaurant @ The Edgewater Hotel and he offered to host our first event. I reached out to the wine makers and wineries I visited in August and managed to secure a few of them for my first event. There was just one problem that remained, we didn’t have a name for the series. I consulted with my team members and graphic designer and we finally came up with a name, “Stems and Legs“.
In November 2009, we launched our Stems and Legs wine tasting series with five great wineries: K Vinters, Charles Smith Wines, Kiona Vineyards and Winery, Airfield Estates Winery, and Milbrandt Vineyards. Guests were treated to light food from Six Seven Restaurant and a performance from a piano player. The night was a great success and the wineries really enjoyed the experience. Although the series is young, we have managed to host 3 more public events, 2 private wine tastings with a guest winemaker, and 2 wine tours. In the future, the series will expand to winemaker dinners, wine education events, and much more! Along the way, you will be to experience the journey as I blog about all my experiences.
People I Would Like To Thank
There are many folks I would like to thank and give credit to for the success of the series. Yvette from California who took me on my first wine experience. Charrina Bayne who expanded my knowledge in wine and took me to various wine regions. Valarie Baker who helped with the process and structure for the event. Sarah Richardson and Michelle Underwood and their creative geniuses that came up with the name for the series and an extra thank you to Michelle for the graphic design. I also would like to thank the great wineries who participated in the series so far, and the many friends and fans who have believe in me and the series from day one.