As many of you know, having signed our petition and written heartfelt (and much appreciated) letters as we prepared our legal case to relocate Appellation to London Terrace, we’d hoped to have different news to share. However as we all know, events do not always play out quite as they’re planned.
From the time I transitioned out of finance and into the wondrous world of wine in early 2002, I had a sense that I would like to own a store. In preparation for opening, I tasted continually for three years while working in restaurants and at other stores. You’ve heard the phrase “cut your teeth,” meaning to gain experience, but in this profession it’s truly “stain your teeth.” While my mouth looked awful at times, it was pure pleasure smelling, slurping, spitting, and thus using all five senses. Endless Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations? Sitting behind a desk for the duration of a day? Never again.
The more I tasted however, the more I became dismayed that many of the bottles had a similar style: fruit forward, alcohol-heavy, and lacking dimension. Here is where my journey took a turn toward organic, biodynamic, and natural wines. I wanted wine that tasted as if it had a soul and as if it came from the soil. I wanted to be able to champion growers and their minimal-intervention farming and hands-off cellar work. This was important to me. There was an education factor involved, especially in getting people to try wines from small, unfamiliar brands and unusual areas, but that merely meant longer conversations with customers—something that I greatly enjoyed.
Eleven years and many conversations later, it is now time to close. We have been operating on a month-to-month basis with the landlord since last year, with an informal understanding that Appellation would move to its new location in London Terrace this past May. However, after the New York State Liquor Authority disapproved our liquor license application for the new location at the beginning of March, I knew we were working against a clock that was running out.
I want to thank you for your patronage and friendship. I have been beyond moved—humbled would be more accurate—by the relationships formed over the years and support you've shown, especially as we tried to move locations. I also want to thank my suppliers and staff--both present and former--who I have learned so much from over the life of the store. Many times the lessons might have taken longer to be understood and embraced than they would have liked, but eventually (usually), I did see their reasoning as well as greater judgement. Finally, I want to thank my family and partners, especially Jee Won Park, Marc Pactor, Han Park and Will Phillips. For without you, my dreams would still be bouncing in my head.
Finally, come celebrate the store with the team as we will have tastings Wednesday (ie, tonight) through Sunday. The tastings will allow us to say a happy goodbye with you and share our favorite wines before we close our doors early next month. Thank you!