Even after almost 13 years in business, this train called “Carpe Vino” keeps rumbling down the express tracks under a full head of steam. We’re being propelled into 2015 after an incredibly productive year on all fronts: national recognition of the restaurant; record revenues; another Wine Club milestone; and expansion into a new business and facility.
What is truly important is how we stack up compared to our peers in the very competitive Sacramento restaurant scene. In his year-end dining wrap up, here’s what the Sacramento Bee’s critic, Blair Anthony Robertson, said in his column on December 28: “Among my favorite dining experiences this year were the Grange downtown at the Citizen Hotel and Carpe Vino in Auburn. Both places serve excellent food sourced from local farms. In Auburn, Chef Alexander grows much of his own produce.”
That’s remarkable when you understand the outstanding dining choices that abound in our region. . .from The Kitchen to Hawks to Ella’s.
Here’s a quick overview of what happened in our world this year:
–We were named to OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Top 100 Best Restaurants in America and its Top 100 Most Notable Wine Lists in America in 2014. We’re the only restaurant in the country to make both lists four years in a row.
–The SacBee’s Blair Anthony Robertson rated Carpe Vino “four stars” in his April review, calling the restaurant “one of the region’s finest”. This is the second four-star rating from the Bee; former critic Mike Dunne awarded four stars in 2006.
–Membership in the Carpe Vino Wine Club hit 1,200, comprised of wine lovers locally and across the country.
–Restaurant and wine shop revenues both hit record levels, with a 15% increase overall. (When we do our IPO, we’ll start revealing actual numbers!)
–While Carpe Vino has been renting warehouse and office space in the building backing up to the store on Court St., we’ve now taken all three floors because. . .
–We launched a private tasting salon called The Century Club in our annex building. Membership is limited to 100 and by invitation only. We’re expanding service in the building early in 2015 to include a private lounge and meeting facilities. Stay tuned for details!
It wasn’t all happy news last year because we lost two great friends of Carpe Vino. Dick Brooks, the “Mayor of Old Town”, passed away, as did Mary Jo Smith. Both were devoted customers from the very beginning when we opened the wine shop in 2002.
Finally, we owe so much to our talented cadre of professionals, now totaling 25, who prepare the fabulous dishes and serve them flawlessly in our dining room. We appreciate them for their efforts, skills and dedication. And we thank the thousands of people who crossed our threshold last year for recognizing what we do as a group and for compelling us to start all over again on January 2.
Be safe and have a Happy New Year,