Vineagogo closed in Feb. 2012. Vineagogo is San Diego’s first and only truck serving wine. Susan Carre, CEO of Vineagogo, was kind enough to answer some questions in this exclusive interview with SDFT.
1. What exactly is Vineagogo?
Vineagogo is a wine company offering personalized wine tastings, wine delivery in MERLOT, hosted beverage receptions, an online wine store, wine of the month club, and many other specialized wine services. Our Wine Director, Joshua Orr, is a Master Sommelier candidate after recently passing the Advanced Sommelier exam head of the class. Josh can work with you to create or expand your wine cellar. In early 2012, we will be opening both Vineagogo Lounge, an upscale wine lounge and eatery, and also Vineagogo Lockers tasting room for wine retail, concierge service, and temperature controlled wine storage.
2. Your truck is pretty sweet looking. Tell us about it.
Her name is Merlot, and she is a 1964 DIVCO milk truck who used to deliver to San Diego residents back in the 60’s and 70’s. She went through a complete rebirth in 2010. Merlot has stainless steel shelving and walnut wood floors. She is now Vineagogo’s showpiece and delivery truck. She is admired by both the younger and more mature crowds with her vintage, contemporary flair.
3. Why a WINE truck?
The original concept for the business was to bring wine to the people in Napa Valley. Besides, as we like to say…wine is the new milk! To our knowledge, MERLOT is the only wine truck…making her a true one-of-a-kind!
4. What wines do you serve?
Josh’s “Wines of the World” list explores wines from less exposed, yet noteworthy producers. Our lounge and lockers will carry boutique wines that are not mass produced. Hard to pin down a personal favorite with so many from which to choose!
5. I know everyone wonders about this – how are you able to park in different places? Don’t you need permits to sell alcohol?
Well, that is a good question! We are not a conventional food truck in that we are able to drive up, park, and serve. We are, however, able to make wine deliveries, and have Merlot make appearances at events. The venue needs to be correctly permitted if we are pouring.
6. What’s your background? What did you do before you took over the helm for Vineagogo?
Prior to moving to San Diego in 2008, I lived in Las Vegas for nearly 15 years, graduated from UNLV with a degree focused on hospitality, and have opened 6 major properties in various food & beverage management positions including the Venetian’s adjacent property, Palazzo Hotel, Resort, Casino, London Club at the Aladdin, Star Trek: The Experience, and Planet Hollywood to name a few. Among the openings, add to the list Hilton San Diego Bayfront as their General Manager of Restaurants. The two founders of Vineagogo, Dan Guess and Neil Stonebridge, are successful entrepreneurs in the publishing, communication, and music industry.
7. What kinds of events do you serve at?
MERLOT has attended such events as Rady’s Children’s Hospital Fundraiser with Dana Carvey, Engaged! 11 at Cal-A-Vie Resort, Wedding Wise, Exquisite Weddings, Solana Beach Ball, Best of North County Party, Connect With Connect, and MERLOT made an appearance at the Best of San Diego party August 19, 2011. She is also well received by the wedding industry, as well as for in-home and corporate tastings.
8. What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten from a food truck? Which truck was it and where?
The Vineagogo team LOVES the Chipotle Gouda Burger with Sweet Potato Fries served by Bitchin’ Burgers here in Carlsbad! Their burgers are made with organic grass fed beef and local, organic produce…YUM!