Over the past year, I’ve noticed a growing, disturbing trend at some Virginia wineries. Commercialization. Before I continue, a full disclaimer, I have nothing against weddings, dinners, and special events at wineries. What I have a problem with is the prioritization and attention given to these extra-curricular activities. I visit wineries for one simple reason, the wine. After the wine I rate customer service and atmosphere as other important factors in my decision to visit and purchase. I’m seeing more and more tasting associates who have a difficult time answering simple questions such as “what is your most popular pour” or “are these grapes grown on-site”. Last time I checked, these are fairly straight-forward questions that every associate should know.
It seems like every week there is some kind of special event, dinner, or wedding where the average visitor is either ignored or pushed towards the back. I hear and read many complaints about wineries that turn down large crowds, or limit special events. But last time I checked, isn’t it about the wine? Virginia has everything in its corner, great wine, terroir, local and state support, among many others. Please don’t lose sight of the goal, producing great wine, vintage after vintage.
Quoting Walt Disney, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” Well Virginia, remember it was all started by a grape…
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