I was surfing my favorite wine blogs recently and ran into several that complained about negative comments about the Story Inn's Wine Fair. The jist of these complaints were that the author of these few sentences railed about the fact that the Story Inn was making a profit on this event. I thought about that issue a bit and I do not have any problem with someone putting on such an event nor making money on it. So I went to read the comment...
Anonymous said: "Well, I do not think having about half the wineries in Indiana there constitutes having nearly all of them there. Its a good turn-out, but the comment is very misleading.This is a money-making venture for Story. If you like this sort of thing go, otherwise go to Vintage Indiana or your local winery."
Hummm, seems the complaint centered on a comment made on the Story Inn's website were it reads "Nearly every Indiana winery" ...would be in attendance. On the same website they list about 15 wineries that have participated in the past, so it may be the writer knows there are presently 40 Indiana wineries and that 15 does not equal "nearly every...".
I watched a video on The Hoosier Wine Cellar where the owner of Story stated "About 30 wineries..." would be at this year's event. Now, 30 out of 40 is a very good turnout and whether we want to argue the semantics, -does this constitute "nearly every" winery- is up to you, dear reader.
I think you have to read all of the comment, the writer says to go if you like this sort of thing, otherwise go to Vintage Indiana or your local winery.
Now, the Oak Hill Winery is not going to be at Story now or in the future, I do not think a wine festival is evil, I have attended Vintage Indiana on numerous occasions and I will again. I will say these types of events are no substitiute for visitng the winery, seeing what they do and how they do it, enjoying the ambience of the location, etc. Also, you can't really give the wines a fair shake tasting in this kind of an atmosphere or by tasting that many wines in one day. If I were in charge, I would rotate the wineries that want to attend and limit how many can be there in a given year.
I suspect one question is why is there such a good turn-out of wineries for this event, compared to something like Vintage? There are a number of reasons, one is there is no charge to the wineries for coming. The wineries are the reason to go to the wine fair, so they quite wisely do not charge for a winery's space (yet?). The other is the Story people do a very good job of recruiting for the fair, we received at least two mailings and two telephone calls, encouraging us to come. None of this makes it a bad event, clearly the owner of Story knows what he is doing and is to be commended for this fine marketing effort for his business and the surrounding area.
My whole point is my suprise at the comments made against this anonymous writer for expressing his personal opinion of the event and the claims made in its marketing. Oh well, we all have our opinions, do we not? Hope it doesn't rain the day of the event...