Monday, August 22, 2011

To taste or not to taste

I have been surprised at the number of wineries both in and out of state who have chosen to begin charging for wine tasting and/or severely limit the number of tastes you may try when visiting. If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you would be well aware I am not in favor of paid or limited tastings. I do respect the right of other winemakers to run their business as they see fit.

So why do I revisit this issue? Back in the latter part of June we had a nice little group of ten individuals stop in on a Saturday for a tasting. All went well and they wrapped up their visit sharing a few bottles of wine. As I spoke to them, I asked what brought them to our winery? One of the ladies spoke up quite loudly, “We saw on your website you did not charge for tasting. A lot of wineries want $5 or more per person!” I had to smile as the ten people left with over two cases of wine.

This past Sunday we had a car club stop by as part of a scheduled tour of the area. I received an email today thanking us for the hospitality and commenting on the fact that we were willing to let them try all our wines, which led them to buying wines they would not have typically purchased based purely on sweetness level.

We had planned to hold another winery bus tour this summer, but ran into a problem with the area we wanted to go. Four of the nine wineries we wanted to tour informed us they wanted $5 to $8 a person for group tasting; Five of the wineries informed us we could try six or eight wines only. When these matters were discussed within the bus tour committee, it was determined to cancel the trip and do more research for next spring’s trip so as to avoid this problem.

I would like to hear from you your opinions, feelings, and the effect, if any, that the paid or limited tasting policies have had on your wine buying. It is NOT my intent to start a movement or build a case to convince other wineries to change their policies. We just want to know what you think. Send your thoughts to with the subject line “paid tasting” and I will later print some excerpts from your comments.

And always remember, we offer free winetasting, because at the Oak Hill Winery, the proof is in the tasting!

No comments:

Post a Comment