This was a family trip with my adult children and their signif others to explore wine (their first). My husband and I did our post-graduate studies in Davis 30 yrs ago, have explored Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino innumerable times and are quite familiar with what is a good tour of a winery and what a pourer should be able to do. This was to be my family's introduction to a winery and how wine is made. On opening the door, the greeting was fine and we were given the opportunity to start tasting before the tour started. The tour was led by someone who was not able to give answers beyond the most superficial. The pourers did not know the wines--eg, length of time in oak barrel, what type of barrel--and constantly had to refer to "cliff notes" which someone had provided for them. The descriptors of the nose and taste of the wine were mechanically delivered. The wine tasting room is dark with lots of barrels against the walls--we were told they were all empty and were merely decorative.
I understand that like servers in a restaurant, pourers/tour guides need to start somewhere, but why do I have to spend my money to train someone? In a restaurant before opening, there are sessions to get the staff coordinated and presentable at no cost to the diner. I feel we were put through one of those experiences except we paid a total of $60 (3 flights of the reserve wine tastes)--it should have been the other way around.
If you own or manage Gainey Vineyard, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.