We visit Virginia wineries on the weekends and enjoy finding new places we haven't been. We volunteer at a local winery so we enjoy chatting with other winery workers during our travels.
As we pulled up to the winery, the views are gorgeous. We were very excited about trying their wines and buying a bottle to drink while enjoying the view. Sadly we never made it that far.
When we walked in the door, we were asked to join a group that was getting ready to start tasting. Perfect timing, right? Nope. There were 4 couples in the group, so a young pourer said she'd take us so the group wasn't too big. OK, no problem.
Well, the larger group had tasted 2 wines and were on their 3rd before we even got to taste the first wine. The gal that was "helping" us also helped anyone who had a question, who needed a bottle of wine, who wanted some food, who wanted to taste, etc.
We only tasted 6 wines and it took almost 40 minutes! Two times another winery employee came over to us and asked what wine we were on, otherwise it would have taken even longer. Add in the fact that their wines were good but nothing more and we weren't happy. We were luckier than the couple who joined in after us - they waited 15 minutes for their 2nd wine. I wonder how long it took for them to taste their 6 wines.
We gave up on the gal coming back to ask us if we wanted to buy any wine, so we walked over to the register to ask about buying a Petit Verdot that wasn't open for tasting. We asked if they gave an industry discount (since we pour for a winery we normally get a discount at other wineries), and she didn't believe that we worked for a winery. She asked us which one, she asked us if we had business cards (the first time we've ever been asked that), and said she didn't think it was a winery at all. When we assured her that it was definitely a winery, she said she'd give us one free tasting. Most give a free tasting for each employee, so we weren't happy about that. I asked if we got a % off of the wines and she said no. So we paid for our one tasting that should have been comped and were getting ready to walk out without buying anything. At this point she offered 10% off of the wine (much less than the normal discount), and my husband bought the wine. I didn't want it based on how we were treated, both at the tasting and when we said we were industry. I would never treat a customer that way, and was shocked when we had such a bad experience there. If they had great wines I might put up with more, but they just weren't that great. They were good but I can't say I wanted a bottle of any of them since there are great wines at wineres nearby.
Needless to say I was very unhappy with this winery. They may have gorgeous views, but they don't know how to treat their customers. The only reason I gave it 2 stars is that the average wine taster wouldn't have had the industry discount issue so that's transparent to most people. If I were reviewing this winery based on my own issues I would have given them one star.
We'll never go back, and I'll share our experience with all of my wine industry friends.
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