Monday, October 08, 2007

The Tasting Room Experience

Just because a winery produces good wine does not mean you will have a good time in their tasting room. Schug Carneros Estate Winery has been producing excellent Pinot Noir and other wines since 1980. However, I seldom take guests into the tasting room because of the attitude of one of their regular staffers. He never engages visitors and can be quite off putting.

Yesterday, I was showing Pinot lovers around Carneros and decided to take a chance and visit Schug. What a difference! The three staff were friendly and the one serving my guests was very funny and attentive. This quality customer service coupled with the good wine made for an enjoyable experience for my guests.

I learned that the staff member lacking customer service skills does not work on Sundays and Mondays, so I'll put Schug back on my list of wineries to visit but just on the two days he's not there.

This one person I am criticizing is not the only tasting room staff member who does not have adequate customer service skills. I was recently at Chateau Montelena where a friendly staffer took good care of my guests. However, her colleague left a lot to be desired. I was the only visitor in the tasting room when others walked in the front door. The sole staff member in the room was doing some paperwork and never looked up to great the people after they walked in. If I was in their group, I would have walked out the door after standing around for a few minutes with no one even saying, "Hello," to them.

Wineries need to remember that many visitors have never been to a tasting room. They may be a little intimidated or not know how tastings are conducted. A warm greeting will go a long way to making their visit a pleasant one.

If you would like to take a private wine country tour where you will meet friendly tasting room staff, please call me at (866) 326-4237 or e-mail me by clicking here.

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