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May 21, 2007

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Hey, it can be worse: http://www.special-sections.com/sections/883/39a.html

I'm not sure if there is a similar scene on Long Island, but rowdiness can be a problem in the Finger Lakes depending on the holiday, type of crowd, etc. It's a real shame, becuase the serious wineries suffer.

Only place i've ever seen a tasting room get a little rowdy is Pindar, but that's because it's so damn big it's more like a bar.

My wife and I volunteer at a winery in Virginia, and last weekend we had a "party bus" of 20-somethings show up, clearly having (over)tasted at several wineries before us. Many were so inebriated they couldn't even get off the bus, and those few were refused tasting. One of them then hopped on to winery's Gator (motorized golf cart type deal) and went on a joy ride across the property, ripping up grass and eventually crashing it into a creek. I was completely amazed - I wouldn't have expected that sort of behaviour even from a party bus crowd. Needless to say, we're making some changes to our policies dealing with large groups - mainly, we probably won't take any buses late in the day again to prevent similar incidents. Crazy, no?

That joy ride sounds hilarious from afar, even if it seemed a bit alarming in person. The only way he could have improved upon it is if he had his boxer shorts on his head and the local judge's daughter passed out in the back seat--Animal House!

Ah, I miss college...at least we had the self-respect to stay away from places like wineries.

I don't condone the behavior of the wine club customer, but if I made changes to our club I'd make darn certain I had a plan for dealing with upset customers! And I would make sure my tasting room staff knew what the plan was so they could deal with this situation. Yes, they are just part time staff, but the winery should have empowered them to at least try and make it right. Something like "I'm sorry you are upset Mr. Thompson, but we made the change because of and we're expecting it will work out better for everyone in the long run. In the meantime, could we offer you and your friends a 33% discount today as a token of our appreciation for your long term support?"

Or something like that. A small price to pay to keep a good customer.

(let's try that again)

I don't condone the behavior of the wine club customer, but if I made changes to our club I'd make darn certain I had a plan for dealing with upset customers! And I would make sure my tasting room staff knew what the plan was so they could deal with this situation. Yes, they are just part time staff, but the winery should have empowered them to at least try and make it right. Something like "I'm sorry you are upset Mr. Thompson, but we made the change because of (good reason) and we're expecting it will work out better for everyone in the long run. In the meantime, could we offer you and your friends a 33% discount today as a token of our appreciation for your long term support?"

Or something like that. A small price to pay to keep a good customer.

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