Jackson, our one year old son, has been visiting winery tasting rooms with us since he was six weeks old.
Since his first visit to Roanoke Vineyards as a wee little lad, we've visited several tasting rooms as a family, including Martha Clara Vineyards, Waters Crest Winery, Wolffer Estate, Lieb Family Cellars and Corey Creek Vineyards.
He's always well behaved. We're always careful to make sure that he's not disturbing other tasting room patrons. And, most importantly, one of us always spits/dumps our wine.
Until yesterday, Long Island wine country was not only tolerant of young families, it was welcoming.
And then we stopped at Pindar Vineyards yesterday.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Long Island wine community, Pindar Vineyards is our version of Sutter Home Vineyards. They are great popularizers of wine who bring new wine drinkers into the fold perhaps better than anyone else. But, with their sweetish blends and high-yield vineyards, they aren't going to make lovers of fine wine take notice. It is also worth noting that they are a family owned and operated, and from what I hear, Dan Damianos, the owner is very family oriented.
So, you can imagine my shock when we were greeted with a sign on their tasting room door that said "No Strollers Please."
My first reaction was shock, then a little anger, but now it's 100% amusement. I mean, there are more than enough wineries for us to visit, almost all with far better wines.
Still, I've had a little time to think about it from their perspective now... and it's still baffling.
Maybe it's a matter of space. On a summer or fall weekend, their tasting room is often packed two and three deep at the bar, so a stroller might be clumsy and difficult to manage, but isn't that my problem, not theirs? We were there on a winter Monday...and it was dead on the North Fork. The stroller wouldn't have gotten in the way.
I guess I could have taken Jackson out of the stroller. He is walking now, after all. But I think it far safer to have him contained than wandering all over the room where he could break something, running into other people, etc. Not to mention the fact that one of us would have to chase him around. Real fun tasting room experience, right?
So, we left without incident, visited two other tasting rooms and had a great time.
I'm still baffled that any winery, but especially a winery of this ilk, would turn us away for having a stroller.
But, you know what? If Pindar doesn't want my money, that's their choice. I don't really want their wine that badly anyway.