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July 18, 2011

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Lenn-

Maybe it is the only way people will come out to the vineyards and maybe they are even being responsible for not driving, But I agree that these tours seem to cater to people who are there to get drunk, and it doesn't seem like good branding. I like the effort and significant investment that Macari made by setting up a second tasting room without limos and buses on Rt. 25. I almost think they had to because their vineyard on Rt. 48, even though spacious, is so jam packed on weekends that it is impossible to deal with. My one issue with Macari is they never let wine club guys like me pick up our wine shipments at the mellower Rt. 25 location that I love. I had to always deal with the limo crowds to get my club shipment, so finally, even though I like their wines quite a bit, I did not renew my club membership. Ocasionally, I stop in Rt.25 to taste the wines I really have interest in.

Lenn:

When my brother and I are out on the North Fork visiting wineries, picking up shipments, etc. we will almost always steer clear of those that have not only a jammed lot, but with a bus or two to boot! Seems like many are embracing a party central mantra (i.e. Pindar) which is fine, but count me out.

Ahh.... I read this and recalled my awful tasting room experience at Osprey back in 2008. Here were my notes from that visit:

The winery experience was horrible and it carried over to my recollection of the wines themselves. This is the perfect example to demonstrate how a good winery experience can go a long way in projecting a positive light on the wines themselves (and vice versa). I generally like Ospery’s wines, but I was so turned off by the winery experience I barely recollect much good about anything. It started with a parking lot full of limo’s and stretch hummers, followed by a one-man-guitar-band singing off-pitched, outdated rock-n-roll renditions outside, and was then followed by a completely indifferent pourer inside. At one point while we were standing at the counter waiting for service, one employee actually came up to us and said we’d have to “move to the other side of the bar so you are in sight of one of the servers if you want anything because they won’t turn around to serve you.” Are you kidding me? That should have been our sign to just up and leave. (Well… that and the 45+ year old woman (pretending to be 18) running around with a tiara on her head and a pin on her chest saying “Kiss me, it’s my birthday”). This is the key reason I prefer places that don’t welcome buses and limos. Not only do buses and limos often bring in drinkers (rather than wine patrons), the wineries themselves seem to staff accordingly - - with bartenders rather than wine servers.

Steve-

We are sorry you are no longer a Macari Wine-Club member. We have opened Cutchogue as a more relaxed and quiet tasting room and we're glad you enjoy it. Since then we have also expanded our Mattituck tasting room and increased its capacity for tasters. We now utilize 3 different sections of the tasting room and have a front of house hostess that can direct people accordingly. We invite you back anytime(busy or slow) to see how we handle the crowds that, like you, want to come and have a great tasting experience! We have no problem refusing service to the over-served patrons and encourage responsible drinking always.

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