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February 16, 2010


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Most of the time, large groups are drinking in the limo or bus. I never really understand why as they really get plenty to drink at the wineries (which are minutes apart). They think nothing of trying to bring bottles of beer or wine into the winery as if we are a spot for them to hang out and bring their own drinks. It's like they regress to their 18 year old selves.

We have had several incidents and they have all involved large groups where we had to refuse to serve people who were intoxicated. The groups that are out of control are in the minority, but it ruins the experience for others.

Our (Sheldrake Point) policy is that any bus has to have a reservation, and it costs every person the bus $10 to step off the bus, at all.

I didn't have anything to do with dreaming up the policy or implementing it, but I do kinda think that that's the way to do it. Busses are not, generally speaking, worth much. They don't buy much wine, and have been associated with all sorts of evil.

To often groups rent a limo and think it's a time to party and get wild. They bring other forms of alcohol to drink in the car, go wine tasting and make no purchases. In addition they litter the winery property with their trash and empty bottles. I think it's time that the limo companies become accountable for their clients. They need to set policy that if their clients become out of hand, they end the trip. They also need to understand that when they bring intoxicated customers to the wineries,it is disruptive and by law the wineries aren't going to serve them.

It's asking a lot to expect a limo driver, whose primary job is not crashing, to also play policeman to a big group of drunks. An hour from home, faced with maybe a dozen people off their senses, and imminently fireable by companies basically unaccountable and highly portable, the driver is at a huge disadvantage.

Maybe an additional employee, a burly one, could be required as a ride-along guard? Expensive and touchy.

I agree with Wine Goddess completely! I do think that someone should be held accountable for this but I do not think that it should be the limo companies. These people are paying to have someone drive them so they can drink. It is not the limo driver's responsibility to babysit these people.

RE: Wine goddess and e cigs: I sort of agree, in that I can see how it might be hard for a driver to control or have to control a group of drunks. BUT, dumping them (the drunks) on a tasting room staff isn't fair either.

There's an official, if maybe unenforced, policy on the Cayuga (and I think Seneca) Trails that if a bus company brings by a bunch of drunks, they get a red flag, which all the trail members are made aware of. 3 flags, and the bus campoany is baaned from stopping at any of the wineries any more. So yeah, the driver can drive drunks to all the wineries, but only at the cost of being banned from doing business. Companies have to make their patrons aware before the trip starts that if the partrons get drunk, the trip is over.

You guy from the winery have got to be kidding me for trying to pass the buck on this one! You make a living selling lots of wine to people on booze cruises; you have got to accept some of the responsibility.
You have illogical policies, at Three Brother Winery you can’t buy a glass of wine but you can buy the whole bottle and drink it at one of their many tables. Same with the beer they sell, you have to buy it by the jug. I have seen many people there guzzling beer straight out of the jugs like hillbillies, and you expect them to not get drunk? PLEESE!

Joe M -

The problem with your comment is that it implies the suspects in this case consumed alcohol at the winery. According to everyone involved, that is not true. In fact, the staff at Three Brothers recognized their drunkenness and asked them to leave immediately.

How does that invalidate my comment? The fact of the matter is that Three Brothers Winery allows the purchase and consumption of alcohol on their premises and is contributing to the problem of public drunkenness, maybe not in this case but I am sure many have left their property legally intoxicated after consuming alcohol traveling onto the next winery.

If you accept the responsibility not to serve intoxicated people as they arrive at your winery than don’t you also have the responsibility to prevent the intoxication of people you serve leaving your winery?
Look, I really think that the wine industry in the Finger Lakes is a shining star for New York, But if you don’t start getting together the regulate winery policies the government is going to do it for you driven by the ladies of MADD.

Joe -

Not saying it invalidates your previous comment; I'm making sure site visitors understand that, despite the context you used to describe this winery, they are NOT accused of serving people who then got violent. That's all.

Regarding your latest comment, I'm not here to defend or promote this winery. I appreciate your concern and in particular your final comment is important. I've heard many, many people - from limo drivers to winery owners - say that the last thing anyone needs is for the state to step in and bar wine tasting.

I'll ask the folks at Three Brothers to read your comment and respond here if they wish.

I think that it's also important to remember that even intoxicated people are responsible for their own actions.

Drunk or not, what these two guys are accused of is inexcusable.

This isn't just about alcohol, it's about character and respect.

Evan, Dave, Duncan and Lenn - well said! :-)

This is one of a kind post. I highly recommend this to all readers who were not yet find your post. Glad I've found this. Thanks!

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