GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICES: Most wineries open arms for limousine company clients, although a few still don’t get it.
On Sunday, I hosted another one of our fun and exciting winery trips. I couldn’t help but think about all the problems I have heard from operators about how stuck up and unfriendly wineries are in some areas. Most notably the area of Temecula, Calif., where wineries give limo companies a list of rules so long and stringent they might as well summarize it by just saying, “We prefer you never come.”
We visited three facilities. The first one, Eberle Winery in Paso Robles took our group out to the crush pad and explained everything that happens from the time the grapes arrive by truck to the finished product. We went into the caves where barrels of wine are aged. With a temperature in the cave of 70-degrees and an outside temperature of 106-degrees, it was a welcome tour. They set up a nice area for us to serve lunch to our guests and bent over backwards to make sure our visit was a good one.
Next, it was off to Croad Vineyards. It was here that Martin Croad, the owner of the winery, walked through the tasting room. He could tell that I was the host. He asked if we had time for a private tour of their bottling area and their barrel room. While they don’t normally do any tours, Croad, being a Bakersfield resident, recognized the logo on the bus as a Bakersfield-based company and made the special offer.
The next stop was at Firestone Brewery where we were also treated to a 30-minute walking tour of the facility followed by five samples of any beer we wanted. The staff was so nice to us and even gave us a discount on our purchases.
I suppose after reading all kinds of horrible stories about the crappy treatment wineries give limo companies and their passengers, I should really be grateful and highlight those always find a way to welcome new customers.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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