Temecula Wineries Banning Some Limousine Companies

Posted on August 8, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

TEMECULA, Calif. — Tipsy women flashing their breasts, drunken men urinating in the chardonnay vines, and limousines full of heavy partiers are causing problems in Wine Country Temecula, it was reported Sunday.

And as a result, the high-class winemakers are sometimes telling limousines and buses to turn around and go away from the string of wineries scattered amongst southern California's answer to Napa Valley.

In fact, anti-drunk plans from Napa Valley vineyards have been adopted by Temecula-area vineyards, including employing security guards to turn away rowdy patrons arriving from all over the Southland to tipple more than their share, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

And customers seem to approve. "I want to enjoy the winery for its peacefulness," Cece Flores, a San Fernando Valley resident who was picnicking at a winery with her husband said. "I don't want to be around a lot of drunk guys partying."

Most limousine and tour bus companies immediately signed on to a winery campaign to reduce heavy drinking by patrons on board vehicles before they even arrive from San Diego or the Los Angeles area, the Press-Enterprise reported.

Wine sales are serious business in the area, as is wine tourism. An estimated 80 companies shuttle an estimated 2,000 people from throughout Southern California to the wineries on a typical Saturday.

Some family-run wineries have already banned charter vehicles from their property. Ponte Family Estate Winery banned a few limo companies 18 months ago, and on a typical weekend day turns away 15 limousines and buses, Lauren Todd, the winery's tasting-room manager, told the Press-Enterprise.

The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association has worked with tour companies on a Responsible Partner Program, association president Ray Falkner said.

Bus and limo companies that ban rowdiness and hard liquor in their vehicles get the welcome mat, and hard partiers get the door.

Robert Watson, vice president of San Diego-based Avant-Garde Limousine, told the newspaper the limits were a good thing. "People are going on a wine tour, not an open-bar tour," he said.

Source: CBS2.com

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