Temecula Valley Bans Rowdy Wine Tasters… and Limousines

Posted on December 5, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

TEMECULA, Calif. — The Temecula Valley has become the nation's first wine region to turn away van and limousine operators who do not help maintain decorum in the winemaking region.

Members of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association have overwhelmingly voted to formally adopt the Responsible Partner Program and only permit transportation companies that promote Temecula wine and good behavior while visiting the region.

"Those who do not abide by certain rules and regulations we have established will not be allowed to visit our wineries," explained Ray Falkner, president of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association, which represents more than 60 wineries and growers. "As far as I know, we are the only wine region to take steps to ensure the wine-tasting experience is more enjoyable for all our visitors."

Falkner estimated that about a dozen transportation companies that ferry visitors to Temecula's Wine Country have already agreed to follow a code of conduct that discourages disruptive visitors who abuse alcohol and the limo and van drivers who encourage that kind of behavior.

He predicted the preferred partner list would grow to more than 50 transportation companies.

Each winery will be asked to enforce the new guidelines that will help dispel the notion that Wine Country is "bar country."

"As winery owners we have a responsibility to provide our guests a safe environment in which to enjoy great wine, food and entertainment," Falkner said. "Although we are winemakers, we are all opposed to the over consumption of alcohol and those who might encourage it."

The Temecula Valley is the premier winemaking region in Southern California. Over the last decade, the number of wineries in Temecula's Wine Country has doubled and more new wineries are in the planning stages. More importantly, the area's reputation for making fine wine is on the rise as local wines continue to win major awards at wine competitions that include well-known domestic and international brands.

Transportation companies that serve Temecula's Wine Country are encouraged to review and sign their Responsible Partner Program Agreement.

SOURCE: Prime Newswire

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