Several vintners say there were no problems at last weekend’s Wine Road Barrel Tasting but there were some interesting sightings.
Bruce Cousins, co-vintner of Armida Winery in Headsburg noticed some suspicious-looking glassware on Saturday.
“When people came out of the limo buses with wine glasses, the substance inside had a peculiar foamy top,” he said with a laugh.
Wine Road Barrel Tasting, which began last weekend, offers another round of samples next weekend. For more information about this popular spring tasting, visit: www.wineroad.com
Cousins and others have noticed a shift this year with a surge of young people coming on Saturdays. At Armida the age group was 21 to 30, with the majority in the 21 to 25. Cousins said the numbers were daunting — 1000 this year on Saturday, compared to 500 to 600 last year.
The Millennials are the offspring of the baby boomers, and they range in age from 21 to 34.
“In the past I know I told you when things got big that these younger drinkers are our future customers we need to take care of them and service them, but there’s just too many of them,” Cousins said. “You just can’t do it.”
Cousins said he knows he lost business on Saturday because serious wine buyers didn’t have the patience for the traffic.
“People think ‘oh my God,’ and they turn around and keep going, so they (the young crowd) kind of scares business away,” he said.
One way vintners are dealing with the deluge is by offering special tastings for their wine club members on Friday. Another way vintners are coping is by having the price of the tasting simply cover barrel samples and then charging an additional fee for pours in the tasting room
Cousins said he had to cut a few young people off but there were no altercations.
“This is one event where few bad eggs can make the whole group look bad,” he said. “If there’s a limo bus with 25 people and 23 are perfectly behaved but then you can have two yahoos who ruin it for everybody.”
Say, did you come across any yahoos?