Wines & Vines Home
Welcome Guest

Newsletter May 2013

Opening a New Tasting Room


Visit us on the web at or call us at 866.453.9701 Tasting Room News
  A newsletter for managers of tasting rooms, wine clubs and DTC wine sales
  May 1, 2013
  » Featured Suppliers
  » Newsletter Archive
Tasting Rooms in the Flesh    
Opening a New Tasting Room   Tasting Room Market:
What’s new to sell
Ulises Valdez started out growing great grapes. He hired a great winemaker, got advice from great consulting winemakers and opened a small tasting room outside the prime tourist areas of Sonoma County, Calif. Recently Valdez took the business a step further, opening a new tasting room for his Valdez Family Winery in the center of the quaint—and tourist-friendly—wine country town of Healdsburg, Calif. The progression bears the mark of years of hard work and smart decisions. Congratulations to the entire Valdez family.  

• Matt from High Peaks Winery in North Lawrence, N.Y., has been selling Vino2Go Wine Sippy Cups. Contact him at, or visit the manufacturer’s website.

Wine Appreciation Guild sells a variety of personalized corkscrews. See the selection in their catalog

• If you’re interested in pairing French-inspired foods like saucissons and pâtés with your wines, Fabrique Delices of San Francisco, Calif., ships all over the United States and can help you choose the perfect pairing. See their products here.

Featured Suppliers    
Discover the Luxury of Cork Fashion, business & wine accessories for men and women, all made from soft, velvety cork fabric! Popular TR merchandise. Always gets a wow! is a resource for both job seekers and employers Find or post the most highly sought-after DtC and tasting room jobs now at
» Learn More   » Learn More

"Tasting Rooms in the Flesh" continued   "Tasting Rooms in the Flesh" continued


Sean Tevik, marketing director for Valdez Family Winery, is a knowledgeable host.


Ulises and Adelina Valdez show off their new tasting room in Healdsburg, Calif.

Knowledge is everything

Thanks to the economy and the work of tasting room and wine club managers and employees, the direct-to-consumer wine business is thriving in North America. Read more about DtC sales in the Wall Street Journal and Wines & Vines.

125 years of V. Sattui

V. Sattui Winery is located on the south side of St. Helena and has extensive picnic grounds that seem to be full of visitors no matter the season. The deli qualifies as a first-class store by itself, and the four or six cash registers keep ringing all day long. V. Sattui wines are only served at the tasting room, and the sheer number of them require that visitors stay for a while. The winery’s success comes form making it a destination where you can linger for hours.

V. Sattui

V. Sattui's gourmet deli does more business than most high-end grocery stores.

V. Sattui

The main tasting room bar goes all the way around to accommodate the maximum number of visitors.

Sattui picnic

The picnic grounds stay busy all year.




Multi-Winery Tasting Rooms:
Does it pay to share?

The good: Economy of scale is a plus for sellers, and having a multi-wine experience for visitors attracts a larger variety of people. The not as good: It’s tough not to be competitive when your competition is standing right next to you. Tasting room staff may be biased toward one winery vs. the others. And are there too many wines to taste?

Family Wineries of Dry Creek: One or two tasting room attendants cater to the customers of six wineries under one roof. The set up is nice, and many of the wines are similar and yet different. With so many wines to choose from, managers created a tasting sheet to keep tasters under control. The wines are served in the order prescribed by the staff, and the number of wines to taste is limited to six.

tasting sheet

The tasting sheet is filled out, and the wines are already numbered to follow a logical sequence.

Locals (Geyserville): Ten wineries are represented under one small roof in the tiny northern Sonoma County town of Geyserville.

Locals bar

The tasting room bar at Locals is homey and inviting.


The tasting sheet is organized by varietal and doubles as an order form.

Question answered (hopefully)

John Nunes, owner of Newport Vineyards & Winery asks: “Should the tasting room staff wear nametags? Do most wineries that you visit use nametags for the staff?”

Since the tasting room is the heart of hospitality for a winery’s direct-to-consumer business, a nametag (engraved with first and last name, and the name of the winery) gives a sense of professionalism and continuity that makes visitors feel secure and comfortable. Knowing the name of the person hosting them makes customers feel they are having a more personal—and therefore more memorable—experience. Nametags that are hand-written on paper labels, on the other hand, give the impression that the host could be temporary and less knowledgeable. From the host/winery employee point of view, the professional nametag gives legitimacy to the job and therefore more company pride.


Please send suggestions to

Jacques Brix is vice-president and director of sales, West Coast for Wines & Vines. This column is based on his personal experiences at winery tasting rooms and events.

Newsletter Archive    
April 2013 March 2013   February 2013 January 2013
Visit us on the web at or call us at 866.453.9701Visit us on the web at or call us at 866.453.9701Join us in FacebookFollow us on TwitterCheck us out on YouTubeJoin Our LinkedIn Network

Wines & Vines Home
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
2016 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
Wines & Vines Magazine
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
Latest Job Listings
 Referral Marketing Opp...
 Northeast, NA
Sales and Marketing
 Marketing & Communicat...
 Rutherford, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Assistant Tasting Room...
 Paso Robles, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Account Coordinator
 American Canyon, CA
General Administration and
 New World-Class Restau...
 Philo, CA
General Administration and
 Compliance Administrat...
 Healdsburg, CA
General Administration and
 Tasting Room Manager
 Santa Rosa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales Representative
 Miami, Ft. Meyers/Naples, Tampa, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Area Sales Manager
 New York City (Metro), NY
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Adviser
 Norwalk, CT
Sales and Marketing
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:

Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.