Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You know what they say about loose lips....

Dear Winemaker:

Just a few words to the wise. Your mileage may vary.

When a stranger comes in your winery to taste what you have to offer and what you have worked so hard to produce, it is not too wise to spend your limited time with that customer badmouthing your competitors. If your wines are truly worthy, they will stand on their own. You don't need to bury others to praise yourself.

Furthermore, if you want to bitch to said customer about how all your competitors aren't friendly to you, copy all of your ideas, don't tell you about upcoming events, don't seem to want to socialize with you, and are just plain jealous of your success, you should do so without the previously mentioned badmouthing. After hearing your rant, I can see why no one would want to spend time with you.

Your conversation is always in poor form.

It could be downright tragic if, unbeknown to you, the person you are being so indiscreet with happens to own this blog.

I can't help but be even more taken aback by your caustic attitude when I contrast it with every other winery I have ever been in, both inside Indiana and in other states. Never have I heard anyone broach the topics you did. In fact, I have even heard a few of your competitors say nice things about your winery.

Luckily for you, I am not going to identify you by name.


Tia Agnew said...

Hi Charles, this is Tia Agnew. My husband and I own New Day Meadery and I felt I should comment on your post.

First, I'm sorry that you had that experience at an Indiana Winery. Being what I like to call the "oddball winery" here in Indiana (since we don't use grapes), I have to say that everyone's always been great to us and very supportive of everyone in the industry. Indiana's fortunate to have a wide variety of wineries and styles of wine - there's something for every palate and every pocketbook. We do our very best to talk one another up to everyone that comes into our shops and no one really sees anyone else as a competetor.

I know that once in a while, a customer will come into my shop and comment negatively on another winery or about Indiana wines in general. Our mode of operation is to try and get them to reconsider. Be it to try something else in their line or to think about how different grape varietals have different characteristics, etc. I'm sure that this same scenareo takes place at all of Indiana's wineries and that 99.95 of the time they handle it in the same way - positive. I know from experience that many people are skeptical of our wines (the no grape thing really throws a lot of people), but many have come into my shop telling me how they were convinced by the conversation they had with another winery staff person or owner.

Again, I'm really sorry that you had such a negative experience and I don't know if my comments help with any bad taste in your mouth, but I want you to know how much I feel my fellow winery owners support me and the rest of my colleagues. It may sound cliche, but I honestly feel like we're a team rather than competetors.

Thanks for posting your experience so that we all can be certain that we're putting our very best foot forward.

All the Best,


Stacy said...

Ooooh I'm dying to know who! ;)