I have seen the Gere/Roberts movie several times and I could never forget the line ‘You’re Obviously in the Wrong Place’ and I also think of the commentary of Romy and Michele as they watch this scene in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
I have had an amazing 2016 and 2015 – not all years are like these great pairing of years – I cannot even count on one hand let alone another finger where I have had such a superb year as this year. Was it a perfect couple of years? No absolutely not and I am okay with that. When I look at this year 90% was amazing and 10% was not. I can’t argue with an “A” average as it relates to life and living I have never had that before.
I always want to point out the positive not just in others but in me as well. I am writing this piece because I have been to over 10 countries this year and visiting both amazing wine places and also places where wine was not the reason I was visiting
I found a picture of this scene from Pretty Women and had to both laugh and also hark back to an experience this year in Napa Valley. I was in many a Chateau, Palazzo and Palast and was treated so well every where I went except for Napa Valley experience I had. I was in Napa with a friend we had some extra time on our tour and I thought I would call a winery and see if they had an appointment. The only thing was that I had no cell reception I said let’s just pass by and see if they have an opening. If not there are many other places to visit.
I am not going to list the name of the winery here. I have been to hundreds of wineries that are both open to the public and many that are not open to the public. I had never had a wine tasting room personnel come out to my friends car and before we could step foot on ground we were asked “do you have an appointment” I said we just wanted to see if you had availability…… “No we don’t…we are all booked.” This was my Pretty Women moment of being cleared away from the “store.” I felt l had to apologize for being there and I had to say several times “we were just checking….” I felt we were going to get a “please leave.”
I think by my many visits I am not on any black lists that I know. I am actually low maintenance and appreciative. I have been turned away before and I was okay with that. I was not chased away, treated rudely or worse “greeted” at the car. I write about this because being half way around the world I have only been welcomes wherever I was visiting. In my “neighbourhood” of Napa Valley at this producer I felt shunned and ashamed for even being physically present.
I have also had one media event in Sonoma County where I felt I was inconvenience to have. Everyone was invited to bring their partners and I asked if I could bring a friend since I do not have a partner. It was a big deal and in my usual style was “no problem” I can forgo coming. I think incidences like this are rare and I too would never review or visit this producer again. I think of a media event is to show what you do well and to be inclusive.
I think that I may not be the only one who has received this royal treatment. I think that this is a watch out not just for Napa Valley other regions as well. I think there is a right way and a wrong way to handle one’s visiting customers. I think that Napa Valley and other wine regions have a lot riding on a path of hospitality, inclusion and good old fashion grace and style. I am not berating all producers–overall I have been treated well. For me, this specific producer is a wine I will not review or taste and will certainly not visit under any circumstance. It is hard to have such an experience and not knowing what you might encounter next time you arrive. There is so classical condition responses and frankly I don’t need to worry about a repeat of this experience.
I hope you do not experience and certainly register your complaints with the producer if you encounter that. I did but I certainly didn’t know it was a canned response or if it was genuine. I don’t loss sleep over these things — I stay away and for people who ask for my recommendations this producer will never be on my list.
Wishing you only a good experience and hope you never have my experiences–you deserve only the best.
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
© 2016 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.
I do not own the image from the movie Pretty Women – Touchstone Pictures Silver Screen Partners IV.
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