Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area

New tasting room experience

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New tasting room experience

stebro | Aug 1, 2007 12:26 PM

My wife and I visted Castello di Amorosa last week. It's fairly new, owned by Daryl Sattui and located across from Sterling in St. Helena. Looks like a medieval castle with turrets, a dungeon, grand ballroom, etc. When we went to the tasting room, there was a cashier outside selling tickets for $10 and $20 (reserve) per tasting. I asked for one ticket thinking we would share a glass as we often do. The cashier informed me that, if we bought only one ticket, one of us would have to wait outside. She told us that, if we bought two tickets and one of us did not taste wine, we could apply the cost of the second ticket to a purchase of wine. I explained that we had never tasted their wine and were not ready to commit to a purchase. The cashier said "then you're out of luck." I asked for my $10 back and left the tasting room. I later confirmed that this, in fact, is the policy of the winery.

I've visited literally hundreds of wineries and virtually all of them have encouraged sharing. With the increasing prices that wineries now charge for tastings and the need to limit the amount of alcohol if you're driving, sharing makes a lot of sense. Let's hope the Castello di Amorosa policy isn't part of a new trend.

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