It wasn’t just the weather that was damp and chilly on this April Saturday when we attempted to visit Vineyard 48. We had been there twice before, but the last time was in 2011, so it was time for a return visit. On our previous visits, we had liked and bought a couple of the wines, so, though the reputation of the winery has suffered a bit in recent years, we were ready for a tasting.
We pulled into the driveway and were directed by a parking attendant to pull around to the back. A second parking attendant was directing various limos and buses to park near the tasting room, but we were sent further along, down a long muddy path through the vineyard, to park amongst the rows of vines. Given the chilly drizzle, we were not delighted with our muddy trek, but we persevered to the entrance, where we were stopped outside by a polite young man who waved baggies of tokens in our faces and said, “It’s $10.00 for four tastes.”
He informed us that we could “pick up” our tastes in the tent behind him. “But we don’t want to be outside,” we said. “Oh, you can take your tastes inside,” he replied.
Unable to see inside, we realized that not only would we have to buy our tastings before we saw the menu and knew if we wanted to do one, we wouldn’t know if we had space to sit or stand to do the tasting until after we were committed. So we left.
Clearly, Vineyard 48 has decided to cater to the limo and bus crowd to the detriment of other visitors. A few other signs that this is so: a prominent sign before the entrance proclaiming “No Outside Alcoholic Beverages Allowed,” the many buses and limos in the lot near the building while other visitors are shunted to the back, and the often reiterated message on their web page that “Limos and Buses are always welcome at Vineyard 48!” They had briefly lost their liquor license due to complaints that they had become a party venue rather than a tasting room.
Reasons to visit: None that I can see.