Monday, May 24, 2010

Warm, friendly bubbles at J

Sonoma County includes both hugely fancy wineries and smaller garage affairs. When the Plonk traveling circus arrived at J Vineyards & Winery, we found an elegant winery full of the “beautiful people” that we typically try to avoid. Since the tasting bar was 3 people deep on all sides, we settled on the side of the room waiting our turn. J has long been one of our sparkling wine favorites, so we were happy to wait patiently for the next limo to leave.

As we chatted quietly, Mary, one of J’s staff members approached with a friendly smile and a tray of sparkling wine for our party. She warmly greeted us, and later found us a place at the end of the tasting bar – the perfect place for our merry group (including Cecil, our yellow labrador assistance dog).

Joe Plonk has frequently railed against poor tasting room service – and today has the pleasure to praise an ideal example of customer service. Our host Mary was friendly but not intrusive; knowledgeable but also listened to my blatherings about the wine; and was interested in our overall experience. I left J with a more favorable impression of the winery due to Mary making an extra effort to welcome us – which will certainly translate into sales the next time I’m trying to decide between Korbel, Piper, Mumm, etc.

Sonoma tasting room managers beware! This is the type of person typically found in the tasting room at Rubicon – and Francis’ new Sonoma winery extravaganza opens just down the road in July. Treat your good employees well, and don’t let them get away. Well done, Mary!

Best, Joe Plonk

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