Temecula Wineries adopt Responsible Partners Program
According to a press release sent out today by the Temecula winegrowers association, starting on November 1st, the members of the association will turn away van and limo tour operators who “do not help maintain the decorum” of the wine region.
The members voted overwhelmingly to adopt a Responsible Partner Program. This program only permits companies that promote Temecula wine and good behavior while visiting the region.
Ray Falkner, President of the association said “those who do not abide by certain rules and regulations we have established will not be allowed to visit our wineries … as far as I know, we are the only wine region to take steps to ensure the wine-tasting experience is more enjoyable for all our visitors.”
Wine country tours is big business, and the tour operators are sure to take notice of such a bold initiative. Around a dozen companies have already adopting this philosophy, and Falkner believes that the list will grow to over 50 by the November 1st deadline.
It is the responsibility of the winery to enforce the Responsible Partner Program. They want to dispel the notion that Temecula Wine Country, is “bar country.” It is commendable that they want to make wine touring an enjoyable experience, but it seems like a hard rule to enforce.
The wineries get a large portion of their tasting room sales from wine touring companies bringing large groups by. And the wine touring companies are dependent on the people for business. So turning people away because they are too drunk doesn’t seem like its in the cards, considering that drinking wine gets you drunk.
Following that logic, it seems counter intuitive for the winery association to adopt a rule that could negatively affect the bottom line of their wineries. But only time will tell if it has a negative affect, or if it is even enforced.