It was a Wednesday in late November when we decided to head out to the Napa Valley for an overnight stay. It was a beautiful clear and sunny day in the mid 60’s. Most of the vineyards have lost their fall colors. It is still beautiful. The other beautiful feature of the Napa Valley at this time of the year is the calm. Once Thanksgiving weekend is over, the Napa Valley goes into quiet mode for the next couple of months.
We stopped at the Soda Canyon Store on the Silverado Trail to buy our picnic deli lunch and then headed up the Silverado Trail in hunt of a winery with a picnic spot. The Napa Valley is he toughest wine country region in California to find a winery with a picnic area. We had picnicked at Pine Ridge Winery about four years ago so we headed there first. Pine Ridge makes terrific wines and they have a beautiful picnic area with a great view of hillside vineyards.
We entered the tasting room and explained we wanted to pass up the tasting until after lunch and would like to purchase a bottle of wine for our picnic. “Sorry folks, the picnic area is open only to wine club members.” We looked around the tasting room to make sure we were not seeing things. Yes, we were the only visitors in the tasting room. Outside, the only person near a picnic table was a gardener. The greeter suggested we taste and join the wine club and then we could use the picnic area. “No thanks,” we said and took off to find a more gracious tasting room.
Wine club members should have perks but if there are none in the winery, why pass up a sale or just plain good PR? Did they think a huge group of wine club members would suddenly surface on a slow Wednesday? We were a bit dumbfounded and perplexed.
Some wineries get it right, others get it wrong, and in this case we think Pine Ridge was way off the mark.
The Good: Great picnic spot open just for wine club members
The Bad: Great picnic spot open just for wine club members