Saturday, March 1, 2014

Winery Sponsored Wine Clubs

Have you thought about joining a winery/vineyard sponsored wine club? Many wineries offer the opportunity to join their wine clubs while at the vineyard for a tasting. I am usually torn if I really like the wines, but I need to be careful not to join too many wine clubs

Wine Club Shipment Arrives

Winery/Vineyard based wine clubs are fun. The best ones are close enough to allow participation in the Club events which cement the relationship between the club member and the winery/vineyard. 

What are the advantages of becoming a member of a wine club associated with a winery? Activities, education, wine, and having new releases automatically shipped to the door. The wine club that I have most enjoyed is the one at Keswick Vineyards in Virginia. Through this club I developed a connection to the owners and more importantly the winemaker. Being a member of this club has stimulated my interest in wine--going beyond just drinking to beginning to understand the agricultural challenges and with winemaking science of wine making. One of my most memorable Wine Club events was walking through the vineyard in the summer heat and having everything explained buy the owner and the winemaker--and then sitting down to lunch and continuing the education and enjoying wine before it was released. I have gained a deep appreciation that wines do just happen, they are made and the vineyards don't grow grapes--they grow wine. Everything is focused upon the eventual release of the wine in the bottle.
Arcadian Grand Cru Wine Club  New Arrivals

I am a member of a couple very special west coast winery clubs, too. I enjoy getting their wines every quarter, but it is impossible for me to participate in the events that they hold. I feel disconnected with them, but certainly enjoy their wines and look forward to each shipment to renew my connection with the wines and the winemaker. . And I know that the next time I visit their tasting rooms or wineries, I will receive special treatment. 

When deciding to join a wine club consider proximity to be able to enjoy the activities, the shipping costs in addition to the monthly or quarterly wine shipments, discounts on purchases, additional options--like barrel ownership, and whether the you generally like the wines because you will likely get to sample many wines that you would not normally purchase.

It is OK to test out a wine club and don't forget, if it doesn't meet your expectations, you can cancel your membership--usually after one year.

Happy Wine Drinking!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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