Quick! Lock the doors! This is a warning to our comrades-at-arms, our friends and fellow bloggers at Pinotblogger, Dover Canyon, Twisted Oak , especially to Wineries of Napa Valley and so many others: BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES! Spread the word! The threat of Spring Break is upon us and they’ve got plans. And if they don’t “got plans”, there are people out there with the unmitigated gall to give them ideas.
I’d actually thought we were maybe past this – that is, the throngs of liberated students rolling intoÂ wine countryÂ looking for a cheap drunk – because, frankly, wine-tasting isn’t as cheap as it used to be. But maybe these kids have more money. Here’s the carrot that’s been dangled: A student blog at Arizona State U. suggested that “If boozing is high on your list of priorities this spring break…” that they come see us and that “The people there (Napa) were very nice,” Thames says, “and they want to get you drunk.” I figure the average college student can extrapolate that these same enticements apply to Sonoma, the Sierra Foothills and Paso Robles or any other wine country that may fall victim.
It brings back haunting recollections of my early days in winery hospitality when everything was free. Huge bus-loads of college kids would pull into the parking lot of my former employer on weekends aiming to get as drunk as possible and doing unspeakable things on the beautiful winery lawn. Not to mention the humiliation to which they subjected that poor, lovely, very womanly nude statue – nuff said. And for Spring Break, just multiply this by, I don’t know, 100? Oy!!!
At the time I recognized the irony of our feelings toward the dreaded “college kids” because, like most of my colleagues, I was barely out of school myself and was, in fact, taking night classes in winemaking at Napa College. But we all agreed that no matter how much beer we drank on the bus, none of us would ever behave that way in public. Hmmmmm…
There’s one thing in the article that I can endorse: We are nice, this rant aside. And we love college kids. Maybe that’s because we can’t accommodate busses here at Goosecross. We tend to get our “kids” 2 or 4 at a time, and are nearly always glad they came. Besides – these folks are our future. And of course we still remember how much we looked forward to cutting loose a little for Spring Break.
So, just 2 points of etiquette for those who are, indeed, making Spring Break plans to go to wine country so you won’t feel like a schmuck when you get home (and bearing in mind that camera-phones proliferate):
1. If you want to get roaring drunk, we understand, please just do it in your room (don’t drink & drive!!).
2. Mind your manners on the lawn! Or whatever equivalent…
And for our winery brethren: You’ve been forewarned. Battle-ready positions!