So we are starting the process of designing our tasting room and I’d love to get some feedback from you. Below is a word-sketch of what we are considering and I’d love to get input and suggestions of all kinds. Some questions to consider:
What do you like in existing tasting rooms?
What do you hate?
What things do you wish were there but usually aren’t?
Any other ideas that you might have.
If your idea is used we will commemorate it and be sure to give you credit. Perhaps a plaque if appropriate, or maybe we’ll build a shrine to your genius for all to see.
To help get your creative juices flowing, here’s what I’ve come up with:
- A curved half circle bar. – This is generally considered a best practice in the industry simply because it allows one or two servers to pour to more folks than a straight bar does. It also helps to prevent guests from lining up two deep. You never want guests two deep. It diminishes their experience and makes the entire exercise feel a bit out of control. I also like the way a curved bar fills the room. It just seems more inviting to me.
- A water feature that doubles as a flowing spitoon. – How many times have you gone into a tasting room wanting to be responsible, wanting to spit and maintain your palate, and are confronted with a frothing half full spit bucket? Um, yeah. Not very inviting. Backsplash can be a killer. Inspired by sushi bars in LA where the chefs float your sushi to your table via waterways, we’re kicking around having an inlay in the bar that features a 3 or 4 inch wide trough with a shallow stream of running water flowing through it. The bottom of the trough would have rocks imbedded in it as well creating a creek like look (its all about “bringing the outdoors, in” I’m told). The major benefit is that your disgorged, partially digested expectorate will be gracefully wisked away along the babbling brook. If we do implement this idea, I foresee the upstream positions being very popular…
- An information hub. – We’ll have a terminal in the tasting room that will have access to The Map Store’s online winery map site, with easy links to other online map applications with the ability to print out your route to take with you. The ‘puter will be a Mac of course. Since we are located at the gateway to the valley proper, right off River Road, the idea is to help promote the rest of the area wineries and make it easy to plan your tour of the Russian River if you happened to come a bit unprepared. We’ll also be very open with our own favorites of course and will be happy to set up tasting and reservations for both wineries and area restaurants for you.
So how about you? What would you add? What would you suggest we stay far, far away from? Let me know in the comments or via email.