I suppose it’s true in every industry but one thing I’ve noticed in the wine industry is that there are a ton of super amazing, down to Earth people who would gladly give you the shirt off their back…BUT…I’ve also noticed there are a ton of people that think quite highly of themselves and would sooner spit their wine on you than converse with you.
I’m not saying I see that side often, thankfully I don’t. I am saying that when I do see it I’m always caught off guard at the purpose or reason behind it.
When I refer to the wine industry I’m talking about winemakers, winery staff, winery owners, wine writer/ bloggers, distributors, wine shops folks, and everything else. I’ve seen the kind hearted in each of these categories and I’ve seen the egotistical pile of…well, nevermind.
Again, I know this likely rings true in every industry but my wife and I are so entrenched in the wine industry that it tends to be what I’m around the most. The main purpose that I bring it up is that it saddens me…it really does. You always hear how “snobby” Napa is but from my one visit there I would disagree. Hell, I also heard the French were pricks but when we went to Paris in 2011 they were awesome.
Here in Paso Robles I’ve seen a little bit of the ugliness, nothing major, but I am starting to feel little tensions here and there. For now they seem isolated enough but my concern is that it will grow unless we pay attention to it now and do something about it. Paso Robles is a truly amazing community of people that support and help one another more than I’ve ever seen in other places I’ve lived. I’m sure you probably feel the same about the wine region you live in or the one you visit often.
We don’t want to see a few bad apples or a few egos define a single region or area. I’ve had people tell me that they went to this winery or that winery and had the worst experience in their lives but luckily went somewhere else nearby and met the sweetest most amazing people.
So what do we do? How do we fix that? If it’s a customer service issue that could be fixed through training then that’s great, we need to let the winery know there was a customer service issue so they have a chance to fix it if they so choose. What do we do about ego though? What if that is scarring people’s views of Paso Robles (or your wine region)?
Egos are less likely to listen to constructive criticism so I don’t know conversation is the fix. Maybe those folks will sink or swim on their own and we have to let it be that way. It just frustrates me when people tell me of those types of experiences here in Paso…and trust me, A LOT of people come to me via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and this blog to get recommendations from me or to tell me about their experiences.
At the end of the day I think this post is just a reminder to people that we’re all in this together, so there’s no need for ego. I think we also forget how fun wine is and how, for me, it is the essence of life…people, laughter, relationships, and so on. Let’s not forget that and let’s put our best foot forward…let’s show them what Paso is all about!!