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“Two-hour wine making "class" through Groupon”

Lake Ontario Winery
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Hilton
Attraction details
Reviewed 12 May 2014

This was a disaster from beginning to end. First the winery didn't have record of our reservation for the class when I had called to confirm several weeks before. Then they tried to cancel the class on us two days before it was supposed to happen, when we already had made non-refundable hotel reservations. They finally agreed to accommodate us in their other location for the class on the date originally scheduled.

Upon arrival, we were checked in and shown to the room where the class was supposed to occur. We were about 20 minutes early, so they provided us with some cheese and crackers and water while we were waiting, which was appreciated. After about 35 minutes of waiting, the winemaker/owner came upstairs to let us know that one of the other couples who were to join us were late, having gone to their other location, and if we were ok waiting for about 20 minutes to begin. We agreed. He invited us to come down to the tasting bar for a glass of wine.

We continued waiting and waiting, and proceeded to do the wine tasting that was supposed to be included in the class at that time. The wines were, almost without exception, truly awful (if you are a serious wine drinker who knows what wines are supposed to taste like, do NOT go to this winery expecting anything remotely similar to what you would expect!) but we were provided with a number of tastings. At one point, the winemaker/owner actually made a comment to us about how many tastings he had provided, insinuating that we were somehow taking advantage. This was after nearly an hour of waiting for the “class” to begin, and with no sign that it actually would. He also seemed rather defensive and put-off when we made it clear to him that we actually knew something about wine. From what he said, it seems the class is really more for the person who knows nothing about wines and the different kinds of grapes it is made from. The fact that it is called a wine making class really would appear to be a misnomer, from the way he described what he would usually do in the class.

At about 3:00, which should have been in the middle of the class, he informed us he had to leave to make a delivery, and that he would be back in about 35 minutes. He instructed his staff to bring our “gourmet” pizza (as the Groupon ad advertises) at that point, and that he would explain the winemaking kits upon his return. We were then served with a pizza that was unmistakably a frozen pizza, the likes of which we could pick up at our local convenience store. Finally, when we were done eating, a staff member brought us out our two winemaking kits and told us he would be back soon.

By this point, we were so thoroughly disgusted with the entire experience (and with the wines made at the winery) that we decided to just take the kits and leave. When we got home and opened the kits, we found that they don’t even contain what the outside of the box shows. Rather, they have a total different kit inside but with instructions that go with the kit that is supposed to be included.

We ended up paying over $100 for a non-existent class, two wine kits that don’t contain what they are supposed to contain, a few slices of frozen pizza, and some of the worst wine we have ever tasted, as well as a condescending winemaker/owner who is offering an inferior product both in his wines and in this supposed “class”. SAVE YOUR MONEY…if you actually like wine, and if you think it’s reasonable to expect to receive the services for which you have paid, stay away from this Groupon deal and far away from this winery.

22  Thank Ondaiola2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 - 21 of 28 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

Neat building, good people, good food, special events, and oh yeah, wine! Great variety with lots of unique flavors. Have dinner and get a bottle to go.

1  Thank 1000Jim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2014

Went to the Lake Ontario Winery today for the mozzarella making demonstration class. Had an excellent time. Never knew that making mozzarella would be so easy and doesn't take very long at all. Lorraine did a wonderful job of showing us the process and really made it a fun time. Every couple got a bottle of wine and they made a terrific Margarita style pizza with the fresh cheese Lorraine just made. And by the way, their wines are excellent!! I would put them up there with any of the finger lakes winerys. We have quite the little gem right here in our little corner of Monroe county. Thanks for a wonderful Saturday afternoon to brighten up this dreary winter !!!!!!

2  Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Today we took a ride (just over an hour) to visit Lake Ontario Winery. I have been to all the other winerys on the Niagara wine trail and wanted to check out the only one I had not been to. We arrived there just after noon, since their website stated they open at 11am. There was one young girl there who said she couldn't get us a tasting, but would call the guy who could and see if he was on his way. We were told he would be there soon finally she said maybe 15 minutes. We left without a tasting, It is clear that this place is very mismanaged and does not care about serving their customers. I will not go back

21  Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mayers Lake O, Owner at Lake Ontario Winery, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2014

Sue,

We apologize for your negative experience during your last visit to our winery and bistro. We are family owned and operated and strive to maintain a high standard for all of our customers. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused you. Please call our winery at 585-392-5296, and schedule a tasting with Dave Jr, our owner. He will be happy to provide this free of charge.

Our best,
Mayers Lake Ontario Winery

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2013

Not worth it at all . Paid $75 for half of a wine making kit , little to no instruction , and a piece of pizza. There wasn't enough wine kits and the ones that the supplied were missing ingredients . Unprofessional and disappointing . The wine tasted good, just wish I didn't waste $75 for my husband and myself . Why pizza ?!

20  Thank Wine-o90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mayers Lake O, Owner at Lake Ontario Winery, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2014

Dear Wine-o90,

We apologize for your recent experience at Lake Ontario Winery and Vineyards. Please contact our sales department for replacement parts free of charge 585-671-1955. Please return to the winery at your leisure for a free tasting (be sure to schedule with the owner prior to your visit). Again, we apologize and hope that you will return to give you a much better experience.

Thank You,
Lake Ontario Winery and Vineyards
David Bower III

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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