We were driving three hours to get to Riverhead. I had originally called to let them know we would arrive at 3:30. Then when I saw that we would be delayed, I called again. The lady on the phone said as long as we arrived before 4:30 we would be fine, but wanted me to know that after 4:30 they would stop serving and would close the tasting room at 5.
We arrived at 4:15 and Chris, who worked the tastings, before saying "hello" or "welcome" immediately and rudely told us "We're open for sales only." After I told him we were reassured on the phone that we had to arrive before 4:30, he essentially said, "I would have told you different."
And then he proceeded to mention that his wife was pregnant, so we could basically get lost.
The woman who spoke with me on the phone appeared. She said, "I thought I told you 3:30." When I reminded her of our recent call, she said "I could hardly hear you." I explained that I heard her perfectly, and she could not have been clearer: Arrive before 4:30, and we would be served.
Needless to say, I asked if they owned the winery, and they did not. That much is obvious. Because if the owners were there, I'm sure the eight of us who appeared would have have been treated much more nicely. We were lucky enough to sneak into Paumanok Vineyards before they closed where we spent a few hundred bucks on wine and told their incredulous staff how poorly we were treated up the road at Roanoke.
I understand that on New Year's Even one might want to close early. I also understand the desire to be home with one's pregnant wife. But those are calls to be made in advance they should be widely publicized on the website so people who travel long distances are not turned away. And finally, given the miscommunication, the staff should have just served us and been gracious. It would have taken 10 minutes. Instead, they were rude and dismissive and cost their company a good amount of business and goodwill.
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