Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tales From A Tour Guide, By Tom Mandato

My name is Tom Mandato. I am a part time employee and have been conducting tours and wine tasting sessions for almost eight years. I retired from my former profession over ten years ago and took this job as a way of getting out of the house a couple of days a week. It was supposed to only last about three years until such time as my wife retired. But, I’ve been having so much fun, I’m still at it. Over the years I have become so familiar with many of the Millbrook family of customers that we recognize each other when we meet locally.

My wife Sally and I, along with friends, had been visiting Millbrook Winery for years. We would often attend new release tasting sessions and those highly enjoyable summer concert series that were held on Saturdays. So, when I applied for the part time position, I was not a neophyte to the Millbrook world of wine. Also, being of Italian heritage, I had some limited experience in wine consumption.

Over the years it has been my pleasure to meet people from all walks of life and probably as many countries as belong to the United Nations. I’ve had occasion to pause while interpreters interact between me and those taking the tour. I even had one interpreter ask me if I could conduct the tour in Hebrew. Being from Brooklyn I am familiar with some Hebrew terms but not enough to hold a full conversation. I mention these encounters as a way of highlighting how popular and highly recommended Millbrook has become as the place to visit when considering a wine tour and tasting experience.

One of Sally’s and my favorite pastimes is to visit wineries during our vacations. We have been up and down the west coast from northern Washington to San Diego, California. We’ve visited wineries in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and other U.S. wine producing areas as we’ve driven around these wonderful United States of ours. We have also been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many wineries in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and of course Italy. Needless to say, we have tagged along on more tours than we can recall. When I first started conducting tours I felt that Millbrook’s was far superior to anything I had previously attended. However, while it has always been greatly informative, it was limited to a verbal description of a specific process and the pointing to such things as the vines, presses, vats, barrels and the bottling station. Last year we began to expand and improve the tour to include photos and displays (i.e. equipment, wine fermenting, aging, the inside of toasted barrels and cork harvesting) of the various stages of the grape growing and actual wine making processes. I recommend that no matter how many tours you may have taken in the past to please avail yourself of our new and interactive tour on your next visit.

I’m looking forwarded to meeting each and every one of you. Just remember that I only work two or three days a week. Also, we do change the variety of wines available for tasting several times during the year throughout the season. So, you’ll have to make plans for several visits, if not just to meet me, but to also enjoy the various wines available for tasting. Until then, have a happy and healthy year.

No comments:

Post a Comment