Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Tasting Room Manager Wears Many Hats, by Barbara Best

As I stood in the big box store contemplating light bulbs, not grapes, I realized how diversified my day can truly be. My name is Barbara Best and I have the privilege of being the Tasting Room manager at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery.
As the Tasting Room manager, I enjoy a wide spectrum of daily jobs which include the mundane (picking out light bulbs that will illuminate our winery,) to hiring and training tour guides, buying and laying out retail displays, booking bus tours and constantly reading, reading, reading, in order to stay “up” on every aspect of the wine industry.

During our “off-season”, or winter, I can be found conducting tours and tastings and manning the cash register. I also have the opportunity to attend workshops and trade shows that pertain to wine/food and marketing. It is in the “off-season” that the managers at Millbrook are mad at work developing what we hope to be, the best “season” yet to come. I find that I am able to accomplish a lot of projects that would usually get placed on the back burner during the very busy late summer/autumn harvest season. Hopefully, when next you visit, you will take stock of a newly painted wall, tasting bars that were moved or displays that help to bring our wines/products into greater focus. I will be most appreciative, as will the great team here at the winery, of those who find that our creative minds were in overdrive while in the vineyard the vines lay dormant.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention how wonderful it is to work in such a beautiful place. Last week as I left my work day behind, I drove through the vineyard just as a majestic bald eagle took flight over the vineyard. At that moment, I wished everyone who has ever visited Millbrook Vineyards & Winery could have been present. The vineyard is more than its sum, just as the people we meet here are more than just oenophiles enjoying a wine tour and tasting. I am pleased to meet and greet you all on any given day!

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