The Winery Experience

The French have a word that is used to explain, in a single word, the complete environment that is involved in the making of a specific wine. It is very deep in its meaning and is used to describe everything from the physical aspects like climate, soil, and terrain to even non-physical aspects like the tradition of a given region and/or vineyard. It is a very powerful word when it comes to wine making and it is a word that really doesn’t have any direct English translation. The French word is Terrior (pronounced: /terˈwär/) and the closest word we have in English would probably be ecosphere. The word is fascinating and the linguistic wordsmithing that is played when trying to translate a word with such deep cultural and historical roots is somewhat amusing. Is it possible that the true meaning of some words just can’t be translated? Possibly and it does make you think. Is there something we can learn from this? Often times other cultures have a different way of looking at things that when you learn about it, it makes you step back and reevaluate the way we look at things. Terrior is one of those words and there is something to be learned from it. Sometimes we tend to focus on the tree versus the forest. This word encourages not only viewing the tree but also viewing the forest and the story and the history of the forest. It really is a “stop and smell the roses” reminder. So we started thinking about how this word applies to some of the things we do. If you have spent anytime on our website or social media pages you know that we provide wine tours….A lot of them! We really pride ourselves on providing the best possible experience to our clients when they are visiting wineries. But what does it mean to have a great experience? What all is involved? What is the terrior of a great wine tour?

A Great Wine Tour

A Great Wine Tour…

It may be consider blasphemy by some to use the word terrior in such a manner but hear me out. I am borrowing more of the concept behind the word and, in doing so, honoring the word (or at least giving it a “tip of the hat”). It is actually a great concept when using it to analyze just about anything because it deals with EVERYTHING. What are the complete and total aspects that go into a great _______? You can fill in the blank with just about anything but today we are going to add the phrase “Wine Tour“. So what is it? Is it just great wine? Of course not. You could get the best pour of your life but if everything else was terrible you would say that the wine tour sucked. It is more than just one thing. It is more than ten things. It is everything! This includes all things, both known and unknown. We could type out a list of a hundred aspects we think are the attributes of a wine tour and there would be over a million things that we miss and leave out. That is what we mean by everything. So how do we absolutely “nail it” and deliver a great experience? By providing perfect service on all of these aspects? This is a tough question. This may sound counter productive to our message on this post, but the honest answer is that we don’t know and the reason is, as stated before, the majority of the measurements are unknown so how would it be possible to know? The honest answer is that we accomplish great tours by effortlessly working to ensure the wants and needs of our clients are being met. This isn’t a “set it and forget it” thing or a “load ’em up and drive” endeavor. The whole tour is about talking with our clients before, during, and after their tours to understand their wants and needs and then taking action to meet those desires. It is a simple formula that seems to work well for us.

The Proof is in the Pudding…

We never want to rest on our laurels as we know we are only ever as good as our last customer experience. A good rating that we received for something we did two years ago is great but doesn’t accurately represent us today. However, a series of good ratings received over a long period of time (including yesterday) does tend to paint a more accurate picture of who we are as a company and the services that we provide. We are absolutely humbled by all of the great ratings that we have received over the years and definitely feel the burden to constantly live up to those ratings with every thing we do moving forward. We also love receiving all of the anecdotal comments we get from clients during tours. A reoccurring comment that we often receive is something to the effect of “This is one of the best days of my life!”. The first couple times we received this comment we figured it was the alcohol speaking. But after receiving this comment several times (we really do receive this comment a lot!), we figured maybe there was some truth to it and it fits into our goals as a service provider. We are trying to give people the best experience of their life. We just always figured we would aim high and accept coming in a little shy of that target. But maybe, just maybe, we are actually hitting that target from time to time and we couldn’t be happier than to provide our customers with the best day of their life, what an honor!

Avatar for Ryan Watts

I am the founder of Van in Black. I also started HD Carolina (the first Carolina themed channel on Roku and Amazon Fire TV) and several other service based companies located in North Carolina. I am also a musician, photographer, wine geek (WSET Level 3 in Wines Certified with merit and Level 1 with the Court of Master Sommeliers), computer nerd, and lover of all things cool. Most importantly, however, I am a husband, father, and very proud (newly minted) grandfather.

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