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Winery Tasting Room Fees

As Wine Trail Traveler travels to review winery tasting rooms from region to region, we notice a variety of tasting fees. While some tasting rooms do not charge a fee, others charge a tasting fee in different ways. There is a trend that wineries in well known viticulture areas charge fees while those wineries in areas that are not popular frequently do not charge a fee. Fees make sense if visitors are only coming to “drink” and leaving without purchasing any wine. After all when visiting food markets, do you expect to taste tomatoes or peaches before buying? Do bars have free tastings? Another reason fees make sense is that if one pays for something, it is perceived as having value. Therefore it might be reasoned that if there is no fee, there is no value. Those wineries who do not charge a fee are attempting to encourage visitors to try their wines. Wineries that do not charge a fee may consider it their way of advertising.

Do you believe tasting rooms should charge for tasting wines? What is fair both to the consumer and the winery? Would you buy an unknown wine without tasting it first?

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