@Louis Koch. Louis, not sure when you were there ? As per the message below, it is easy to stand up for my staff, as I do believe we have a truly great team on board and I am thankful for that. There is not one of them, whom I can imagine as rude or unprofessional, except for maybe myself!
I note you work for Villiera Wines – it may be a good protocal for SoS to disclose any potential conflict of interest when people working for one winery writes comments about another? Same is in financial press etc.
Hi Maggie & Hennie
I am sorry to hear that you did not have a good visit to Vrede en Lust. On Wednesday morning Anneke en 5 of her team flew up to WineX in Jhb. It is the biggest wine tasting event in the country. By taking the bulk of our team up, we can take the experience most people have when visiting Vrede en Lust, to the Gauteng public. I think that was worthwhile as our stand was pretty much the busiest there.
On the day you visited, it was this only Lynne on tasting duty. I have great confidence in Lynne’s skills and she normally gets very good reviews. No one is perfect and it is possible that a person sometimes delivers a less than stellar performance.
Following our correspondence, we reviewed the video of your visit. The only blond person that could have been referred to was Lynette, my PA and also the person who runs the WineClub admin very ably. Lynette is actually a qualified lawyer and no one who knows her would call her a ‘poppie’. She has a soft spirit, a kind heart and is a wonderful person. Not sure what she could have been saying or shouting, as we do not have sound on the video surveillance. It looked liked you passed one another for a few seconds as she was leaving the office.
We should be back to full strength in the tasting room from this week. I am sorry if any visitors did not have a good experience and can assure you that this is not what we strive for.
Dana Buys (Owner)
Thanks for getting back to us. As you know, we are one of the small number of local wineries that do not charge for tastings. One of the reasons for doing this, is because we know that students are tomorrow’s market and wine buyers!
We are sold out of a few wines, in specific the Mocholate Malbec, Viognier and Barrique. The new vintages will be out in due course. On the day of your visit we were also waiting for stock of the chocolates offered with some of our red wines. I apologize for that.
I believe Alice called you and hopefully your issues have been addressed to your satisfaction?
I am sorry to hear about the experience in your review, it is not what we strive for, nor the usual feedback we get. Can you please let me know exactly when you visited, so that I can follow up with those on duty.
I am very sorry to hear about the poor experience you had at Vrede en Lust on the 5th of January. We normally get excellent feedback and I take input like yours very seriously. We did battle somewhat on the 5th as one of our tasting team called in sick as well as one of the tasting room cleaning staff. It had been very busy over the Christmas/New Year period and I think it showed on the day. For this I apologize!
I have asked the tasting team to stop referring to the WineX awards as it can be misleading if not fully explained. For the record, the tasting room policy is 30ml-tasting tots, which is normally measured to a printed line in the large format tasting glasses we use. We believe in the value of our free tasting policy and offer wine by the glass for those who want to drink rather than taste the wine.
As for the Mocholate Malbec you refer to, it is an interesting and certainly very popular style of wine. While some of our wines, like the Boet Erasmus or the Barrique, are aimed at serious wine lovers, we also make other wines for the broader consumer market. We do not expect to have the wines appeal equally to everyone, but the mix seems to work well judging by very strong sales growth overall.
I would like to invite you back for a tasting with Susan and myself where we can look at some of the more serious wines and the evolution of the Sauvignon Blancs over the last few vintages.
Hi Eddie and Malcolm. Thanks for your reviews and input. We put a great deal of effort into our cellar-door experience and it is gratifying to see it being appreciated.
Re the availability of our wines in Gauteng (or the rest of the country) a few points:
1. We have no plans to focus on the supermarkets – the costs of the whole supply chain is too heavy and either we make no money or the wine prices have to go up too much.
2. We are moving LeRoux Geldenhuys up to Gauteng in Feb ’10 in order to better serve the wine shops, restaurants and the like in Gauteng. He is from the estate, knows the products and our direction really well and did a similar job really well in the Cape.
3. We have a very popular Vrede en Lust WineClub where members sign up for 2 or 4 shipments a year, based on their wine preferences and these shipments go out with special discounts and with free delivery. http://www.vnl.co.za/our_wines/vnl_wine_club/
4. We have the full product range available via our eStore at http://www.vnlshop.co.za. Our WineClub members get their 15% or 20% discount via the eStore plus free delivery to your doorstep!
Other clients get discounts based on volume purchased and delivery to most of the country is only R50 per case of 12 wines.
So we have tried to ensure that our customers get a decent level of access to our wines via the warehouse & logistics system employed. Hopefully you don’t run dry!
We also have a fan page on Facebook that may be useful
All of the best for 2010 from Vrede en Lust!
Thanks Cobus. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) our Sauv Blanc, Karien (Chenin Blanc) & Viognier are sold out at present. The 09 vintage is ready for bottling on 20 July. We hope to have them out by the 2nd week of August and they are exciting wines.
We give them a bit of extra time on the lees and do not rush them into the bottle. We are ramping up production a bit with our Elgin vineyards coming into proper production, so hopefully we last better next year!
The 08 Malbec is the first of the Vrede en Lust red wines released 100% made by Susan and I am glad you enjoyed it! We will release more of her red wines at the end of August and they should point where we are headed.
Sorry re the number of staff on the 16th. We had a very busy day against expectation with the rain and poor weather. It is very difficult to predict staffing needs this time of year. Our goal is to have quality vs quantity in terms of staff though, so I am pleased Elzanne managed to give you brilliant service during the busy period!
Look forward to your next visit when we have the new wines out. If you join our facebook fan-page you will get a heads up re new releases etc