"I'll Take a Case of Gina" - Pride, Passion & Customer Satisfaction - July 6, 2015, Helen MacMillan
Earlier this week, I was in the beautiful Annapolis Valley to do some business. This was a great excuse for me to visit my favourite Nova Scotia Winery, Gaspereau. I am prepping my household and my food and beverage inventory for an invasion of visitors this summer - from Fredericton, Hamilton, Vancouver, Edmonton and Minneapolis - so I thought I would make a quick stop at Gaspereau to showcase some local wine for the gaggle of visiting friends and family.
At this stage of game, the NS wine industry is still considered to be in its infancy. People are not patient and sometimes unkind, and the NS Industry has been criticized for being unsophisticated in its approach and product. If that’s where the industry is – I say don’t mess with it! My experiences visiting local wineries – and there have been many - have always been exciting and refreshing from a customer experience perspective. My latest experience is proof positive.
Upon my arrival at Gaspereau I was met by two very friendly smiling faces and warm greetings. As I approached the tasting bar I asked what products were being tasted today. Emma – behind the tasting bar – looked at me with a warm grin and wide stretched arms and said – “you can taste an-y-thing you want!” So I started with ‘what is your best wine pairing for seafood?’ She brightly suggested the Muscat; described as floral, with hints of lychee, grapefruit, dry and a beautiful copper colour….she had me at lychee. It is a gorgeous wine. “Yes I will take a case of that one.” Next she suggested the Tidal Bay. The prideful description included; the only Appalachian wine as NS’s landscape is dictated by the Appalachian mountain range. It was good, but the Muscat had won me over. Next “Emma, what do you have for new interesting reds this year?” I thought Emma would explode. She presented the bottle of “Gina’s Red.” She is beaming, “this is made by our very own winemaker Gina Haverstock the ONLY female wine maker in NS!! It’s a blend of blends; marechal foch, marguette, triomphe d’alsace and lucie kuhlmann, you get aromas of plum, black cherry, vanilla, chocolate…….It’s quite complex and interesting….a wine you want to sit with maybe while you read a book so you can take time and discover all of its personality.” “OK I’ll take a case of Gina.” So two cases of wine – PLUS two free bottles of anything of my choice – you buy a case – you get a free bottle. Plus some cheese from Fox Hill, pork rillettes and crostinis and I left one happy customer.
I’m not sure that the two cases + two bottles will be completely intact by the time my company arrives this summer, but I know if not – I will pack all the invaders in the car and we’ll go and visit Emma at Gaspereau. With the exuding pride she has in her product, that is so contagious, we will have a gaggle of new NS wine customers.