If you have visited us before and wondering how we have changed, we are providing this summary of changes to help you understand the changes to our operations, and the reason for the changes.  None of these changes are because of the current COVID situation but some did evolved from our operations during COVID.  Operations have changed with the hope that we will create a better experience for our visitors.   If after visiting or after reading about our change, you have any suggestions or comments, please do not hesitate to let us know by filling out the form at the bottom.   We do not read social media reviews as we believe that people should simply talk directly to each other in an effort to improve because we know that if we listen we will learn.

Tastings.

Our new approach is intended to create a better experience with the opportunity to taste wine and discuss wine with our Tasting Guides.  In the past, we had moments where the tasting area resembled a bar with customers packed in, waiving glasses for service.  Crowds of sometimes 80 people gathered in an area designed for 30 people.  On certain days we became a bar room environment and not a tasting experience.   Accordingly, we have decided to limit the tasting room to 24 people at a time with 45 minutes to enjoy up to 8 different wines or a combination of wine, spirits and beers.  Reservations are not necessary but we offer the ability to book a reservation so that you are not disappointed if space is not available.  The decision to book a reservation is entirely up to our customers and assures you that space will be available at the time you select.  Tastings have increased from $15 to $17 per person as we have added 3 additional tastings going from 5 tastings previously to 8 tastings currently.    For more information and to book, please click here.

Tours – An indoor journey through our production facility.

Tours are being offered exactly as they were offered in the past and the only exception is that we now limit our capacity to 15 people whereas previously 30 people were allowed on each tour.  Reservations are not necessary but we offer the ability to book a reservation so that you are not disappointed should space not be available at the time you wish.  Tours have increased from $15 to $20 per person and include a glass and the tasting of 5 selected wines.  For more information and to book, please click here.

Tables at our Picnic Grounds – The Vintner Knoll – How and why we changed

Prior to the pandemic, we would have over 3000 people on the property during the fall and the crowds were massive.   Many people complained about the number of people on the property at one time and it was basically a free for all to get a table.  The pandemic slowed things down and made us realize that rather than doing 3000 people a day in a free for all spontaneous environment, we can do 800-1000 people and present a more relaxed and enjoyable environment for everyone. As business owners we made a conscious decision to alter our business to be more service attentive to a smaller customer base. 
To sustain revenue with a smaller customer base, we discontinued allowing people to bring their own food and now required food that is intended to be consumed on the property to be purchased on the property.  Rather than being a public picnic grounds we are an open air restaurant operating as the Vintner’s Knoll.  Our approach is almost identical to the approach taken by most restaurants.  Think of us as a restaurant and many questions are answered.
To avoid lines of people waiting for tables, we instituted a reservation system which, for many, is refreshing and efficient for those who are able to plan.  The first few years are going to be difficult as many customers show up expecting no changes.  However, I would encourage everyone, regardless of the venue they are visiting, to make sure they understand that many venues have changed, and it is unwise to venture out without knowledge of the new world.  We are not perfect, but we believe we are and will become a better venue for people wanting a casual country experience.
An exception to being like a regular restaurant is that we modified our reservations system to change $5 per person.  However, we provide each person with a reservation a free bottle of water and a free Nashoba Wine Glass to use and take home (an equivalent value to the reservation fee).  On weekdays, we accommodate walk-ins but people without reservations, are provided with a table and plastic tumblers for their beverages.  They can purchase a glass for $6.00 and bottled water for $1.00.  The choice is completely up to our customers with the understanding that we staff based on reservations and therefore there may be times when we cannot accept walkin.  This is especially true in September and October when it is safe to assume that on Saturday and Sunday, reservations are absolutely necessary.   If a table is open but our staff does not feel that they will be able to provide service to the table, we will turn away people even though a table might be available.
Fewer people, great social distancing between tables, almost contact free service, relaxed countryside setting, friendly staff and a better overall experience are our goals.  Only time will tell if our vision is appealing to enough to visitors to allow us to grow and prosper.  We have changed but change and evolution is what being an entrepreneur is all about, a vision and execution.  We appreciate that there will be people that are concerned about our new approach and may decide not to visit but we hope that they will give us the opportunity to try our new approach and let us know their comments and recommendations.  Nothing is perfect and we are always interested in trying new things and modifying our approach.  Please continue reading the next section about food and beverage operations.
 

Food & Non-alcoholic Beverages – The Vintner Knoll.

Probably the biggest change to our operations is that we no longer allow people to bring in outside food or soft drinks which was a requirement imposed during the pandemic and which we have elected to retain since we now offer food everyday at the tables outside of the winery that is prepared by our restaurant.  Food served is available everyday from 11 am until 4 pm.  On Thursday, Friday and Saturday these hours are extended to closing at 5pm.   
There is absolutely no need to purchase food and you can simply order a glass of wine or beer from your table.   We continue to add more retail food items in our retail shop such as chips, salas, nuts, cheeses, breads, crackers and other snack foods that can be purchased and enjoyed on site. 
 

Alcoholic Beverages – The Vintner Knoll.

In the past, we allowed people to purchase alcoholic beverages in the retail shop for on site consumption.  We have changed this policy to better manage on site consumption in compliance with state and local regulations and to offer wine by the glass and by flights in addition to wine by the bottle.  The prices for wine or beer delivered to your table are exactly the same price of wine sold at retail.   We believe this is a much more responsible approach to on-site consumption while also presenting our customer with wine by the glass or flights.   A “flight” of wines offers 5 different wines (5/8 of an ounce each) that are served to you so that you can taste and enjoy a wide variety of the wines produced at Nashoba Valley.   

We are here to listen.