We had become victims of our own success. The wines were never better and friends were telling their friends about the great experiences they were having at Testarossa which brought more visitors.
With the reduction of our Tasting and guest spaces by 50% due to extended temporary closing of our Back Cellars, our main Tasting Room quickly filled to over the Fire Department’s maximum occupancy limit at peak times on weekends. The Tasting Room was also so overcrowded to the point that no one, not Club Members, not Guests and not even our staff could have a good experience. We were losing both Wine Club Members and staff due to this “controlled chaos” where we had no way to control or direct who walked into any of our Tasting Areas. In addition, we were concerned that the Fire Department could completely shut down all of our public access until we were able to manage how many people were in any give space. If we could not ensure maximum occupancy limits of our public spaces by not controlling them, we could have been put out of business. We simply could no longer let club members and visitors go to whichever tasting area they chose without checking in because of the safety issues.
One area of confusion though, is our Club Member Priority model does not guarantee never having to wait. If a Tasting Area is full, sometimes with nearly 100% Club Members, then there will still be a wait until someone leaves and a new space is freed up. Much like a popular restaurant can’t seat a regular guest immediately if every seat in the restaurant is full. There is a maximum limit to the amount of guests we can give a fantastic experience to in any given Tasting Area. To have the best possible experience for our visitors and staff, we strictly limit the number of guests in any Tasting Area to 10 visitors per Testarossa Team Member. In some instances, to the passerby, it may look like the Tasting Room is not full. In almost all of these cases it is because a Tasting Room Team Member (or two, or three) called in sick, or we are struggling, like so many other service industry companies, to hire enough qualified Team Members to fully staff for our needs.
Given the above, our Welcome Centers are open on weekends and busy holidays to ensure that we are in compliance with county safety standards and can maintain a great guest experience.