In planning this trip, I E-mailed all the wineries we wanted to visit, explaining to them our risk circumstances and trying to get a feel for what they could offer us, and what their plans were to deal with COVID-19. Almost all of the wineries responded quickly, and with detail, but none with the detail we received from Alex at Le Vieux Pin.
We’ve known Alex for quite some time, as we were members of the Wine Society at Le Vieux Pin and their sister winery, La Stella, for years. Alex handles the wine clubs for both wineries, as well as setting up a lot of tastings at LVP. He’s a good guy, and always takes excellent care of us; in fact, we get treated just like we are still club members. We left the clubs simply because we have so much wine and just couldn’t keep buying so much, but we still get a case here and there of their excellent product. Alex’s detailed response plan to COVID-19 was so thorough, so well thought-out, we knew instantly we were going to be safe, and we planned a visit.
A bit of a bonus: We were going to be able to have this tasting in their cement tank room, where we would be the only guests. As almost all of our tastings were outside (as we wanted it), it was nice to have one inside, away from the summer heat.
As we arrived, we noticed a group of wild horses coming down from the vineyard adjacent to the property. Majestic animals, but apparently quite a nuisance. Although they don’t eat the grapes, I guess they are still quite disruptive.
We tasted a host of their fine wines, so let’s get to it.
Safety rating: 10
Alex had us set up in the tank room, a large table to ourselves, and he was masked for the entire visit and never got close enough to us for that to matter much anyway. Hand sanitizer was available, individual spittoons, tables sanitized between every visit. Tough to imagine they could do much more. And if you want to sit outside, there is a lot of space for that as well. Highly recommended; but you need to book an appointment, they are not accepting walk-ins.
Up next: Going to go back in time a bit. As I was pulling out my notes on this tasting, I remembered that we had some time between our Checkmate tasting and this one, and in that time we hit up a winery we didn’t have an appointment at (our only drop in visit of the trip), so Cassini Cellars, you’re up!