Before I start with this post, there are a couple of things you have to know about us.
1. We don’t like to write negative reviews or posts. Instead, we like to have a positive attitude and view on life.
2. We appreciate wine, but we are not experts. I know the difference between a pinot gris and a pinot noir and that’s about it. I am more interested in the taste of the wine and the human side of a winery: how long does this winery exist, where are itsvineyards situated, what’s their philosophy about wine and so on.
3. Lars and I are always friendly and respectful. I even have the naive belief that when you are friendly with someone, this person will automatically be friendly with you as well.
4. When we travel, we always dress casual. In winter this means jeans, sweater and sports shoes. So no fancy clothes.
5. We do know several languages and we always try to say something in the language of the country where we are. Lars has a basic knowledge of French, whereas I master everyday French quite well. So in France it’s usually me who does the talking.
Anyway, let’s get on with our story. Our last stop was at the Chateau de Vaux.
Our first impression was quite positive: the village looked cosy and the winery was located in a cellar of the castle. There were about 5 customers, who were all dressed in their best clothes. I could hear from their conversations that these people knew a lot about wine and were regular customers. Lars and I went to the counter and waited since only one woman was busy with the clients. After a couple of minutes it was our turn.
Woman: Good evening, what can I do for you?
I: We would like to taste some wines.
Woman: Which one?
We were a bit surprised by this question. Until now we had been become used to the owner of the winery to take the initiative; he or she usually presented his wines and gave some explanation. Maybe we had to indicate whether we would like to taste red or white wine? Lars and I went for white. The woman went to an enormous fridge, took some white wine and poured some of it in two glasses. She showed the bottle to us and that was it. No explanation whatsoever. And we couldn’t ask any information, because she had gone back to her other clients.
After what seemed like an eternity to us, she came back and asked if we wanted to tasted more. Lars and I hoped that she would take the time now to give some more explanation, but the woman followed exactly the same procedure. We started to feel a bit uneasy. And after 2 more times with the same treatment we felt neglected and frustrated.
I decided to end this ridiculous show and indicated that we were ready to buy some wines. We chose two bottles. I had already seen that the woman possessed a device to pay with bank card or credit card, so this should be a piece of cake. Just like in the two other places where we had been that day.
I first presented my bank card, but she refused. Then I took my credit card.
Woman: That’s impossible.
I: What do you mean? I can see the device over there.
Woman: I know, but you can only pay with it if you spend more than € 95.
Our mouths dropped open… 95??? Are you kidding??? We are budget travelers!!!
I asked if there was a bank somewhere. She gave a negative answer, turned her back towards us and completely ignored us. When we asked the other clients about the bank… we got exactly the same treatment. To be honest: Lars and I felt humiliated!
- Quality of produce: we only have a very vague idea, since the quantities we tasted were very very limited.
- Service: service? What service????
- Price: Not too expensive.
- Atmosphere: we felt very unwelcome. Maybe they don’t like budget travelers? Maybe we were not fancy enough?
Chateau de Vaux will never see us again!