Temecula Just Says No to Drunks

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By Courtney Cochran

In a novel move for a wine region, So Cal's Temecula Valley lately initiated a program seeking to curb the disruptive antics of overly inebriated visitors to valley wineries. Citing incidents such as impromptu bachelor parties - replete with the likes of booze-emboldened revelers and raunchy blow up dolls - that often spill into tasting rooms (making ordinary sipping more than a little uncomfortable for better behaved visitors), the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association put the program into place last November.
Inventive Intervention
The program works by incentivizing transportation companies (think limos, buses) to call wineries in advance for permission to bring groups of 10 or more tasters into tasting rooms, and these same companies are also asked to make a "best effort" at ensuring customers dropped off aren't "obviously intoxicated or disruptive."  Incentives include free advertising and referrals by the Association's 22 member wineries, and so far, results for the Responsible Partner Program look solid:  Wineries report fewer drunken groups frequenting tasting rooms, and at least one transportation company rep says it's saving him headaches he'd otherwise incur from dealing with drunks.  

These results also mean that wine tasting in Temecula just got that much more inviting. 

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