Monday, July 12, 2010
(I'm being really lazy here and just copying & pasting my review from TripAdvisor & Yelp)
I rarely write reviews for anything. An experience has to be either incredible or incredibly terrible for me to take the time to review it. I'm making an exception here, because half the experience was fantastic. The other half was terrible. Horton gets 3 stars simply because the wines are great. There truly is something for every palate.
That being said, my friends and I drove several hours last weekend specifically to visit Horton. We go to all of the Northern Virgina festivals and love Horton's wines. Unfortunately, you are not able to taste everything at the festivals. They do not bring all of their wines (understandably, as there are about 40 of them) and the crowds prevent you from really being able to enjoy the wines. Hence our decision to drive 3 hours to visit them. We really wanted to be able to try everything.
Unfortunately, when we told the woman pouring that we wanted to try all of the whites, fruits and deserts (reds are upstairs in a separate tasting area), we received a lot of attitude. I feel it's important to mention that we were all fairly sober and VERY polite to her- even after she practically ignored us and rolled her eyes at us several times. Each time we finished tasting one, she asked what we wanted to try next (ummm....the next one on the list perhaps?). It felt like pulling teeth to get the woman to pour some wine for us.
After finally getting to try everything downstairs, we went upstairs to try one wine- the vintage port. Bob was pouring upstairs and was such a refreshing change after being treated so poorly by the wine nazi downstairs. He was friendly and encouraged us to try others that we probably would not have otherwise tried.
We only tried a few, since we were starting to feel the effects of the earlier whites. However, we hadn't decided which wines to buy, so we decided to trek back downstairs and try the 2 chocolates again (with a different pourer- since the first was so rude). When the first pourer saw us going to a different counter, she gave us a very nasty look and told the woman who was about to pour for us not to.
All three of us ended up buying, but we did it grudgingly. If all of their wines were available at Total Wine, we definitely would not have made any purchases after the way we were treated.
I understand that pouring wine all day for drunk people probably isn't great, but the staff at Horton need to keep in mind that a lot of the people there travel to Gordonsville specifically to visit their winery. While I love their wines, I don't think I will be visiting Horton again after the way my friends and I were treated. And I certainly wouldn't recommend it to other friends. I usually try not to drive 3 hours to be treated like crap- I can get that at some of the Northern VA wineries.