Behind the scenes at any winery, there’s an item as important as the wine itself: the glass the wine is served in. While the average patron might not think twice about the glass, the management certainly thought long and hard about what kind of glass to use. That’s because some wine glasses are made especially for tasting – they’re designed to enhance the wine’s flavor. So keeping these glasses clean, organized and protected is vital to a winery’s business. With a good warewashing system, wineries can protect their glassware and continue to delight customers during their wine tasting experience.
We spoke with Andrew Amon, Facilities Manager for Leal Vineyards, about how he manages more than a thousand glasses each day.
How many wine glasses does Leal have?
About a thousand between the tasting room, table setups for an event, plus bar service.
How many glasses are broken on average each week?
At least six glasses break due to guests, or servers mishandling tray service, dropping them into the rack too fast, and buffing glasses too aggressively.
When selecting a wine glass to use, what are you looking for? What features are important?
For us, the style is important. We want to have something that is up-to-date and looks presentable for the new era. Next would be customization: the ability to incorporate our logo and etch the correct ounce pour line into the glass. Also, the lip of the glass is important: something thin enough that allows people to taste wine as a pleasant experience. We look at durability and cost. At private functions guests sometimes leave with glasses. We can’t afford to have $6 glasses walking away for souvenirs.
What challenges do you have for these 1,000+ glasses: washing, sorting, storing, and transporting them?
Depending on the temperature of the dishwasher being used, you have to check each glass before they are washed to see if there is lipstick on there. Sometimes these high-temp washers can remove it, but depending on what kind of filtration you have, you are going to have to buff the glass.
Other than that, challenges are keeping them protected. We’ve taken advantage of the Camdollies® and rack lids for transport. For example, I had a box truck with a lift gate, and I was able to use the Camdolly from the lift gate, cart them inside the doorway, park right next to the dishwasher, load them onto the conveyor, shake them off because they have residual on top, and let them drip dry onto the Camdolly, then transfer them back out.
We usually keep those Camdollies in place for bartending as well. If there is a Camdolly with five racks and lid, lock that wheel in place and it is there for the evening.
Comparing Camracks® to other racks, what’s your experience?
These other racks get worn out and soiled. There’s no other way to compare them. You can tell on the bottoms of these racks. A conveyor, for example, will wear down the bottom of the rack where the conveyor bites it. If someone was going to purchase a rack for a conveyor, you need something very thick and sturdy.
What benefits does a good warewashing system lend to your business?
We use racks to store and organize our glasses; it’s our only option. For example, we rarely use martini glasses, and we used to store them the cardboard boxes [they came in]. But over time, the boxes tilt and break, and we were losing glasses.
We have our glassware racks color coded: green for champagne, black for wine, blue for water. We stay organized with this method.
What’s the funniest or craziest thing you’ve seen someone do during wine tasting?
While a group of four was taste testing a flight of wines, one guest in particular was talking the majority of the time without giving me a chance to describe the wines being sampled. This one guest kept talking and twirling his wine until he finally spilled all over himself and the stemless glass crashed into pieces all over the counter. After that, I was able to have everyone’s full attention!
Find the perfect glass racks for your foodservice operation using our My Camracks interactive tool. And get more information about the Camrack 4-in-1 Warewashing System by contacting your local Cambro representative.
Links for Leal Winery