A tasting room can impress you with something as simple as a welcoming greeting and a small rustic space. Heck, some wineries (like Demetria) can wow you even without a tasting room, embracing the outdoor pastoral picturesque experience and beauty of their land.
Bugs and cobwebs are everywhere and it’d probably be hard to find a tasting room without them. Some people don’t even notice them. But the cobwebs, bugs, and dank musty smells at the Chateau Rodin tasting room are hard to miss. You may want to overlook them, putting on your optimistic and open minded attitude in hopes that you’ve found a diamond in the rough. You may even argue that the wine should speak rather than the tasting room. If a wine speaks to you, something is seriously wrong with it.
We are not winemakers or scientists but even we know Merlot should be red or garnet in color when it is young. How they got such a recent vintage to look brown is a mystery. How they got it to taste like brandy is probably a scary story. Locals are full of scary stories about these “winemakers” and their legal troubles or their challenges with decor.
When you travel off the beaten path, trust the locals. Small towns are full of people who are familiar with their local winemakers and are quick to offer recommendations and help visitors. If you pop into a tasting room because it was on the side of the road, don’t be afraid to exit when you see too many cobwebs or an unclean space. If the tasting room is not clean, imagine how clean their equipment and cellar is!