A lot has happened over the last few months at Grape Creek Vineyards and Heath Sparkling Wines, so we wanted to share an update on where we are and where we are going.
Covid forced a lot of change for all of us, individually and collectively. Our businesses were no exception. Parts of our operations were considered essential (winemaking, vineyards and warehouse/shipping) and other parts were subject to restaurant and/or bar rules. We worked diligently to be open and serving our members and guests whenever and wherever we could do it safely and within the law.
A Focus on Members
While many governmental restrictions were onerous, and some made little sense, we learned and adapted. In fact, many of the changes we might have tackled without facing limited options, but some we may not have. What we learned is many resulted in a better customer experience. Limited resources also meant even more focus on our members. While some members had to wait for a table (usually just on Saturday afternoons), most said they preferred it because once seated it was a nicer experience. Overall, we have had a lot of positive feedback regarding the changes and some past members rejoined due to the shifts in our approach.
Here are some adjustments we made and intend to keep:
- Expanded table service for wine and food at all seating locations in member areas and the restaurant
- Creation of a small bites menu available on the wine club patio, in addition to continuing full menu availability at the restaurant
- Wine by the glass and small bites on the porch at Heath Sparkling for Heath Sparkling Wines members
- Maître D assistance and coordination for a more personal tasting experience for new guests
- 21+ only at all locations (this includes no infants as well)
- ADA service animals only
- All patio and restaurant seating dedicated to members only on Saturday and Sunday
As you can see, when we reopened in May, we made sure we applied our covid-restricted resources and occupancy toward our members.
So, what’s next?
- We have extended our weekend member-only seating (patios, restaurant and lounge) to all day, every day and at all locations (where seating is available).
- Stout’s Trattoria is expanding their kitchen space and equipment in early 2021 to enhance capabilities.
- Due to high demand, only Grape Creek and Heath Sparkling members have access to purchase Heath Sparkling Wine.
- Perhaps the biggest news, we are planning to break ground on a beautiful, new member patio at Heath Sparkling Wines in early 2021. Like our Grape Creek patios, we will offer reciprocal access to members of both wineries and we will serve both Grape Creek and Heath Sparkling wines on the new patio, with plans for a small bite menu, too!
Our members have been the energy and drive behind our growth over the years, and we want to return the favor and say thank you! Grape Creek and Heath Sparkling are truly “Wine Club Wineries”!
Everyone in our family are big Disneyland fans. Brian has been accused of being a little over the top in planning for maximum efficiency to achieve ride wait-time reduction and fastpass acquisition! Through all our visits, we also learned the experience at Disney was different on a Wednesday in early December than a July 4th Saturday. Neither is a bad experience (it’s Disneyland after all), but the experiences are different. The latter usually involves longer waits and more people in the park, which for some feels festive and for others a little crowded.
Our wineries are similar. The experience is different based on when you come. We do everything we can to make your experience wonderful, regardless of the day or season you visit. However, if you have the flexibility to visit during the week versus a weekend, or visit in January or September, as opposed to, March or October, you will find a little more elbow room and usually not much of a wait for anything. And of course, you can pick up your Grape Creek or Heath Sparkling wine allocations any day of the week.
As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our members experience, we are installing a new software system with increased capabilities. This will allow us to consider a more robust reservation approach, including member patio and restaurant seating, for our busy days. We will keep you posted on this possibility.
We welcome new guests and return visitors to participate in a sparkling wine tasting. Reserve your tasting experience and plan your visit. We look forward to serving you.
How are Grape Creek and Heath Sparkling doing with all the shutdowns and limitations?
We get this question a lot, and the answer is we are doing surprisingly well. The support of our members and efforts of our staff have been absolutely amazing and we are very grateful.
We have experienced a couple of very positive, unanticipated outcomes. First, our member retention rate has been substantially higher than our normal level, which is already quite good. Secondly, our limited number of new guests are signing up for our wine club at a significantly higher percentage than prior to the shutdowns. We can’t fully explain these positive shifts, but we are very happy about them!
Due to our members ongoing commitment and loyalty, we have the resources to expand what we can offer and continue to improve your experience.
Thank you and we hope to see you soon at Grape Creek Vineyards and Heath Sparkling Wines!
Brian and Jennifer Heath