Tasting Room Series: Boisset Taste of Terroir

Happy day after Thanksgiving! Did you all have your fill of turkey and pie and wine? Have you been up since 3 am, pushing and shoving to get a few holiday gifts? As this post goes live, I am probably still sleeping. A true vacation day is a true vacation day, and having my husband with me on a Friday is a rare treat!

While I am looking for guest posts and Friday Foodie Features (just email me at traveleatlove @ gmail.com if you would like to post or be featured), I thought I would make today the second in my Tasting Room Series with our visit to Boisset Taste of Terroir tasting room on the Healdsburg Plaza.

When we visited Healdsburg in July for the hubs’ birthday, we noticed that a new tasting room was going in to one of the open storefronts on the plaza, and after celebrating Bastille Day at DeLoach, found out that DeLoach’s parent company, Boisset Family Estates, was going to be the tasting room in that space.

On our visit to Sonoma again earlier this month, we had a little bit of time of kill before meeting William for lunch, so we decided to check out the new Boisset Taste of Terroir tasting room.

Boisset Taste of Terroir

Opulent, splendidly decorated, and quiet, the Boisset tasting room is beautiful and elegant in a way that is very different than most of the beauty in Northern California. It definitely has a French feel, and the tasting options further reinforce that.

Boisset Taste of Terroir

Boisset Taste of Terroir

Before we chose a tasting, a kind stranger offered to take our photo. I hate being in photos, but felt like we couldn’t say no! Winking smile

Boisset Tasting Room Healdsburg

Burgundy map Boisset Tasting Room

After browsing the variety of selections on the tasting menu, which offer different flights from Boisset vineyards in both Burgundy and California, we decided to go for the bubbly, but of course.

Sparkling Pearls ~ $12.
Dive into the beautiful world of Burgundian bubbles with our Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne tasting. Perle de Vigne, Perle de Nuit and Perle d’Or are all Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based sparkling wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges in the Côte d’Or

image Boisset Tasting Room

We don’t drink much French wine at home; our collection is primarily made of wine from California, Italy, Austria, Washington, and Spain, but as I learn more about wine in my wine class, I realize I need to keep expanding my horizons. Sparkling wine from Burgundy is a great way to do that, and we were delighted with each and every wine we tasted.

But. . .

The tasting experience was beyond unpleasant. I don’t expect to always have attentive and knowledgeable staff at the tasting bar, but for the staff person to be downright rude is sort of unacceptable.

The woman working that day was from Burgundy herself and could not say enough bad things about the US and our work visa processes. She did not tell us a single thing about any of the wine that she poured, just poured and walked away into the back room. And when asked about Burgundy, her home, she told us not to bother visiting there. Not the best representative for a company based in Burgundy and certainly not at all hospitable for a hospitality position.

I left to meet William while my husband paid, and he stood at the bar for 25 minutes while the girl went in the back and yelled in French on a phone call. Other than a man tasting alone, we were the only patrons for the entire half hour plus that we were there, and it was empty when we walked by again after lunch. With a welcome like that, I would not return.

I hate to write bad reviews about places, but I have to be honest; I hope that this blog can provide great recommendations as well as steer people away from bad experiences. With all of the other wineries and tasting rooms in the Healdsburg area, you don’t need to waste your time here.

And as someone who would love to have this girl’s job but probably couldn’t get it because I don’t have experience, I find it beyond frustrating that she was so unpleasant.

We did have a great lunch at Bistro Ralph just a few doors away, and while I didn’t get many photos, it was definitely a restaurant I would visit again.

You live, you learn, and sometimes, despite good wine, you might just leave with a bad taste in your mouth.

How do you feel about writing negative posts or reviews? What was the worst customer service experience you have ever had?

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Tags: Boisset, California, Food, Healdsburg, Lunch, sparkling wine, wine, wine tasting

  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food’s avatar

    What a gorgeous room! Looks spectacular!

    Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! Hope you are enjoying your day off!


  2. Michelle’s avatar

    I hate writing negative reviews and would rather not write about it at all instead of putting something negative out there….but sometimes something is so bad that you have to write about it! I’m sorry the service was so terrible. :-(


  3. Grace’s avatar

    This looks like a beautiful place to taste wine. It is too bad that you were made to feel so unwelcome. Since they are still so new, maybe they will iron out some of the kinks?


  4. Daisy’s avatar

    I think the tasting room is stunning, but I can’t believe the experience as a whole. Why go all out to make something so pretty only to kill it with negative energy and horrible service. I think negative reviews are essential if the experience was that bad! I don’t encounter it often but my worst experience ever was a North Street Grille. I wrote about it and will never go back.


  5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    Well, it just goes to show that looks aren’t everything. The tasting room looks amazing, but seems to have a bad personality ;)
    I wouldn’t call your review negative, I would call it honest. Thanks for your honest review!


  6. Leeanne’s avatar

    We almost didn’t stop here because I remembered your bad experience so vividly, but we were really in the mood for bubbles. I’m glad we did – the young man behind the counter was really friendly and the tastings were delicious. I did the Sparkling Pearls and if I remember right, my husband had the Tête à Tête. Eagerly awaiting my shipment from them!


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