August 11, 2022 | Winery News
April 11, 2021 | Employee Life
Today we are excited to congratulate Chris, the Gettysburg Wine Shop manager, on ten years with the winery. If you have visited the winery in the past ten years there is a good chance you have meet Chris. Before coming to the winery, Chris was a Microbiologist/Mycologist and has an amazing attention to detail that she bring to everything she does at the winery. Chris is a customer service superstar, a hard worker, and great at planning anything ( she also has a knack for making delicious wine cocktail and slushy recipes ). She started working at the Farm Winery as the assistant tasting room manager and has been a huge part of the tours, private tastings, Barrel Taster Club, and many of your favorite winery events. You may remember seeing Chris orchestrating our Summer Concerts or running around making sure everything was perfect at Rusty’s Birthday Bash. Today you may recognize her handiwork while passing the Wine Shop windows ( which she decorates ), or in the excellent service you receive when you are there. She is always able to keep everything running smoothly while still having time to share a story or help out. If you see Chris make sure to congratulate her!
You started working at the Farm Winery as the assistant tasting room manager, do you have any favorite memories or stories from when you first started at the winery?
My first day I attended the Wednesday manager’s meeting and we tasted a wine. Have to say that was the most fun I had at a meeting.
Another favorite memory was standing on a ladder trying to be seen by a large bus group of retired Navy. Everyone was laughing because I was too short to be seen, which is why one of the guys in Ops grabbed the ladder for me.
Another favorite story was of a young couple on their first wine tour asking if they had to spit out the wine like they saw it on tv. I told them they could but it seemed like a waste of good wine. Then they told me that their friends made fun of them because they didn’t really drink wine because they preferred sweet wines. I said “Well I work at a winery. I plan all the events at the winery. I put together wine dinners and assorted paring events. I help with teaching people how to make wine. I also show guests like yourselves how wine is made. I also have helped train staff at the winery. I drink sweet wine so what would your friends say to me.” They both started grinning and said they were going to tell their friends about me next time they made fun of them.
A favorite tour memory was startling a group of ladies on a tour because they did not believe me when I said that the Ops crew has to climb in a tank to clean it. I simply walked over to the tank where I knew someone was doing just that, called his name and he popped his head out to the shock of the ladies.
Many would laugh when I say I’m shy especially since I never hesitated hopping up on stage for announcements, contests and offering up toasts during concerts.
Do you have a favorite aspect of your job, and is it the same as it was when you first started or has it changed over the years?
I enjoy doing tastings with guests and really enjoy the private tastings with groups. That has been the same from day one. I still laugh over one guest questioning my description of something as yummy by inquiring if that was a technical wine term. My response was well we could discuss the lovely straw color and the length of the legs as well as the mouth feel. His response was nope yummy works just fine.
I also love that a couple of years ago a gentleman came in and said in a very loud voice while pointing at me “it’s all your fault”. I said okay but what did I do this time. His answer was you told my wife to try the Rebel Red because it was the non red drinkers red and the non-wine drinkers wine so now we have to buy it by the case. I laughed and said ‘yep that is what I tell my guests during tastings when they say they don’t like reds’. Those guests do still buy it by the case.
I loved doing the candy pairing events especially when I told my first group about pairing candy with wine. I told them that the first time I sat down with a bag of M&M’s and a bottle of wine that it was not a great pairing but I did not want to be a quitter so I finished the candy with the wine and looked for a better fit the next time. I always assure my guests that I take my job seriously and am willing to go the extra mile to “research” pairings for them so that they don’t have to.
Do you have a favorite wine?
Twisted Thicket these days which isn’t all that surprising considering I’m a Rebel Red girl from way back.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
As Gordon ( my husband ) will wholeheartedly point out I do my best to single handedly support the retail industry in all forms. I’m constantly doing my holiday gift shopping year round and sometimes for years in advance. I also like to do a lot of homework in the industry so on days off you can find us at a winery, brewery, cidery or distillery. I like to tell my family that we supported local before it was in fashion.
Do you have a favorite day or event in your career at the winery?
I have been thinking about this question most of today and honestly cannot pinpoint one in particular. Every event day was always great even if most I spent most of them running here and there. I’ve helped with proposals and planning of weddings. I’ve been here long enough for guests to bring kids that I remember running around on concert days for their first wine tasting.
Another favorite was sitting under a counter trying to keep Rusty ( the winery dog ) in a desk chair for the end of the Stray Cat Strut video Scott was shooting.
Racing up and down thru the vineyard on a gator (giving me the keys may have not been the wisest choice) while setting up for our first “dining in the vines”. Having passersby stop and stare at a window (my newest obsession) I created and then taking pictures of them. It is truly hard to pick one memory as the top. I could also add the day that one of our more mischievous staff called the winery from another line and told me that he was a tour director who was just coming down the lane with his tour group for their private tour. I calmly asked (despite freaking out) how many in the group while trying to grab some staff to start setting up only to get a laughing “April Fools” shouted in my ear.