Kids at wineries, a photo contest

Should kids be banned from wineries? The recent poll on this topic generated a heated discussion and, as of this writing, those against banning kids were ahead by a 3-1 margin.

But I want to see those kids. So let’s have a kids and winery photo contest! Cute overload! In fact, for those who live nearer wine bars or wine shops than wineries, it could be kids in that sort of wine environment photo too. Rather than just the usual “glory” that I hand out, this time there will be actual prizes.

Since we have a wine and kids combination in our very own house, I’m drawing on that for the prize. My wife, Michelle, has written four children’s books and a baby journal. The prize will be a complete set of her five books, including the not-yet-released newest book in the series! It will also include an Urban Babies Wear Black onesie.

Here are the books:

Urban Babies Wear Black
Country Babies Wear Plaid
Beach Babies Wear Shades
Winter Babies Wear Layers — a special pre-release!
The New Baby’s Baby Journal–another pre-release!
and…the black onesie!

Am I trying to stick my finger in the proverbial eye of those who voted anti-child pro-banning in the poll? No! Even if you’re pro-banning, you can still send in a picture of a kid at a winery. Photoshop is your friend, people! And should you win, you can give the books away to your favorite niece or nephew. Just to sweeten the deal, I’ll throw in a box of grape juice.

So here’s what you need to do. Send in your photos to me at tyler at drvino dot com by Monday, October 1. I’ll put them up on this site. (If you want me to link to your blog, let me know the details–if you want anonymity for your little one, I’ll assign the photo a number.) Then during that week, you can vote for your choice and maybe even caption the photos. By Sunday, October 7, the one with the most votes wins the prize!

Urban Babies Wear Black

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14 Responses to “Kids at wineries, a photo contest”

  1. Dr. Vino,
    Can I pick your brain? I would like to offer a short program teaching younger kids how wine is made. The hands on part would be getting the kids into dishpans filled with grapes and letting them stomp around. Before that, I wanted to read them a story, preferably from a picture book, that described them how wine is made. I went to the library yesterday, but my librarian did not know of any children’s books that describe winemaking. Have you ever come across a book you would recommend for this exercise?

  2. Hi Kathleen,

    That could be a book that is waiting to be written! I don’t know of anything.

    Gabriella’s visit to a winery with 50 five year olds could be of particular interest to you:


  3. Hmm…I was taken on many a vineyard tour as a baby. What does it take to win? Overwhelming cuteness? If so, I’ve got this in the bag 😉

  4. Tyler,

    Visiting wine country frequently and regularly, I constantly see people getting buzzed and some even smashed. A DUI with a minor on bard is an automatic Felony.

    With that in mind, I absolutely support a “no minors in the tasting room” policy.

    That aside, everyone’s kids are different. Some kids are mellow and you’d never know they were there, and other kids are just too disruptive.

    To me, the bottom line is that a wine tasting room is an adult environment.

  5. Arthur,
    I do not see the connection between a DUI with a minor in the car and bringing kids to wineries. You are confusing the issue. Letting kids run wild in a winery is irrespnsible. Drinking and driving with or without a kid is ILLEGAL. Don’t confuse the issue. Should kids not be allowed to go to restaurants where alcohol is served?

  6. I found a book! Thanks for everyone’s help. I am ordering a copy of “The Grapes Grow Sweet,” the story of a vineyard from a child’s point of view.
    Kathleen Lisson
    Albany, NY

  7. Sara,

    Please, reread the first sentence of my post and you will see the connection *and* that the two *are* connected.

    The fact is that when people go out to a restaurant, they usually do not get inebriated, or at least not as severely as they do while wine “tasting” (which requires spitinng – something most visitors don’t do). Unfortunately, for many wine country visitors, wine tasting becomes a pub crawl.

    Many wine country alliances are moving to a taste-for-ticket system and even cutting off or kicking out vistors. This is because people do get out of control. A no-kids policy is a responisble move on the part of wine country organizations. The last thing they want is bad press and possible liability from someone killing themselves and maybe even their kids.

    I recognize that this post was a request for photos of kids and wineries. I initially intended to commont on the poll but saw no link for comments. I think that posting my comment in this section was just as appropriate.

  8. Arthur,

    Please reread my post – the two are not connected. These are two totally separate issues that you are confusing. What we are talking about is responsible versus irresponsible behavior NOT bringing your child to a winery or not. I’ve been to numerous wineries and I’ve never gotten sloshed. I do not drive drunk. I am a parent. I want to be a parent and go to wineries. I will not get sloshed and drive with or without my child. You said wineries encourage spitting. I’ve never seen a spit bucket at a restaurant. The question still remains, isn’t it just about being a responsible adult? If you outlaw kids in wineries because there is alcohol there then be consistent and outlaw kids from ANY establishment with wine.

  9. Sara,

    I applaud your responsible behavior although I do not bring my kids to winery tasting rooms. Unfortunately, it is easy to slip across the blurry boundary between responsible and irresponsible behavior while consuming alcohol. I see this routinely, unfortunately. To outlaw kids from *any* establishment with wine is a bit heavy-handed. In a restaurant, the focus is the food and wine is ancillary. In a tasting room – like in a bar – the alcoholic beverage is the focus. There is a greater incidence of people becoming intoxicated at tasting rooms than at a restaurant – and while you may not, many do.

    If spit buckets are not visible I am sure that if you ask for a bucket/vat or at least a spit cup, you will get one.

    A wine tasting trip for the parents is a great opportunity for the kids to bond with grandparents or aunts/uncles (or a baby sitter to earn some cash). It gives the parents a break and a chance to be adults without worrying about being a parent.

  10. Dr. Vino,

    Personally, I have seen this go both ways — parents with well-behaved children and parents who are oblivious to the disruption that their children are causing to the rest of the winery.

    Wine country tends to provide some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and wineries are a nice place to enjoy an afternoon. It would be a shame to not allow the responsible parents to expose their children to that because some parents are unable to parent successfully or to designate a driver.

    Now what is it going to take to win the contest?!?! 🙂

  11. What is it going to take to win, Erika and now Allison? Well, I will put up either all the photos or selected photos next Tuesday. Then it will be up for a vote! The photo with the highest total takes home the loot! Send in your photos now!

    Arthur and Sara, glad you seem to have sorted things out around this issue.

    Kathleen, glad you found a book. Looks interesting.

  12. A winery that wishes to allow children will serve itself well by providing some diversions for the children. Both of our tasting rooms have a toy box that we restock regularly with a wide age range of toys. We seldom have a behavior problem from children as a result – few children can resist exploring an unknown toy box!

    The overwhelming majority of parents that come in with kids have already figured out which one is going to taste, and which one is going to parent and drive – or they spit.

  13. […] on this site about banning kids from wineries, we add another poll! But this one has content from you, dear readers, of this site! Grateful for all the photos, the hastily convened Kids At Wineries Committee […]

  14. Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?…

    Interesting article over at the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday about kids and winery tasting rooms, i.e. whether it’s appropriate to bring your kids to wineries you visit. Dr. Vino ran a delightful series of posts on this subject, starting wit…


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