Tipping in the tasting room?

What’s next? Tipping at Macy*s?

I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, I mean I’ll tip if someone really deserves a tipping, if they really put forth the effort, I’ll give them something extra, but I mean this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. I mean as far as I’m concerned they’re just doing their job.


Just did three days in Paso. Each winery required a reservation, they all charged a fee, and they all presented an opportunity to tip.


We always tip when we visit other wineries. If you tip the waitstaff in a restaurant why would you not tip in a tasting room? Tasting room staff spend far more personalized time with you than restaurant staff and often one-on-one. Time is money for both.

In our Napa tasting room we have a tip line upon checkout with suggested percentages, custom tip or “no tip” options - it is rare that someone does not tip.


I was checking out from an online wine purchase Friday, and the shopping cart had a 10% tip applied, that I didn’t see how to remove. And, ironically, they had just sent email advertising 10% off Memorial Day purchases. This is pretty much that I was thinking in this particular case :slight_smile:.

I should mention we can easily turn the tip line on and off and for certain days (well, presumably days in the future) when we do more public events we will simply have that disengaged. Again, we have tipping available because we were literally being asked about it multiple times/day.


Dog! [cheers.gif]

My issue with everyone now expecting a tip for just doing their job is waitstaff at a restaurant typically get paid less with the expectation that they will make a significant portion of their income through tipping. Not the same for the guy at my dry cleaning business.

In a prior life I managed a restaurant and saw the transition where people were suddenly wanting to tip on take-out orders. The owner hesitated on a tip jar for awhile. The cultural transition was well on its way when we put in a jar. At first about 20% of customers would tip - more regulars and customers recognizing an extra level of service in executing their orders. Decades later it’s the norm from what I see. It worked out nicely, since it was the back of house staff doing the related work and splitting those tips.

We kept the tip jar low-key, and when customers asked if they were supposed to tip, I’d say it’s not expected. A lot of customers like to make that gesture of appreciation.

I’m pretty shocked at how many of you don’t tip. Staff makes min wage, we are buying hundreds of dollars of wine and you can’t drop a few bucks for solid service? I honestly couldn’t imagine not tipping if the experience was positive.


In fairness to everyone, this is far from a smooth and consistent landscape in terms of how tasting room personnel are compensated. A person commented here that their pay is largely based upon some combination of sales bonuses and gratuity (and he seemed quite fine with that arrangement). Folks at my winery, simply anecdotally, have wages that are not based upon either of those things (and all have extra responsibilities and duties for which they were actually hired). There would be no way to know what situation you are in as a customer without constantly asking questions that a) you probably really don’t want to ask and b) that the person working with you may not want to answer.

I don’t know what to tell folks here. I like tipping. I tip all sorts of people. Were I to go to a tasting room that was more than simple perfunctory going down the line style tasting I would probably tip. I get people not tipping as well. I even get, if not agreeing, with people getting annoyed at the prospect of having to tip/looking cheap.

We went to a tip line because we had scores of requests for it to exist. I think we pay our staff well, that being said it’s not like they’re becoming millionaires working at PGC (or any winery) so a few extra bucks here and there from people that genuinely want to give it to them is certainly worth the possibility that someone might feel uncomfortable about it. Shit, I think even Ann Landers (“hi, I’m old and my name is Jim”) said that if you don’t know whether to tip or not, just ask. Perhaps contradictory to what I said earlier but if you’re feeling wonky it will make you feel more at ease and, in general, most tasting rooms are sort of shooting for that at a minimum.


This completely nails every angle of it.

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I think a line for an optional tip, is better than a resort fee !



If the server was knowledgable and friendly I tip. It seems like everything has the feature for tipping when you pay.

Curious for those who don’t tip would you tip if you pick up take out?

I have not been in a tasting room in some time, but when I did go to wineries and taste, I would tip.
The amount would depend upon the level of engagement of the person serving wine. Did they just pour the four wines on the tasting schedule or did they spend time discussing the wine, the vineyards, other wineries in the area, restaurants to try, etc. Did they open up a reserve bottling and give you a pour?
The more engaged and informative - the larger the tip.
Sometimes even over-tipping.

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Agree. Why would you not tip the server as I doubt they are making $100,000 a year.

Karen I agree with your tipping policy. If someone buys $500 in wine what is a $20.00 tip?

Resort fees are pretty typical for vacation spots. Resort fees also piss off a lot of people.