Before you read this review, know this, we will always give you our 100% authentic experience. Opinions and reviews should never be up for sale, if you spend your money and don’t get what you paid for, then speak up, this is what we are doing with this review.
Entering this beautifully designed space, your eyes are drawn to modern and linear lines forming a beautiful arch to enclose the environment with a minimalist “chapel” like feel. We were greeted by a friendly receptionist and wine server at reception. At this point, there were no red flags. We were told to have a seat anywhere and that someone would be with us shortly, this was when things started to go downhill.
There was a faint smell of rotten or mouldy wine at the reception desk, and as we were heading towards the back of the tasting area, the red flags started popping up, along with that aroma which kept building in intensity, both of us eventually commented on the smell. We’ve been to quite a few wine tastings, so the scent of a wine tasting area is nothing new, we even made wine right next to barrels where wine was spilt and cleaned up regularly, this smell was different, pungent and undeniably strong.
Trying to keep our other senses occupied in an attempt to look over the scent, we started noticing other problems. The floors were stained with wine splatters from the day before, crumbs of some sort were on seats, and the bathrooms were in inferior condition and dimly lit (never-mind the mould growing on the hallway wall heading to the loo). As men, we felt uncomfortable using the bathroom, and with a broken lock, we wondered how the ladies would respond.
Our tasting fell flat very fast as we were swatting midges and flies, most probably due to the “mouldy wine” scent and did not receive any follow up from staff members. To them, Facebook was more important, seeing as the two ladies on the floor kept looking at the computer screens and talking. The tasting was inadequate, and that was putting it lightly, we were handed a piece of paper describing the wines in about two sentences, that was the final straw.
Needless to say, we left as fast as we arrived, not even being noticed leaving. The only good part of our experience was that the staff were dressed in their uniforms and that you could walk in for a tasting without booking.
It’s also important to state that we both work in client orientated businesses that focus on serving our clients with the best care we can provide, so we feel very strongly about what we felt and experienced at this establishment. It left us wondering, were all these issues due to a poor choice in staff or the farms choice to commercialise and the owners losing touch with their establishment?
We will be revisiting Van Loveren in the future in hopes that we will have a better experience. Every wine farm deserves a second chance, we might have just caught this establishment off guard (which should never be an excuse for any business).