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Ever tried to make a reservation at a winery and run into complications? Or maybe you got there and the tour turned out to be much different than you expected? Today, WineDirect, a company dedicated to providing wineries with the technology and services to sell their wines directly to consumers, has teamed up with Tock, an app which lets users book culinary experiences at high-end restaurants like Alinea and Per Se, on a personalized reservation system that could make the process of visiting wineries and vineyards much easier.
A representative from Tock told Food & Wine that reservations for "every experience a winery has to offer" have been available on the app for a year and a half. But now that they've joined forces with WineDirect, winemakers will have access to Tock users' tastes and interests—info that will hopefully result in more customized visits. “For the first time, our staff has a complete view of our guests in one screen with the insights to deliver exceptional hospitality that is expected from our winery," John Trant, director of sales at Italics Winemakers, said of the partnership.
For a sense of scope, Tock is already connected to 50 wineries—including Ashes and Diamonds, Tank Garage, Clos Pegase, Darioush, and St. Supery Estate Vineyards—and after teaming up with WineDirect, which has a roster of 1,600 wineries and vineyards that use its software, the app plans on working with hundreds more in the next year. “As wineries increasingly offer seated tastings, vineyard tours and culinary experiences, the need for a robust reservation system…has become clear,” Joe Waechter, President and CEO of WineDirect said in a statement.
Of course, this is just the latest in a string of table-booking innovations. Instagram added reservation buttons to restaurants’ official business pages, while OpenTable recently released a redesign, which makes finding nearby restaurants that take last-minute dinner reservations even easier. Even Google Home can make a dinner reservation for you now, by calling the restaurant itself.
Meanwhile, in the wine industry, everything from visiting remote vineyards to ordering the perfect bottle at dinner is slowly becoming easier. UberWINES lets passengers hop between vineyards without the hassle of bringing along a designated driver. And for people who are merely hoping to learn more about wine before taking that big vineyard trip, a new app released in May called Wine Picker acts like your own personal pocket sommelier. All you do is choose a restaurant, set your budget, and fill in what food you plan to order, and the app provides the best choices off the wine list to suit your needs—so you’ll never have to worry about looking clueless in front your waiter again.