Are Wine Routes a Rip-off?

After travelling all the way to Robertson to taste and buy wines from various cellars, I was disappointed to find some of the same wines on sale at a supermarket—for less than I had paid at the farm. Why should I tour wine routes if they are just going to rip me off?

We live in a free-market economy and the tough rules of capitalism apply to all our financial dealings. When you buy from the cellar you usually buy a dozen bottles and pay the list price. But large retailers may take l 000 cases—and they want special prices. This presents the winemaker with a dilemma. He’d love to get that wine sold and the money into his bank account, but he knows he might annoy his smaller customers. So would he rather lose a one-case sale or a l 000-case one? Also, remember that supermarkets are sometimes willing to sell at the price they paid, or even less, just to get customers into the store. Shop around and buy your wines at the best price you can find. Remember, too, there’s more to a wine route visit than just buying wine.