This past Saturday, two of my girlfriends and I (and Linden) went to Veritas Vineyard and were kicked out of their tasting room because I was breastfeeding Linden. I sent them the below letter, to which I have received NO response. I am livid, to say the least. I also think what they did is wrong. I mean, seriously. Are they living in the dark ages here? PEOPLE BREASTFEED THEIR BABIES. Plus, it’s not like I was standing in the middle of the tasting room guzzling wine with my tits flopping out for all to see.
It’s really sad that in this day and age we’re still fighting this battle.
Anyway. I’m posting this letter here because, well, maybe someone will see it.
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Dear Ms. Hodson,
My name is Rosie and I visited your winery yesterday with two of my out-of-town girlfriends and my four month old daughter.
It was my first time visiting your winery. It will also be my LAST.
We did a tasting, then purchased a bottle of wine and a cheese plate and moved to sit at a table in the far corner to the right of the fireplace. We were enjoying our time together, relaxing and catching up. At one point my daughter — who had been very sweet and quiet — became hungry, and so I very discreetly covered us up with a breastfeeding cover and breastfed her.
Not long after, an employee with a nose ring and long brown hair rushed to our table, grabbed our cheese plate, and told us we were being moved to the back ballroom to “make room for tasters.” No other patrons who had also been enjoying food and wine at the same time we were were asked to move. It was very obvious to us why we were being ushered back to your unwelcoming, empty, ugly ballroom that still had old New Year’s Eve decorations hanging from above. It was because I had breastfed my daughter in your tasting room.
Regardless of your personal views on the matter, the fact is we were discriminated against by your company. It’s no different than asking us to leave because of our race, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. Breastfeeding is recommended by every single pediatrician and is not at all uncommon these days, not to mention inappropriate or illegal. My daughter was hungry during our visit, and so I fed her. And then I was asked to leave your tasting room because I did so.
I will make sure that every mama in my network understands your policy that breastfeeding is not tolerated at your winery. I know that families comprise a large part of your business and this is not at all a family-friendly practice. You can be assured that we will take our business to other more welcoming and tolerant wineries, such as Pippin Hill, which has always graciously and warmly welcomed our families.
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Edited on 3/13:
I did receive a response today indicating that they have no issue with breastfeeding, but their “policy” is to give tasters priority, which of course no one conveyed to us when we bought our bottle of wine and cheese. In other words, it’s the same thing as asking a diner to cut short their meal so that the next person waiting for a table can sit down. Still not cool.