PURCELLVILLE, Va. - A popular winery in Loudoun County is dealing with a growing problem. Customers are stealing their high-end crystal wine glasses and it is cutting into the profits of their business.
Breaux Vineyards said 1,800 of their 2,000 wine glasses have been taken since they started their spring wine-tasting season this year.
“It's not unique to us, but because we are larger, we see more people, so the problem is more prevalent,” said Jennifer Breaux, vice president of Breaux Vineyards.
The winery uses Riedel wine glasses brought in from Germany.
“They are proper tasting glasses,” Breaux said. “It is specifically made for the hospitality industry.”
Each wine glass is not cheap. For each glass that is stolen, it costs the winery $6 apiece. For 1,800 glasses, that comes to a total of over $10,000.
“Sometimes people don't even do a tasting,” Breaux said. “They just buy a bottle. Maybe they get six glasses. If one person buys a bottle, they are going to share it with six other people, so that is a pretty significant loss if all six people walk out with their glasses after buying just one bottle.”
Now, the winery has decided to go with a cheaper stemless glass for customers to use during their tastings.
“We are looking at ways to maybe include the glass in a tasting,” said Breaux. “It’s just that customers don't perceive it as valuable. They would rather have a less expensive tasting, so the value is only there when they take the glass.”