Wine Tours & Tastings: How to Plan the Perfect Vineyard Visit

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Travel is the perfect opportunity to take a well-earned break. But, it’s not just lazing around in a cabana with a mojito that we usually crave. With the hectic modern lives we lead, we tend to get bored after a day and need a bit more pizazz.

You want to return feeling rested and rejuvenated, but knowing that you also did something productive and memorable. I mean really you have to have some killer stories to brag about to your mates back in the office when you return.

It’s no surprise then that wine getaways are high on people’s list, especially overworked mothers!

Trust me, there is nothing I like to brag about more than a trip to the vineyards: wine, cheese, conversations, bike rides, and perhaps a little spa love thrown in.

Check out our tips on how you can plan the perfect vineyard visit to have the chillaxed fun you are searching for.

Tamar Valley vineyard

Best Wine-making Regions for Vineyard Visits

The first step in planning your vineyard visit is selecting a wine-making region that sparks your interest.

European countries, like France and Italy, along with the southern continent of Australia and the western coast of America, are world-renowned for their superior wine production.

In the United States, all fifty states produce wine, but California produces more than five times the number of vintages than the next three wine-producing states combined. Washington, Oregon, New York, Texas and Virginia produce many wine variations, but these vintages generally appear only in local restaurants and stores, which is another great reason to visit wineries on your vacations.

California wine tours offer breathtaking scenery, exciting side trips to popular attractions, and astonishing varieties of touring options, lodging choices, and trendy dining spots.

However, wine appreciation is an extremely personal and subjective experience, and you should plan your tour accordingly – visiting the vineyard that produces your favorite wine, if possible.

Choosing the Perfect Vineyard for Touring

It’s best to choose a vineyard that produces your favorite vintages or varietals. However, a true wine aficionado will enjoy any vineyard, and the real key to planning the perfect wine tour is selecting a wine-making region that offers other exciting attractions.

Successful wine tours typically combine vineyard visits with other vacation activities, such as gourmet dining experiences, trips to local cultural attractions, and intimate getaways at charming country inns.

You want to carefully consider how you will get around, and specialty tours usually come with transportation to each area so you can enjoy yourself without worrying about convincing someone in your party to be the designated driver.

Find out in advance if the vineyard offers nearby restaurants or dining facilities. If not, you should plan to pack a romantic picnic lunch to enjoy on an elegant patio with your loved one, or in the middle of a lush vineyard with a scenic backdrop – now there’s a memorable story.

Consider the benefits of touring your favorite winery during the week. Weekends generate crowds and traffic, and tour guides have less time to answer your questions.

People who visit wineries early in the day generally have more satisfying experiences, as the facilities grow more crowded and hectic as the day progresses.

plan the perfect vineyard visit

Vineyard Visits: The Ultimate Adventure for Adults

Wine tours come in many shapes, sizes, and price ranges.

Some people tour wineries by limousine, and arrange to stay in exclusive boutique hotels with extravagant amenities.

Others are content with a weekend of charming bed-and-breakfast lodgings and romantic picnics on the vineyard’s gardens, with a great bottle of wine and a spread of cheeses.

Train tours provide stylish travel through the grape-growing countryside, and include special attractions like luncheon packages and group dinners. Bus tours often include expert guides or hosts, picnic lunches, ferry rides, and opportunities to visit several notable wineries.

Bicycle tours offer a bit more adventure with some exercise, a breath of fresh air, and a chance to explore scenic back roads and byways. Think how much fun you’ll have riding to your fifth winery!

Specialty vineyard vacations include an array of options to suit every oenophile’s dream itinerary, from horseback tours, to hot-air balloon rides over wine-producing regions, to pre-planned hiking itineraries through scenic mountaintops.

The perfect vineyard visit includes opportunities to develop an understanding of the local growing conditions and the region’s cultural influences and history. Find out a little more about the feet that stomped the grapes you’re drinking!

By selecting a vineyard that is located in an appealing region, you will leave your wine-filled weekend feeling relaxed, accomplished, and productive.

And with plenty of stories to tell!


Next week we’ll be discussing some great questions to ask when on your  next wine tour?

Your Turn to Share Tips:

How do you plan your perfect vineyard visit and why do you like wine getaways?

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