How often do you and your date share a bottle of delicious wine during dinner and wonder about its origins? What gives it such a spicy, or full-bodied, or tart flavor? How long does it take a bottle of wine to achieve this unique taste? Many of these questions can be answered by going on a wine tour.
If you have never been on a wine tour before, here’s how it works. You have the option of either researching and planning your tour by yourself or you can enlist professional help from a wine tour company. Using a tour company may be helpful if you’ve never before been on a wine tour, or if you plan on traveling to an area totally unfamiliar to you. Making the arrangements yourself could give you more flexibility and lower the cost.
Planning ahead involves conducting a little research. Find out information such as which wineries charge a fee for tastings, if they specialize in reds or whites, if they carry a wide variety, and even if they will allow you to bring your own lunch. Some wineries have gift shops and some have adjoining cafes and restaurants.
Be advised that unless you choose to just taste the wine and spit it into one of the dump buckets provided by the winery, it is a good idea to hire a driver for the day. Many people usually end up sampling more wine than they expected to so it is popular for groups of people to rent a limousine to transport them from winery to winery. If you decide to invite other couples along, make sure to inform the wineries about your large group in advance.
If you end up deciding not to use a tour company, you can choose which wineries to visit by reading reviews of recent visitors. Some wine regions have hundreds of wineries – you should plan to visit around three to five in a day. That will leave you with enough time to get the full experience of each winery you visit.
On many tours you’ll be given a walk through of the vineyards by a host. You will get to see and discuss the types of grapes grown in the region. Back at the winery you can learn more about the winemaking process and see the wine in different stages of aging.
The actual wine tasting itself takes place in the tasting room where you typically sample four to six different
wines. Don’t worry if you are not a wine connoisseur; the tasting room pourers encourage your questions and are delighted to share their expertise.
With the growing popularity of wine-making, the US has developed an abundant source of wine regions to explore. The Finger Lakes in upstate NY, for example, is home to over 100 wineries, many overlooking pristine glacial lakes.
As an added incentive, since winery tours typically take place during the daytime, you have the perfect excuse to pack a bag and replace “date night” with “date weekend”.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter