5 Tips for Planning a Successful Wine-Tasting Tour

Posted on: 13 September 2016

Wine-tasting tours can give the wine-lover an exciting and insightful glimpse into the history and making of various wines and vineyards. You can take your love for wine a step further by planning a wine-tasting tour for you and your friends and family through various vineyards. The following planning tips will help you make the most out of your tour.

1. Book early and go early

Wine-tasting tours are a popular activity for the summer especially; therefore it's important to book your visit early if you intend to go during these peak seasons. This will ensure that you get a comfortable vehicle and a first chance at picking out the best slots and wine-tasting sites. It is best to pick off-peak times such as weekday slots when there aren't many people. If you must go on the weekend, early morning slots will give you ample time to engage with the winemakers when they aren't too busy.

2. Plan for children

Wine countries are characterised by plush vegetation and scenic landscapes, something your children should be allowed to experience. However, actual wine-tasting sessions would be boring for them since they cannot participate; some tours might not even allow children. Ask in advance if there are any specialised activities for people travelling with children, such as colouring books, playgrounds, animals etc. You can also carry your own games and an adult supervisor to be in charge of the children while you enjoy yourselves.

3. Go for variety

Larger places are good for conversation and interaction with more people and larger brands. The presence of more hired help can make your visit more meaningful and interesting since you can ask for a designated tour guide. However, smaller wineries are ideal if you're interested in experiencing the true passion of winemaking. These small wineries are in less demand and allow you more time to interact with the owners and those behind the bar so that you can get a proper glimpse into the winemaking process.

4. Carry an empty wine crate

You can easily get this from your local wine store or your own wine cellar if you have a large enough collection. The last thing you need on your tour is the annoying clang of wine bottles from the trunk of the car since you're probably going to carry home a few bottles for your own collection and as gifts to friends.

5. Have a list of questions and answers

Read up online about the wineries you'll visit and take note of any interesting features. Have a list of questions to float to the owners, managers or workers there. Find out where the grapes were grown, how to pair each wine with food and any other questions that will improve your understanding of wines. However, don't be that guy asking questions solely to upstage others or show how much you know about wine. Genuine interest will go a long way in getting you the answers you want.