If the thought of spending a few days cruising through a beautiful countryside drinking wine sounds like a good idea to you, you might enjoy a wine-tour vacation. Great wine-producing regions are located all over the world, from Napa and Sonoma in California to Old World standbys in France, Italy, and Germany, and many wineries are happy to host visitors. Planning the logistics of a great wine tour can be a little tricky, especially if you’re a novice, so keep the following tips in mind:
– Designate a driver. Wine tasting isn’t meant to get you intoxicated, but many people end up drinking more than they expected. Hiring a driver or designating one person in your group to be the day’s non-drinker will make your trip a lot smoother and safer.
– Carry something to store your wine in. Part of the fun of the wine-tasting trip is bringing home drinkable souvenirs. You’re likely to buy bottles of your favorites, and taking along a box or wine carrier will help you keep your souvenirs intact while you transport them.
– Prepare a response for the question of what kind of wine you like. You’ll get it often on your tour, and your answer doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as simple as “I like just about everything. What’s your specialty?” will give you a place to start at every winery.
– Show up early, and don’t be shy. Part of the fun of a wine tour is chatting with the proprietors. If you get to their winery when it’s quiet, they’ll have more time for you, and asking questions about their grapes or their history can lead to a deeper experience.
– Reserve your lodging ahead of time. You can often choose between staying in a metropolitan area close to a wine region or staying at a smaller hotel in the area. Either way, make sure to book your accommodations ahead of time, especially during busy periods of the year.