Preparing for a Wine Tour—A Complete Guide

If you’re looking for tips that will help you effectively plan your upcoming wine tour, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re a wine enthusiast—and if that’s the case, you’re in the right place.

One of the best ways to learn more about wine, wine tours are every wine connoisseur’s dream; but only if you plan ahead.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some ways to make the most of your wine tour experience so it can be truly unforgettable.

The Time Of Day Matters—The Earlier The Better

Let’s start simple.

As a rule, it’s best to pick a wine vacation service that offers personalized, sommelier-guided wine tours; for example, The Wine Stay. This means that you get to choose the time of day you want to embark on the tour. It’s tailored just for you.

However, if that’s not the case with your tour, tell them to book the earliest time of day for you.

In high season (like near Christmas) tasting rooms can get really packed—so you won’t get a good spot—and the designated staff won’t have the opportunity to discuss the wines with you at length. This is also why you need to make sure you’re at the winery on time.

If you’re visiting in the holiday season, make sure to call ahead and confirm availability, as many wineries are closed on major holidays, and some even have restricted hours.

If you’re planning a vacation during Christmas, leave us a message at The Wine Stay. We’re sure we can work something out for you.

Keep It Short—Not More Than Three To Four Wineries In A Single Day

The fun is in taking it slow and steady. Hurry it up, and you’ll miss all the important moments.

Wine tastings are supposed to be relaxing, easy, and laid back. They’re meant to help you destress, make you calmer, and open you up to being happy and enjoying the experience.

When planning a wine tour, focus on really cherishing the moment, instead of packing as much as possible into one day.

We recommend visiting no more than three to four wineries in one day. Anything more, and you’ll soon lose track of what’s happening; this will completely kill the purpose of the entire visit.

Pro-tip: don’t let the appointment time make you rush things. Sometimes, these times exist because the winery wants to make sure they have the right staff available to cater to you when you arrive. Others have limited parking space. However, some even allow bookings the same morning.

At The Wine Stay, our wine tours are personalized according to our guests and an experienced in-house sommelier guides the guests through the entire tour. The tour includes three to four wineries and the guests are given the time and attention they need for a full and wholesome wine tasting experience.


Make The Most Of Your Visit

This is a no-brainer, but too many people forget; if you’re planning a wine tour with friends and family, make the most of it!

Most wineries offer lunch, gourmet meals, fine-dine experiences and gourmet picnics. Call ahead and ask about your options and plan your trip accordingly.

If the place you’re going to offers good food options, the best way to go about it is to break up your day so you get to enjoy all the good parts—individually.

Try to give the wine, the views, and the food justified time and allow yourself to appreciate it all.

In case you’re more of a do-it-yourself person, or you’re planning a trip to a place that doesn’t include dining options, try bringing your own picnic basket. Don’t forget to buy a bottle of wine at the winery and enjoy it with your home-made meal.

At The Wine Stay, we make sure to offer our guests gourmet meals with perfect wine pairings made by a 5-star gourmet chef. The dinners and wine tastings are sommelier-guided, so guests can ask as many questions as they want and learn more about wine to their heart’s content.

Ask The Right Questions—And Ask A Lot Of Them

If you’re interested in learning, there’s one simple way to do it; ask questions!

How else do you expect to learn all the things you want to? Don’t be afraid to ask the staff or the sommelier about notes in the wine, and the winemaking process.

Most luxury wineries employ experienced sommeliers specifically for this purpose—so they can guide you on the right wine, food pairings and knowledge.

You can start the conversation by asking about the founders, how the winery began, or the founding date of the property. Then, you can move on to asking more important questions like “does Vintage really matter?” or “I really liked the Napa Cabs, can you suggest something similar?” and “What would pair well with Ribeye?”

You can also get insight into the price ranges of different types of wines by asking questions like “what’s your favorite wine around (amount in dollars) dollars?”

Asking the right questions can make a world of difference, and you shouldn’t shy away from asking them. Part of a sommelier’s job description is to answer your questions.


Sample The Drink In Moderation

If you’ve never been to a wine tasting before, here’s something you may not know about wine tasting etiquette; swallowing is not necessary.

In fact, if you notice a small spit bucket placed in front of you, know that it’s not considered impolite to taste the wine and expectorate it.

Another tip to keep in mind is to keep drinking water. A good ratio is to drink a glass of water after every five ounces of wine.

One more measure to keep in mind is to make sure you don’t wine and drive. Every winery you visit will offer you several samples to taste, making it easy to consume a little too much. But it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to get back, so make proper arrangements for it.

At The Wine Stay, this is not a problem. We make sure to provide our guests with designated drivers who are responsible to take them anywhere they want to go, including the visits to and back from wineries.

If you’re planning a wine tour or a wine country vacations, make sure to keep these tips in mind. For a complete luxury experience, contact us to figure out a plan. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Wine Country with our luxurious vacation rentals in Healdsburg CA.

We also make sure that our clients return home relaxed and rejuvenated with our professional and private massages, yoga lessons and fun activities for example kayaking in the Russian river and hot air balloon rides.