Planning a Northern California wine tour?
Let’s start with some wine tour preparation.
Now just so you know... at Northern California Fun, we're not wine experts. But we do like a nice glass of wine. And we enjoy learning more about the wine making process.
So we wanted to get a few ideas to help us before going on our own wine tours.
And here’s a few tips we thought were helpful. Like...
Why are you planning a wine tour experience?
Want social interaction with exciting and enjoyable people?
Or do you want to visit romantic beautiful wineries with many sensory pleasures along the way?
Well first consider...
Why you want to take a tour?
To improve your knowledge of wine and move from just a casual wine drinker to a more knowledgeable wine drinker or maybe even a semi-collector.
To understand wines better... and the stories behind them? Every vitner has a story - they are all different... and worth listening to.
To get a personal view of some of the more colorful wine characters... why they like wines - so you’ll get a better appreciation of wine?
Is it for romantic reasons?
Will you tour one winery or more than one?
Are you touring locally or will you need to travel to your destination?
Each point deserves careful consideration.
If you’re planning a wine tour for just yourself, all you need to know is... what hours are the wineries open, and when do you want to go.
If you’re planning the tour for romantic reasons, then make sure to include in your wine tour preparation a schedule of the best time to go... when the winery won’t be too crowded - such as during the week or in the morning hours.
Or, if you want something truly special, consider scheduling a private tour. Private tours are offered by many wineries.
Some wineries have a more romantic setting than others, and some offer romance packages while others don’t.
If you're planning to tour more than one winery... consider the amount of time you want to spend at each winery and where they are all located.
In some wine regions, you’ll find several wineries close together, while in others... they’re much farther apart.
If your wine tasting adventure takes you beyond your local area of residence, plan how far you want to travel and where you want to stay.
There are wineries tours throughout the Northern California wine country - each with their own unique experience and ambiance to offer.
Does the winery offer free tastings or do they charge for them?
Do they have a restaurant on site?
Can you bring your own food?
Will you be touring with a large group?
What kind of wines do you prefer?
Many wineries charge a tasting fee. So if you are taking a wine tour as part of a vacation, be sure to consider this as part of your expenses.
There’s nothing more romantic than a picnic at a winery. Some wineries have dining available on site while others do not.
And some wineries will not allow any outside food. If you want to bring your own food for a picnic lunch, find out what the winery’s policies are regarding outside food and what they have available on site.
Wineries that offer food on site often serve more than the traditional crackers and cheese; even gourmet meals.
Or they may have a variety of dishes to suit different tastes.
If you're touring with a group of eight people or more, contact the winery ahead of time to let them know; so they can be prepared to accommodate your group.
Finally, your preference of wine...
Do you prefer red or white?
Sweet or dry?
Fruity or woody?
Full bodied and full flavored or light?
Each winery has its own distinct style and each produces something different.
If you will be touring with a group of eight people or more,
contact the winery ahead of time to let them know so they can be
prepared to accommodate your group.
A quick look at your desired winery’s website online may give you a good idea of what that winery has to offer its guests, as well as contact information for further questions.
Oh yes and we almost forgot... be sure to prepare your palate before beginning your wine tasting.