A vineyard tour is an exciting and elegant experience for wine enthusiasts; participants get to taste wines where they are grown, and get to deepen their knowledge of wine growing, wine making and of course our very favorite, wine tasting. Vineyard tours open up a new venue for wine enthusiasts to explore different regions and experience regional terrior in wine.
Vineyard tours also give tourists an opportunity to speak with wine growers, tasting professionals and vintners; there is no better way to learn about wine than from the people who make it and love to share their knowledge and passion for all things wine.
How to Dress for a Vineyard Tour
Touring vineyards gives you an inside look at grape growing and wine production, all while you enjoy a day in the country. Tours also serve to highlight cultural customs from different regions all over the world. Even though wine grapes are an agricultural product, on a vineyard tour, you won’t feel as though you need to wear overalls and boots like farming hands. But it's a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes so you can tour the grounds and countryside. Light spring jackets will also protect you from the breezy climate in most vineyards, and blue jeans are appropriate if your tour includes considerable walking on the grounds. However, many luxury tours offer indoor or patio experiences where light semi-formal clothing is recommended. As grapes need acreage to grow, you’ll find most vineyards in the countryside, and often, the enjoyment of the tour begins on the drive to the vineyard. From the scenery to wine making and tasting, we'll let you know what to expect on a wine tour.
The Vineyard Tour Scenery
Vineyards come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is guaranteed; you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery. As vines take time to mature, you can expect most vineyards to be somewhat old, ranging from 15-years-old to hundreds of years old depending on where you go. The tasting room and wine making facility of the Vineyard is usually located at a high spot on the property to overlook the vines as to allow every plantable acre to be dedicated to the grape vines. Even small regions can offer diverse scenery, but you’ll always see gently rolling hills of vines no matter if they are in meadows, along the coast or grown at the foothills of mountain ranges. You can expect to learn why the particular setting was chosen for the vineyard when you learn about the history of the vineyard, for instance it might have been chosen for sun exposure, soil or the perfect climate for a specific grape. In different regions, you will learn how environmental factors affect how the wine grapes are grown and ripen to make different wines and wine styles.
Some vineyards have structured tours while others may have a more informal approach. The part of the vineyard where the wine is made can be a completely modern, state-of-the-art facility, or it can have a more rustic feel, but you’ll still see equipment with same names: grape crushers, fermenting tanks, filters, barrels and bottling machines. During a tour, you will learn about the history and the winemaking philosophy of the vineyard. You will also learn about how the grapes are fermented and blended to make wine and how the wines are aged and bottled.
If you go during harvest you can expect the vineyard to be busy crushing and fermenting the year's vintage. Depending on the size of the vineyard, you may be able to observe some of the action or even get involved, as many vineyards have fun events, like grape stomping, for guests during harvest.
At some point on your vineyard tour, you will get to taste the wines made at the vineyard and this is really a fun part of any tour. After you’ve toured the grounds and facilities and learned about the vineyard, you can now taste the wine they make. You can expect who ever pours your wine to share tasting notes with you about the wine or tell you how the wine was made, so you’ll be able to taste and appreciate the flavors of the wine. While vineyards offer formal tastings, when you taste on a tour there will be no expectation for you to swirl your glass and rap-like wine tasting adjectives like a sommelier. A simple sniff, slurp and slosh will suffice. If you tour different vineyards in the same region, you'll begin to taste subtle differences in wines made with the same grapes.
Vineyard tours can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience if you travel far from home or take a quick weekend get away, either way they are fun, educational and relaxing. Remember to take your camera, eat a good breakfast before you go and depending on how much wine you taste, travel responsibly.