The ultimate guide to plan the perfect wine tour

The ultimate guide to plan the perfect wine tour

There is no right or wrong way to plan a wine tour and to experience a wine tasting, but we thought you might need some tips on how to make your wine trip a one to remember. There are actually so many details you might want to take into account when getting ready for a wine tour, and many of these might sound irrelevant but can make a difference. 

If you are in charge of the planning for your group of friends or you want to take your loved one for wine tastings and tours, we’ve got you covered. Scroll down to read our ultimate guide to plan the most perfect wine tour ever.

1.Visualise yourself sipping a glass of wine in a dreamy location

The internet gives us a lot of help when we are in the process of deciding where to go and what to visit so while you’re browsing through images of many wineries, try to imagine yourself there. Are you sitting on a sunlit patio overlooking the Amalfi Coast? Or perhaps watching the fogs roll in across Bourgogne in early autumn? Who is there with you? Are you enjoying a hearty dinner by the fireside, or are you grabbing some light tapas and heading out for a stroll in the vineyards? Creating expectations and imagining how the experience is going to be is part of the process, and hopefully, you won’t be disappointed in the end.

2. Choose the best season depending on the region

When going around for wine tastings and tours, you don’t want the weather to be too hot, too cold nor too rainy. One important thing you need to be aware of is the climatic difference between the northern and southern hemispheres; when it’s summer in the northern part of the world, it’s winter in the southern and vice-versa. You don’t want to end up planning a wine tour during a dead part of the season (unless you really want to avoid tourists) and risk that wineries are closed or offer fewer wine tastings. 

If you are planning to visit wineries for the harvest experience, remember that in the southern hemisphere harvest season is normally from February to April months when in the northern hemisphere, it is from August to October depending on the country.

Discover the harvest experiences

Experience manual harvesting by night at Champagne Gremillet

Champagne Gremillet - manual harvesting by night
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Discover the authenticity of the Champagne harvest in the heart of the Marne Valley  

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3. Find the perfect people to join you on your wine tour

Wine tasting experiences are a great moment to relax and just break away from any form of routine, but they also represent a possibility to learn more about the world of wine. Don’t bring along someone who doesn’t like wine (if that is even that possible!), be sure whoever is with you is ready for it. 

Put together a group of friends, who love outdoor activities, are ready for spontaneous adventures, and appreciate gastronomy. If you’re traveling with young children, don’t worry about them being bored, many wineries offer activities for kids so parents can have a moment for themselves. For those wine ‘nerds’ that just live for wine, there are so many possibilities for more challenging experiences, such as blind tastings or enology masterclasses. 

When we say that everyone can go for wine tasting, we truly mean it because the number of possible experiences is unlimited. 

4. Choose the right amount of wineries

Choose the right amount of wineries to book depending on how much time you have or plan to spend doing wine tastings.

Don’t try to tour all the wineries in an appellation, it’s not worth it. For us, the perfect number is 2 or 3 in a day. In this way, you will get to try several versions of a region, sub-region, appellation’s own wine but without the risk of trying too many, getting drunk, and having to rush all day to keep up with your schedule. 

5. Book in advance

Many wineries around the world are family-owned and run, so they might need to arrange their tours depending on who’s available to have guided tours and wine tastings. Our advice is to plan your trips to wineries a little bit ahead of time, or if you decide to visit at the last minute, give them a call to be sure they have experiences available. 

Check out wine tasting and tours around the world.

6. Always plan ahead who’s going to be the driver

Transportation is one of the most important steps to arrange when you are planning your wine tour. Since you are going to travel in rural areas, it is always better to have a private car and not to rely on public transport. 

Don’t drink and drive! A great solution could be to book a local guide or personal driver ahead of time who does the driving for you! Alternatively, in most cases, you can contact wineries you are going to visit to provide transfer for you and your travel companions.

7 . Think about your favourite style of wine and then look for something completely different

You’ll be amazed by what you will taste!

We know you can never go wrong when drinking the wine you like, but always playing it safe will keep you from discovering new amazing styles. Check out the number one style in the wine region or wine appellation you are visiting and get ready to learn everything about it.

8. Look for wineries with a restaurant and get the ultimate wine + food experience

The pairing between wines and food is an intrinsic part of the local culture and there is no better way to fully understand and take in the essence of a place and why wine is produced in a certain way and food is cooked in a certain way. 

9. Check for wineries with an accommodation 

Check for wineries with accommodation services or accommodations in the wine region, or appellation, you are visiting. Getting accommodation allows you to spend more days in a certain wine region or wine appellation, which means you can discover even more. 

10. Share your experience online or with your friends and family

Feedbacks are an essential part of every business and if you’ve really enjoyed the wine tasting at a certain winery, let them know and let your friends know. With your pictures and sharing your experience with somebody else, you can help a family-run vineyard get the credit they deserve online. Don’t forget to always tag or mention the winery you loved when posting about them on social media, this can help them gain new potential customers. 

11. Ask questions to local winemakers that you meet

They’ll be happy to answer you. 

We can assure you that nothing makes a winemaker happier and prouder than to tell curious visitors everything about their wines, from the techniques they use, the history and what makes their wine special. Of course, they probably won’t tell you what their secret is, but that’s part of having secrets, right?

12. Look for all the activities you can do in the area you are visiting

When you are around for wine tastings and tours, don’t forget to stop along the way to visit the attractions in the area you are in. A lot of wineries are located close to beautiful historical towns, whose history might be directly related to wine production. 

13. Go beyond the classic wine tasting, look for unique experiences

Today, wineries are starting to diversify their wine experiences and are ready to present their wines to visitors in many creative ways. Instead of just going for a wine tasting, take part in an oenology class or have an E-bike ride around the vineyards. For us, there is nothing like mixing wine with a fun experience! 

Check out some of the unique experiences you can go for

Create your own Champagne at Champagne J. de Telmont

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Enjoy the jazz and wine tasting at Domaine Laroche

classical concert obediencerie domaine laroche
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Visit the Château Vénus and fly over the vineyards 

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14. You don’t need to be a pro to go for wine tastings

It’s okay not to have any knowledge about wine.

You won’t need to pass a test regarding your knowledge of wine or tasting skills in order to be part of a wine tasting. Most people that visit wineries are just curious to learn more about the world of wines and maybe learn something about the wine production in a specific wine region or appellation. There is no need for you to get your sommelier certificate beforehand. 

There is no such thing as “liking the wrong wine” – if you like it, you like it! Nobody is a better judge of that than yourself! 

15. Tips on what to wear during your wine trip

We care about your looks as much as we care about giving you the ultimate guide to planning the perfect wine tour. Here’s what we suggest: 

  • Don’t wear your best whites if you are planning on drinking red wine. 
  • Always bring a sweater or something to cover yourself in case you are going to visit the cellars – even on a sunny summer day, it can be quite cold down there. 
  • Don’t wear too much perfume or cologne – it may alter your sense of smell and that of those around you. 
  • You don’t need to dress fancy to participate in a wine tasting. That kind of dress code is more for candlelight dinners. 
  • If you love wearing high heels, bring a pair of comfortable shoes with you just in case a walk in the vineyard is part of the wine tour.

16. Faux-pas to avoid at tastings

There are perhaps a few faux-pas you may want to avoid when you visit a winery. As a matter of courtesy, we suggest waiting with these behaviours: 

  • Adding water to the wine – Even though this was a pretty normal way to drink wine back in the days, winemakers are presenting you with a wine that they have put a lot of effort into, and they want you to experience their style as they intend it to be drunk. 
  • Adding ice – Effectively, this is the same principle as the point above. Though concerning white wine, you may get away with it if you feel the wine is slightly warmer than the temperature you want to drink it at. 
  • Grimacing if you don’t like it – This is ok if you are a kid, but then, if you’re a kid you won’t be drinking wine. If you are tasting a wine that you don’t like, it is sufficient (and appropriate) to simply say that this is not the type of wine you like and leave it at that. There is of course no pressure for you to finish a wine you do not feel like drinking. 

17. Enjoy, relax and be in the moment

For us, the most important thing when it comes to the experience of wine tasting and visiting a winery is to seize the moment. Take pictures, ask questions, draw your own conclusions on the wines you’ve just tasted, and just take a moment to relax. Wine tastings are a very personal experience and even the people in your group or your partner can have very different opinions about the wine you’ve just tasted. Remember that tasting wines is not a competition, you don’t win anything if you know more than other people, and you don’t lose if you can’t recognise all the aromas in your glass.

2021-06-08T12:48:06+00:00June 8th, 2021|

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