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What to expect when booking a wine tour vacation

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

I have just worked out that I have been on over 50 wine tour vacations in the last few years. These are usually 3 to 5 days packed full of visiting vineyards, enjoying local cuisine and studying the tourism opportunities the region in question holds. From private tastings in the wine cellars of Champagne to a farmhouse lunch with the grape pickers in Georgia, I have seen varied ways in which hosts introduce you to the world of wine of the regions. I now wanted to share some of the best parts and some of those not so with you.

"Preperation is key when visiting any wine region as you can not simply expect a winery to drop tools and accommdate you. If you are visiting a region on your own back then you should book in advance any visits to specific wineries and also check that any tourism hotspots are open and accepting visitors / tourists. Try and always book a 'package tour' when visiting wine regions with a known and credited tour guide."

Some of the best holidays I have had circulate around the world of wine. The most breath taking views, inspiring people, best cuisines and of course memorable wine experiences have happened when I was part of a trip to a wine region. Wine production takes place globally and in most cases the areas that the grapes are grown are of outstanding beauty.

Top Tips when visiting wine regions:

* Bring suitable clothing to include wellies, rain jackets, t-shirts, caps, sun glasses and sun tan lotion.

* Pace yourself! Do your best to drink in moderation and try and use the spittoons. It is not always easy to spit out fine wines, but like you will no doubt have many memories of, wine can go to your head quickly. Being merry is of course a fine thing, though if you go one step beyond you may not take with you all the fine memories each winery has to offer!

* Do not pack in too much! I would say the most you should be aiming for is three winery visits per day (depending of course the proximity of each). If you want to enjoy and educate yourself of each winery you visit then in most cases you should be looking at around 2.5 to 3 hours dedicated to each winery to include travel time and on site time.

* Think social. Many wineries are very active on the internet and especially social media so try and take photos / videos and get them shared online such as via Instagram and Facebook - Wineries love to hear from their visitors and will usually at least share your posts or engage with you.

* Where to eat. If you are planning a wine tour totally on your own back, then do think about where to eat. Try you best to break a day of winery visits and especially if you are tasting with some food in between. Many wine regions have amazing restaurants (including wineries who have restaurants on site) that you can take advantage of and even be served foods with wine pairings in mind.

* Embrace all of wine tourism. For me and many others in the wine industry, it is not only the winery you should be investigating. Wineries are set within magnificent wine regions that hold architectural, religious, cultural and more in delights - When you are arranging your wine tour agenda please think about embrace everything the region has to offer so that you can really appreciate the character / personality of the wines originate from.

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