5 Tips to Planning Your Wine Trip
Are you considering taking a wine trip? Planning your trip might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it is really not that difficult. It does, however, take some research and some time. But Hey, learning about an area and looking forward to new experiences can be half the fun! Here are our Top Five Tips to make your wine trip run smoothly:
1. Partner up! It is much more fun to plan a trip together with someone you can share the experience with. Share the work, share the fun. You can share an online document or spread sheet to keep track of each other proposals and research. That way you can be mutually inspired by your suggestions and you don’t have to do all the work alone.
2. Start your research early. We usually begin planning our trips six month in advance and take our time with our research. That way, we have plenty of time to reconsider our options and get inspired throughout the process. You can read a little about the areas you want to visit a couple of times a week, rather than do an intense research session a month before. Best, you won’t begin your wine trip feeling stressed and fed up with wine information.
3. Choose locations carefully. There are many ways to organize your lodgings, but make sure you consider how you want to spend your evenings. Do you want to have plenty of restaurants options? Is the hotel atmosphere important to you? Or, do you prefer to make your own food and enjoy nature on your ‘time off’ from the wine tastings? Perhaps a bit of all. Either way, there are lot less options for tourists in wine country so make sure you make these considerations to avoid being disappointed when the vineyards close.
4. Decide how to get around. Wine and petrol don’t mix (Except in certain whites where it can be delicious!). In some wine areas, like in Alsace and Mosel, you can walk from winery to winery in the small idyllic villages, but often you must consider bigger distances. Shuttle busses are sometimes an option on particular timeslots, but otherwise public transportation or bicycles are great ways to get around in wine country. Bicycles are often easy to rent and cycling is a great way to reset your palette between wine visits. E-bikes can be a welcome helping hand on those steep slopes in many wine areas. And remember, these days you can pre-plan your trip with several stops using Google Maps.
5. Book, where booking is needed. Different regions have different traditions. In some areas winemakers have an ‘open door’ or a showroom with dedicated opening hours where you can drop-in when ever you please. In other places, it is hard to get an appointment even if you contact the winery well in advance. Therefore, make sure how the wineries ‘guest policies’ are in the area you are visiting to avoid disappointment. Most wineries are most happy to welcome you so long as you abide by their ways.