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12 must do tips to make your next winery weekend tour a raging success

09/30/08

Permalink 03:21:35 am by main, Categories: Wine Tours

This is a good article about some tips you need to consider when you are taking a tour of some local wineries. Many of these tips are obvious, however there are a few that make you say ... "Hmmm, I wouldn't have thought o that!" This is a great place to start when you are looking for information to plan your next winery trip.

1 - Plan your trip and call ahead

You've got your winery map in front of you. So plan a route and
be realistic about how long it'll take you to drive from winery
to winery. Can you really cover 50km of twisty road in 30
minutes? Be honest about what you can do in one day and more
importantly, what you can enjoy in one day. It's not a race to
log the most tasting notes in 48 hours. Stop... Look... Taste...
Listen... Learn... And most importantly enjoy the day. Call each
winery a few days before your weekend. Not all small wineries
open every day and some close altogether over winter. Plan your
trip and leave time to enjoy your stay at each winery. About 1
hour should do.

2 - Line up a designated driver

You've probably already figured out where you want to stay the
night. But you still need to get from winery to winery. Find
someone who doesn't drink or is willing to not drink this one
weekend. It's just plain easier and safer for you.

3 - Wear something comfortable and dark

For shoes, leave the stilettos and designer heels home this
weekend. Wear something you're comfortable walking and standing
in. Not every winery will have space for you to sit down so you
may be standing most of the day. And wear comfy dark clothes.
Dark clothes hide whatever you or more likely someone else
spills on you. And it's easier than having to change or walk
around looking like Spot the dog for the day.

4 - Go easy on the after shave or perfume

A huge part of what you taste comes from the smell. That's why
food always tastes flat when you've got a blocked nose. It's
much easier to pick up the spice in the Merlot when you're not
battling with the Old Spice from the person next to you.

5 - Have a decent breakfast and plan a good lunch

You'll stay sober longer and you'll get the best from your days
away with a decent breakfast under your belt. It's no fun
getting smashed by 11am on the first day when you've still got a
dozen wineries to visit. Get a decent breakfast and leave time
for a good lunch. Either bring your own picnic basket and eat
out in the vines or eat in. If you've planned lunch at someplace
small and far away then please book ahead. Often it'll be the
only thing for miles and remember, plan ahead and you'll enjoy
your weekend away much, much more.

6 - Get there early

We know, from experience that afternoons are busiest. So try and
get out of home and be at the first winery bang on opening time.
Whoever's behind the bar will have more time to spend with you,
you'll have a better time and you'll learn more.

7 - Taste the wines in order of lightest and driest to strongest
and sweetest

Tasting fine wines is just like enjoying a fine dinner. You
start off with a light entrée and you finish with the sticky
date pudding. Just imagine what your prawn cocktail tastes like
after your ice cream? Start with the light whites and finish
with the ports.

8 - Learn to spit

If you swallowed everything you tasted in one day on the road,
you'd be hammered by lunchtime. Learn to spit. It's an accepted
and expected thing to do in the wine world. But please...
practice at home first.

9 - Don't stress about taking tasting notes

Remember you're out to enjoy your weekend and your wines and not
check the boxes on a score sheet. Grab the wines you like on the
day (please keep them out of the boot on a 40C degree day). And
get yourself on the winery mailing list. Most wineries will have
a newsletter and tasting notes online. So don't worry about
scribbling notes that you'll probably lose on the way home. Once
you're on the mailing list you can order your favourite wines
anytime.

10 - Keep drinking water all day long

Sipping wines and travelling all day dries you out. Carry your
water bottle with you, keep it topped up and keep sipping all
day. It just means you keep tasting wines longer and don't flake
out early on.

11 - What goes in, must come out

Use the toilets at each stop. I know it sounds obvious and we're
not 3 years old anymore, but we see all sorts of strange things.
So stop at the loo whenever you get a chance.

12 - Enjoy they stay

Relax and go with the flow and just have a good time. Don't rush
as it's not a race. If you don't get through your planned route,
then so be it. There'll always be another weekend and hey, do
you really need an excuse for another wine weekend away?
Remember... You'll be in a new area enjoying new things, new
wines and meeting new people. Just kick back and enjoy the
experience.

About the author:
Peter Svans owns The Gurdies Winery. The winery produces premium
cool climate low preservative wines in Australia. The weekly
newsletter gives a unique ‘this day in wine’ feature along
with winery and vineyard news. Sign up at the website…

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Almost all of the major wine regions usually sponsor a wine tour, or have one of their own with their own winery. To get a better experience of the wines in a particular area, it is usually a good idea to take the wine tours that go to several wineries. They can be as simple as a bike tour to an expensive yacht trip.

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