Wine Tours: What to Expect From Start to Finish

three people holding wine glasses

If you’re a wine lover, chances are that going on a winery tour is on your bucket list. It’s the ultimate dream vacation—travelling across the world, driving through scenic roads, and stopping at beautiful vineyards to taste the best wines. 

If you’re new to wine tastings, planning an itinerary could be overwhelming. You may want to go to wineries that offer your favourite drinks, but you also want to sample varieties. You want to do it all! In this post, we’ve put together a guide to help you arrange your next wine adventure. Here’s what to expect when you’re on a wine tour:

Which winery to visit: 

Before you start packing your suitcase, you’ll need to decide which winery to visit. There are so many options across the globe. You can go to industrial-sized factories, vintage cellars, or sprawling vineyards. You can choose if you want to see commercial winemakers or family-run businesses.

Additionally, you’ll need to do some research to know which grape varieties you would want to see for an authentic experience. Note that wines are often categorized as old world and new world. A few examples of old world wines are the Bordeaux, Chianti, and Vermentino with roots that can be traced to Europe. New world wines are more flexible are cultivated in any winery. These factors will undoubtedly affect your destination.

Getting there: Assign a driver

Most winery tour packages will arrange your transfers for you. However, if you’re an independent traveller or taking the DIY route, make sure to sort out your transportation beforehand. It’s wise to hire a designated driver. You will be offered one too many glasses, so be responsible and assign someone who will stay sober throughout your tour.

Going around the property

Your tour starts with a walk-through of the property, beginning with the vineyard. You’ll see rows and rows of grapevines, with the guide explaining the process of harvesting and grape selection. Next, you’ll be led indoors to the processing area and finally to the cellar where you’ll see wooden barrels that will surely excite you.

During your tour, you will learn about the wine-making process, from fermentation to aging and bottling. Most wineries, even the larger ones, are family businesses and very traditional, which is why you’ll likely learn about the business’s history as well. During the tour, keep an ear out for interesting anecdotes and other tidbits of information that you couldn’t get elsewhere! 

Tasting

The highlight of your tour, of course, will be the tasting. Standard wine-tasting tours will have you taste around six different types of wine. Some will even offer food pairings such as deli meats and cheeses. The usual tasting size is half the amount that would be put in a regular glass.

Don’t worry if you’re a wine novice. Your expert guide will explain each bottle’s characteristics. He or she might even give you tips on how to swirl, see, smell, and sip. It’s good to have a small notebook so you can jot down notes and mark which ones you liked best. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions so you can deepen your knowledge. 

Afterwards

All wine tours end at the shop where you can purchase bottles of the wine you’ve sampled. Remember—the purpose of your trip is to enjoy the experience. You are not required to buy, so don’t feel pressured to do so.

The world of wine is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge and broaden your social connections. Come prepared to learn, enjoy, and make new friends who share your passion!

If you’re looking for a tour of the wineries in the Geelong area, get in touch with us today to book your visit!

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