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How to Plan Your Wine Tour

Spring is officially here! Or is it? Mother Nature has definitely been very fickle lately, but even still, it can only mean one thing: wine tour season is upon us! It’s not always easy to plan a wine tour if you aren’t from the area, so here’s a few pointers get you started in the right direction.

Step 1) Set the date! There’s no bad time to go wine tasting, but fair warning, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October are the busiest days of the year. You will get a more personalized experience if you go on a weekday, or during the colder months.

Step 2) Pick a spot.
Determine your pick-up and drop-off spot where everyone can leave their cars and can relax and have a snack or meal afterwards before venturing home.

Step 3) Set a budget. Transportation cost will vary depending on your group size and the duration of the reservation (in hours). Tasting fees vary from $4-10, depending on your group size. Be sure to set some cash aside from wine and souvenir purchase!

Step 4) Get a driver. Once you have an idea of how many people you’re traveling with, contact transportation companies (listed on our website) for rates. The sooner you call, the more likely you are to find the right size vehicle on your preferred date for a good price. Picking a transportation company located nearest your pick-up location may save on cost, but some companies don’t charge until you’re picked up, so shop around for the best deal.

A good group of friends and a designated driver are must have’s for a memorable wine tour!

Step 5) Set your Path. Each winery has different reservation restrictions, but the general rule to follow starts with groups of 8 or more. Contact each winery you plan to visit. When planning your route, plan for an hour or so in between each stop to allow time to taste, shop, take pics, potty breaks and travel time. Visit our website, winery websites, and Facebook pages to pick which you’d like to visit.

Step 6) Think food. Nobody wants to travel with hangry friends. Many of the wineries do carry snack items, but there are restaurants along the Trail for something more substantial.  Americana Vineyards, Toro Run Winery, Knapp Winery, Thirsty Owl Wine Co., and Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery all have restaurants on site. To expedite time, make a reservation for your lunch as well!

The purpose of a wine tour is not only to have fun with friends or family, but to experience the area, the wineries, and to sample wines you might not otherwise try. You never know, you may walk home with a case of delicious wines to share at your next dinner party!

When planning your route, plan for time for tastings, shopping, pictures, potty breaks and travel time.

Katherine Chase