Wine tasting is not just about tasting wine; it is more like an experience. For people who are new to this fun activity, this article will give you a guide on what to expect. To go on a wine tour, you can decide to go on your own and use simple tools like the internet or a map. You can also go for a wine tour company that specializes in touring wineries. As a newbie to wine touring, the best option is to use a professional tour company.



Touring on your own


If you are touring on by yourself, the costs are often less than touring with a company. The winery usually does not charge any money for the wine tour. Sometimes, they provide free samples of wine for tourists. Most of the time, there is a minor charge that covers the cost of sampling the wine. For those who want a taste of specialty wine, like ice wine, they will be charged extra for it.


Touring with a wine tour company


If you choose to participate in a professionally arranged wine tour with a tour operator, you will spend more. Tour operators transport their tourists between wineries. The total cost depends largely on the area you choose to tour. A one-day touring trip that covers several wineries may cost more than $100, but a two-week tour through an area like Bordeaux, France, will cost more than a thousand dollars.


Even within a single tour company, you will find different prices. Some tour companies provide van transportation as well as shuttle groups of fifteen or more from winery to vineyard. They also work with other intimate groups where a limo, hot air balloon or a horse drawn carriage is used as a means of transportation.



Whether you are traveling on your own or moving as part of a team, immediately you reach the winery, all tours are similar. You will probably walk through the vineyards, and your host will discuss the types of grapes produced in the region. When you leave the vineyards, your host will also explain the various stages of wine making. You may see wine in different stainless steel vats as well as oak barrels all of which are in various stages of wine aging process. You will enter a tasting room after that stage, and you can sample four to six different kinds of wine there.


After wine tasting, you will have enough time to visit the gift shop of the winery to make a purchase. For groups visiting the winery, make arrangements to move to the next spot. Some wineries offer live music and gourmet meals on some tour days, and other tour operators make arrangements for meals or other activities as part of the tour package. It's crucial to know exactly what to expect when you make your plans. If a meal is not offered, ask for any recommendation before going home. The effect of tasting wine all day, particularly in the warm weather, can be reduced by eating some food. 


By: Chris Hartland