There are thousands of wineries in the world, with over 8,000 in North America alone. That gives winery visitors plenty of options and tastings to choose from. But showing up to start sampling the best wines isn’t enough. To truly elevate your next winery experience, you need to come prepared with a vision for what you want to get out of the trip whether a more refined palate or phenomenal tasting experience with a unique backdrop. Here are some ideas to make the most out of your next winery experience.
Rent Out the Winery
Private winery tours can enhance your understanding of fine wines, but renting out the entire space can truly elevate your experience. Best suited for groups, renting out a winery ensures your guides and winery staff are focused on what you’re hoping to experience. Ask about wine tastings and pairings, catering your lunch or dinner and excursions through the winery to see the grapes growing and workers in action.
Bring the Right Gear
Packing up cheeses and fruits to pair with your wine is a good first step in making sure you have the right additions for your winery experience. But the right gear can also make all of the difference. Bring along a durable smartphone that takes brilliant photographs to capture the color of your wine tasting. The Samsung Galaxy S8 plus features a large 6.2″ QHD display on an Infinity Screen. And because wineries are usually dimly lit, the Galaxy S8 plus is a good choice for taking photos in any light. Post photos of your wine tour throughout the day to compare the color and service along the way.
Hire Your Own Sommelier
Although a winery’s staff is typically very knowledgeable, they don’t always have a sommelier available for tastings with guests. Instead, bring your own sommelier to walk you through to educate you and your group on the wines, how they are made and their rich history. You can also ask your sommelier to tag along to dinner to find the best pairings for your personal preferences and continue your group’s wine education all evening.
Choose a Unique Backdrop
It’s not necessary to go to an exotic location to taste amazing wines, but the backdrop you choose can enhance your winery experience. Instead of heading out to a traditional winery with a rolling vineyard, choose a castle or cave as your backdrop of choice.
Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga is a medieval-style Tuscan castle right in Napa Valley showcasing 107 rooms, 8 levels, a drawbridge and secret passageways. There’s even a tucked away torture chamber, and of course, tasting rooms. Over at Rutherford Hill, guests can explore the deep caves to sample wines, including a taste out of the barrel.
Train Your Palate Before, During and After
Wineries expose new and seasoned wine enthusiasts to a variety of wines with insights on developing their palate. The winery’s staff or sommelier should give you cues on what to look for when smelling in the wine’s aroma from crushed berries to figs.
Take classes before your winery excursion, and ask the staff for suggestions on how to enhance your palate as you sample from the wineries. But it’s not the time to put away your wine glasses just yet. Continue your wine tasting experience with follow-up classes or a wine party with friends and family to keep training your palate to separate the aromas into distinct parts.
However you plan your next winery experience, make sure it delivers on what you’re looking for from luxury to convenience. Hire a private driver to take you through wine country, rent the best B&B for your stay and surround yourself with the best wine enthusiasts who share your love for a phenomenal day of tasting.