Most of the wineries along the Wine Road and are open daily. For those that are listed as being open by appointment - call when you are in the area - if they are home...they can usually accommodate you.
Most charge for tasting, however that fee is most often deducted from a wine purchase. All in all, you probably won't find a more congenial place to taste and experience Wine Country!
Plan ahead... Many wineries have limited hours. Appointments to taste and tour wineries are very easy to setup, and in many cases can be quite impromptu... so don't hesitate to call ahead even if last minute!
Ask questions... Wine tasting is your opportunity not only to educate your palate, but learn more about the wine making process - you will find tasting room staff, owners and winemakers quite congenial.
Designate a Driver... A prudent decision for a carefree day of tasting. There are also many local tour services available that are fun and especially affordable for groups. For limousine or bus service contact a tour company.
Have fun! Be polite... A smile goes a long way :-)
Tasting Etiquette, Rules of the "Road":
Our member wineries invite you to join them in their tasting rooms year round to sample wines. However, please be aware that it is illegal for a tasting room employee to serve wine to anyone that appears intoxicated, even if they have a designated driver.
We ask that you taste responsibly.
- Feel free to use the dump buckets set out on the tasting bar for excess wine.
- Limit yourself to no more than 4 wine tastes per winery.
- When possible, have a designated driver.
- Ask before you picnic at a winery, and never bring other alcoholic beverages to drink at a winery.
- Children are welcome during non-event weekends, but please keep an eye on them. Most wineries have heavy equipment running, and therefore it is not safe for unsupervised children.
- Remember, no one under the age of 21 may sample wine…not even your children.
Taste in the suggested order...
Always taste from whites to reds. If you've already entered the red list and wanted to try a particular white again, try another day. Picking out fruit flavors in a pinot gris after the peppery zinfandels are next to impossible. If you're on the cusp on whether or not to buy it, go with your gut or come back another time to give your best attempt to taste its intricacies.
Please, make room at the tasting bar for others....
Don't crowd the bar. If you're in a winery that is obviously busy at the tasting bar, back away from the bar after receiving your next tasting to give others a chance to progress in their tasting order. There's nothing worse than fighting a crowd when trying to taste.
Remember, don't wear scents...
Don't wear perfume, cologne, or lotions. They WILL affect trying to pick up the aromas of the wine which will alter your perception in its taste, not to mention, ruin the experience for others.
Want to read more about wine tasting etiquette?
Here is a link to an article from the Denver post you might enjoy.
How to behave at a wine tasting
Getting The Most Out of Wine Tasting
There are many guides, blogs and books written about how to taste wine. Rather than repeat the wisdom of others, we’re providing you with a link to a page from the Wine Spectator School that gives you a few simple tips or best practices.
Go forth and enjoy the journey into wine.