Top 10 Reasons to Attend Barrel Tasting 2023

Rebecca Germolus on Jan 17, 2023

Here are the top 10 reasons to attend the Wine Road’s Barrel Tasting, the weekend of Friday, March 3rd through Sunday, March 5th.

Expansive springtime vineyard vistas with hills and fluffy clouds in the background.

Reason 1 – Rare Opportunity

This is a rare opportunity to taste and learn about wines being served directly from the barrel. Some wineries will also be pouring a previous bottled vintage of the same wine to help you understand and taste what happens when a wine has time to continue to age after bottling. This palate education is a rare opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

Reason 2 – Taste & Buy the Future

Many of the wineries will sell “futures” of their barrel sample wines, as well as their current release wines. And, some of the wineries offer wine futures at a discounted price. Last year’s barrel samples included varietals like Malbec, Grenache, Barbera, and Primitivo, along with the more well-known varietals like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.

You don’t get to take home the wine futures when you buy them, so you have a new wine to look forward to enjoying — hence the name “futures.” Once the futures are bottled and ready to be released, the winery will notify you that you can pick up your wine, or have it shipped to you.

Two photos of people having their Wine Road glasses filled with a wine thief directly from a wine barrel.

Reason 3 – Three Days of Exploration & Tasting

You have the option to spend three days exploring and sipping for one tasting fee/ticket price. Tasting hours are 11 – 4, so that’s 15 hours of tasting!

Reason 4 – One Ticket Vs. Multiple Tasting Fees

A Barrel Tasting ticket gives you the option to visit over 50 wineries for the price of one ticket. Early bird price is $85 (Jan. 17-31) After Jan. 31, ticket price is $95. What a deal! Prefer to only go one day? Sunday-only tickets are $75.

Reason 5 – Try Something New

Barrel Tasting is a chance to explore wineries that are new to you. This is a no risk proposition with your Barrel Tasting ticket. You can check out new wineries and their wines without paying the tasting fee at each winery. One ticket gets you in the door at all participating wineries.

Reason 6 – No Appointment Needed

After you leave your check-in winery, you’re free to meander along the Wine Road, stopping at any of the participating wineries. You can set your own pace, staying longer at one winery or a shorter time at another, without the worry of being late for an appointment. A hassle-free tasting weekend!

Reason 7 – Meet Key Players

Meet winemakers and other key winery employees, or even the winery owners. The winemaker or cellar staff are often the people behind the barrel, pouring the barrel samples into your glass. Plus, in the dozens of smaller, family-owned wineries along the Wine Road, the owners are on hand during the weekend to share their stories along with their wines.

Winemakers sharing barrel samples of their wines with people holding wine glasses.
Winemakers/owners David Mounts of Mounts Family Winery (left) and Alex Davis of Porter Creek Vineyards (right) talk with Barrel Tasters about the samples they just poured.

Reason 8 – Taste the Difference

Explore all three of the appellations along the Wine Road. Taste the difference between a Zinfandel grown in Russian River Valley vs. Dry Creek Valley, or a Chardonnay grown in Alexander Valley vs. Russian River Valley. Another great learning opportunity!

Reason 9 – Pick Your Favorite Size and Style

Visit rural wineries and urban wineries, or large wineries and small boutique wineries. All sizes and options are available during the Barrel Tasting weekend. Give yourself the time to explore and learn what you like best. When you return to the Wine Road, you might have a new list of favorites!

Reason 10 – Drink in the Views

Just because it’s late winter/early spring, doesn’t mean Wine Country isn’t just as scenic as always. In early March, you’ll find vineyards covered in picturesque cover crops, including beautiful yellow mustard, and everything is lush and green from the winter rains.

Mustard covered vineyard in early March, with dormant vines on metal stakes. Tree covered hills are in the background.

And Best of All

The final and top reason to buy your ticket for Barrel Tasting 2023—it’s so much fun!

Woman using a wine thief pours wine into a Wine Road logo glass for a smiling man.
Happy Barrel Taster getting a Pinot Noir barrel sample at Balletto Vineyards.

Tickets are on sale now and here is the list of all the participating wineries. The full Barrel Tasting program will be online by February 1st.

If you want to make sure you get the most of this event, you may find this blog post helpful.

Hope to see you Barrel Tasting along the Wine Road soon!

Happy Sipping

#BT2023 #BarrelTasting2023 #WineRoadLife #AlongtheWineRoad

View of valley vineyards with mountains in the background and a picnic table and chairs, plus a large shade tree in the foreground.
Panoramic view of Dry Creek Valley from the Wilson Winery back deck.

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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