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