Every year we look forward to Barrel Tasting along the Wine Road, and this year is extra special because it’s Barrel Tasting’s 40th anniversary.

March 3-5 & March 10-12, 2017
11:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

Welcome to Barrel Tasting along the Wine Road sign

When I talk about how much we enjoy the Barrel Tasting weekends, I’ve gotten some push back from folks who think it is too crowded or too expensive or just not what it used to be. Let’s take a closer look at these claims and offer some perspective.

Change Happens

First of all, things change, especially an event that’s been around for 40 years. It’s been a very long time since my first Barrel Tasting weekend, but I remember it well. There were only a handful of wineries participating, and very limited information about who was pouring or what they were pouring. There are now over 100 wineries participating the first weekend, and more than 75 the second weekend. Also, it is no longer a two-day event, it is now a six-day event—two weekends, Friday through Sunday. And, you can now get complete details about the event online.

As for the cost, have you been wine tasting lately? A day’s worth of tasting fees can run in excess of $100 or more, depending up where you go, the type of tastings you select, and how many tasting rooms you visit. Barrel Tasting advanced tickets (ends 2-27-17) are $50 (plus tax and fees) for three days of tasting. Even if you only go one day it’s a bargain, but if you go all three days, the cost is less than $20 a day. There are also Sunday-only tickets and designated driver tickets. So yes, it does cost more than it used to, but then again, tasting fees didn’t exist 40 years ago, so that another change that’s has happened over time.

Happy Barrel Tasters

Explore the Roads Less Traveled

Now to address the strongest comment from Barrel Tasting naysayers—that the event is too crowded. Well, only if you don’t plan out your tasting route before you go to avoid crowds. Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy the event more.

images of Roads less traveled...along the Wine Road
Roads less traveled…along the Wine Road

Here are just a few more tips that will help you enjoy the weekend even more.

Enjoy wine directly from barrel poured by winemakers or the cellar staff

Barrel Tasting has many great aspects to it, but my favorite part is to be able to have a winemaker pour tastes of young wines directly from the barrel, and then buy these wines as futures, generally at a nice discount. When those wines are bottled and ready to be released, you can either visit the wineries again to pick them up, or have them shipped to you. But, we’ll dive into the beauty of wine futures in two weeks when I return for more updates along the Wine Road.

Come explore the Wine Road for Barrel Tasting’s 40th anniversary. I hope see you along the Wine Road.

Happy Sipping!

#WRBarrelTasting2017 #WineRoad @TheWineRoad