Demystifying Wine Tasting By Appointments

Rebecca Germolus on Sep 16, 2015

Some wineries along the Wine Road require an appointment to taste. It is worthwhile to plan your tasting adventure and discover these hidden gems.

A couple toasting at a table set up for a private tasting

Worth The Extra Step

Here are some benefits of scheduling by-appointment tastings:

Intimate — Often by appointment wineries are so small that the owners or winemakers will be pouring for you, and can share the inside track on their wines and winery.

Exclusive Generally by appointment tasting means your party will be the only folks tasting at that time. Where else can you get this much personal attention?

Easy — Tasting appointments can be made the same day, and sometimes just minutes in advance. However, to secure the day and time you want, planning ahead is always best, but it doesn’t hurt to try for a last-minute appointment.

Why bother with an appointment at all then? Because the winery’s tasting permit requires they are open only by appointment.

Wine tasters listening to a winery staff member talk

Your Schedule Impacts Others

Here are some considerations regarding by-appointment tastings:

Timing is Everything. Usually, these wineries don’t have tasting room staff, so the owner or winemaker schedules their time to accommodate visitors. If you make an appointment and are going to be more than 15 minutes late or need to cancel or reschedule, please be courteous and call to let them know. Your schedule impacts their day.

Don’t Over Schedule. When scheduling your tasting appointments, remember to allow plenty of time between each appointment. The distance between wineries may look close on the map, but travelling on the beautiful back roads of Northern Sonoma County can take longer than planned. Also, by appointment tastings can last over an hour. Try to schedule them so you know you’ll be on time. Don’t over-schedule your day so you feel rushed or can’t fully enjoy the intimate setting of a by-appointment tasting.

Winery owners and winemakers love sharing their wines with you. If you enjoy their wines, show your appreciation by taking home a bottle or two. Nothing validates their hard work than someone enjoying the fruits of their labour.

Happy Sipping!

Happy tasters at Sbragia Winery's patio

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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