Where you should go on a wine tour
Trying to decide where to go for that much needed girls trip? Or maybe a destination for your honeymoon or anniversary? As summer creeps up on us, days get longer and the sun gets hotter, wine tours become a great choice for a mini weekend vacation or a long-awaited holiday. These destinations offer a delightful mix of beautiful scenery and amazing wine. With a huge variety of locations, types of tours (Self-guided? Bus? Bike? Walking? You choose!), sizes of vineyards and types of wines – you’re sure to find something that will fit your budget and wet your whistle.
Here’s where you should book your next wine tour vacation:
There are a ton of options for wine tours in California – we could write a full article on all the amazing vineyards in the state. But we’ll focus on the top 2 that you should start with and leave it to you to explore the rest!
Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley in California are world renowned winery destinations. Sonoma has over 500 wineries to choose from and will put less of a dent in the wallet compared to the pricier Napa Valley. Try a wine trolley tour or the bike and brews tour for a little extra fun. Don’t forget to visit the stunning Redwood Forest where the towering trees are sure to be a relaxing environment. Napa is the shining star of the wine scene in California with glitzy locales and multi-course meals. All the glamour of Napa Valley makes it a perfect spot for that girls trip you have been wanting to take (it’s an ideal bachelorette party weekend!). Relax at one of the many spas for the total movie star treatment. Napa is also home to the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park for astounding views and untamed nature. Both destinations offer an abundance of rent by owner vacation rentals to add an even more relaxing element to your getaway (and perfect for a large group!).
British Columbia, Canada also has a very extensive wine country. The Okanagan Valley offers 182 different wineries. From family-operated wineries all the way up to world-class operations, there’s sure to be something to suit your palate. For other activities on your trip, visit Kelowna – the largest city in the Okanagan Valley. There you can find the fantastic Kelowna Mountain suspension bridges and the Kettle Valley trestle trail. The Okanagan is also a hugely popular location for boating and house-boating so make sure you leave enough time to spend a day on the water! There are a huge amount of rent by owner vacation rentals in various locations close to the wineries and lakes. They’re perfect to split with a group – and many wine tours in the area will pick you up and drop you off in a bus to your door stop – how could you go wrong?
Winery to Try: Mission Hill – Check out their summer concerts & world-class restaurant
On the East Coast? There are a few great options in the state of New York for you to sip & savour your way through a vacation. For the most variety, head to Finger Lakes in Central New York. With over a hundred wineries and vineyards located around the group of lakes, it’s the states largest wine producing region. The area is also home to several museums and historical buildings, and is a popular spot for various outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, hunting, and boating – so you can find some balance between relaxing with a bottle of Pinot Noir and exploring the great outdoors. (Or you can just stick to the wine – we don’t judge).
Winery To Try: Damiani Cellars – Various events happening all summer
4. Texas – Texas hill country
Millions of visitors already know that Texas Hill Country is a must-visit for wine lovers. With 46 + wineries scattered across the region, you could spend days going on tours and tastings and still not try everything you’d like. There are a few options for planning your wine tour, including booking tours through their websites, hiring a limo so you don’t have to worry about a designated driver, or doing a self guided tour using their interactive maps. There are also various ‘Wine Trails’ throughout the year that you can buy tickets to. These consist of self-guided tours to participating wineries that provide discounts and perks for customers doing the trail.
Winery To Try: Becker Vineyards – Lavender fields & sprawling orchards make this winery a treat for the eyes AND taste-buds
Known as the “Birthplace of American Wine”, (Thomas Jefferson was one of the first to make wine in the region) Virginia is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, idyllic American scenery, and delicious wine. Though there are a number of regions in the state that produce various grapes from numerous vineyards, if you can only choose one to visit on your holiday, the Monticello region near Charlottesville is the place to go. There are 30 beautiful wineries scattered along the Monticello wine trail that you can spend a weekend or a week perusing.
When you’re not knee-deep in grapes, there are lots of other activities and attractions to keep you busy including hiking, skiing, shopping, and visiting Civil War sites (it is Virginia, after all)
Winery To Try: Barboursville Vineyards – A restaurant, Inn, and vineyard all in one make this the perfect one-stop destination