How to Plan Your First Wine Country Trip

Traveling through Wine Country is a specific joy — a mix of countryside, scenery, art, science, and shopping. A tour through a wine region delights the senses, so if you want to be a budding oenophile (i.e., wine-lover), know that vacationing in Wine Country doesn’t have to be pretentious. Here are some tips to help. Before long, you’ll be eschewing the pool or amusement park for a chance to roll a few samples around your tongue.

You will need

  • 1 A vehicle
  • 2 Friends (or at least a significant other)
  • 3 A suitcase
  • 4 A sense of adventure


Pack Your Bags

You’ll want to dress casual, because you’ll be moving around, but a little dressy, since most wineries are at least somewhat classy, no matter how relaxed they are (flannels are great, flip flops, not so much). Hats and sunscreen are necessary, because you’ll likely be outside at some point. Comfortable shoes are crucial, as is a light jacket: the temperature in most wine regions can swing unpredictably.


Do Your Research

It’s often best to look up what wineries you’ll be visiting online before hitting the road. Some may require reservations; some may have weird hours; some may have tasting fees that are outside of your budget. A little bit of Googling goes a long way.


Get a designated driver

Trust us, those small tastings add up. Have someone drive who is paying attention to how much wine they’re consuming, or hire a service. Almost all wine regions have driving services that will take groups around to different wineries, and many have special relationships with the vineyards, which lead to discounts and other special features.


Leave sorta’ early

Most wineries open around 10 a.m., and most close at 5 p.m. Wine tasting is a daytime activity, so get out of your hotel room earlier on in the day.