Road tripping through a wine region always takes a little planning and organisation. Google maps can take care of most of the obvious details like which turn to take and how long it will take to get there. However, some planning may not be so obvious. To get the most from your road trip experience, here’s 5 Tips for Planning a Successful Wine Region Road Trip…
It’s easy to get carried away at the prospect of tasting amazing wines all day, but you don’t want to rush through it either. Often the best cellar door experiences are best had when you have enough time to chat to a winemaker or grower and learn about the wine you are tasting. You’ll appreciate the product more and you’ll learn what to look for in other wines you try and other wineries you visit.
It might be easy to choose a winery based on how pretty the views are or how nice the cellar door fit out is, but there’s nothing worse than tasting the same types of wine at each winery you visit and not getting the most out of your wine tasting experience. Choose wineries that have new and interesting varieties that you may not have tried before. Also, try varieties you think you may not like at each winery. Each producer will make the wine in a different style, using different winemaking techniques which can make the wine taste very different to what you might expect.
This tip might sound pretty obvious, everyone needs to eat right? Aside from easing the effects of the wines you’ve been sipping all morning on your road trip, tasting wines with food is a really important part of wine tasting. Often restaurants in wine regions will match local wines with local produce, and the wine you may have tasted previously in the cellar door, will taste completely different at the restaurant. Try a wine without food and then with food and experience how and why the wines have changed on your palate.
A great way of remembering an awesome wine tasting road trip is to bring back some of the wines you tasted along the way. Often wineries will offer a discount when you purchase 6 or more bottles, and you might even be able to mix and match a few of your favourites. If the journey home is a long one, don’t forget to enquire about shipping your wine home, as most wineries will offer this service.
Wine regions all over the world are unique to their landscape, climate and surrounds. Each very different to the next, even within the same country. Take note of the soil the vines are planted in, the aspect of the vineyards and their proximity to lakes or oceans. All these factors will influence what you taste in the glass, but also make for an unforgettable afternoon of sightseeing. So, don’t forget to take the time to stop and enjoy what makes each region special.