Best Wine Tasting Travel TipS: Map and Plan
Thinking about Wine Tasting somewhere? Need help planning your Wine Excursion? Please allow us to offer these simple Wine Tasting Travel Tips to quickly put together a plan – map out your route – and get onto the wine tasting ASAP!
The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars. – Benjamin Franklin
After launching Google Maps (and in the box that says “Search Google Maps”) type in the name of the airport/hotel/train station you’re traveling to. (For example, I entered “Santa Rosa Airport”). No need to search for and type in a street address – Google Maps knows Locations by Name! Next, click on the blue “Directions” diamond on the right.
Now, hover and click the “location icon” to the left of your destination name (keeping pressing the button on your mouse/touch pad) and “Drag to Reorder” – so instead of that being the end of your route, the name you entered is now the beginning.
Finally, if you know the name of a winery or wine tasting room in the area you plan on visiting, enter that name as your new destination. (For example, I entered “Opus One Winery”). And as soon as you press “Enter,” Google Maps automatically determines your most time efficient route from origin to destination with a bold blue line (and shows slower alternate routes with grey lines).
#2) Take A Closer Look
Using your mouse (or your fingers), zoom in and get a closer look! Obviously, the bigger the screen, the more you can see – and once you start zooming in on the map – it’s like magic! As you zoom in from a county view to street view, restaurants/shops/lodging/event locations will begin to appear on your map. If you’re looking for Wine Tasting Travel Tips in Beautiful Wine Country – then you’ve hit the jackpot!
#3) Click ‘Wine Cups’: Winery, Estate, Vineyard, Tasting Room
Google Maps is so awesome because when you click on a winery, brewery or restaurant in an area, you immediately start to discover other similar locations within that category. Plus, you can click on the pictures that appear on the left of your screen and picture yourself there. Excited much? (Simply click the ‘back arrow’ to get back out of that screen). Also, try clicking “Nearby” – which really makes those hidden locations “pop up” on the map.
#4) Learn Names & Locations: Website, Hours, Prices, Reservations
Now that you’re discovering wineries and vineyards along your route, you can easily get their address, web page, phone number, and hours of operation. Take the time to click on their website (see second red arrow above) to view pictures of the property, make note of what wines they offer and look for your favorites. Also, check the hours, pricing and reservation information (Note: not all tastings are free or open to the public).
#5) Plan Your Wine Tasting Route: 3-5 Wine Tasting Rooms Per Day
As you find other locations to add to your route, simply click the blue “+” circle in the blue directions panel (as seen below) to add another winery or tasting room to your excursion. Keep adding, then replacing. Consider travel time, visiting time and most of all: wine tasting time. Start your wine excursion mid-to-late morning. Consider that if each tasting includes 3-4 wines, then visiting 3-5 tasting rooms in one day should be more than enough. And don’t forget to leave extra time for spontaneity and unpredictable moments (i.e. “rose smelling”).
Now that you have a map and a plan, it’s time to figure out what to wear and what you’re bringing. First, check the weather by going to The Weather Channel web page and enter a city or ZIP code (Note: The Weather Channel does not yet know location names).
Getting the daily weather is great, but getting the hourly weather is amazing!
This is wine country weather, usually sunny and perfect, so go dressy casual and forget the umbrella. Bring sunglasses and extra bottles of water in a small cooler in the car. Prep some cheese and crackers (and sausage and fruit) to bring along if you can. Today is going to be awesome! And if you’re going to keep the party going, you can always click for more hours at the bottom of the page.
#7) Read The Wine Tasting Brochures
Whether you’re in the airport, at the hotel, out to eat, or at a winery, there will be a lot of free wine tasting travel tips and information available to you – so take it! I realize that you might feel uncomfortable or think it’s pointless, but you would be surprised how much great information is contained in these pamphlets, flyers and fold-out maps. And if you’re lucky, you’ll discover some free wine tasting tickets and discounts!
#8) Take Advantage of Free Wine Tasting Tickets
This is not coupon clipping. We’re talking about 2-for-1 wine tasting tickets, discounts and vouchers that through the course of a day can save you a lot money. Now not every vineyard or winery offers them. But I’ve personally learned how 2-for-1 tickets that I thought were a waste of time actually introduced us to incredible wines at fantastic tasting rooms that led to even more complimentary tasting discounts. Because, in wine country, many of the winemakers already know each other and are happy to recommend you to their friends. It’s like wine tasting networking. How cool is that?
#9) Strike Up A Conversation With Your Wine Host
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! One time I asked a basic (bordering on silly) question about the name of the wine grape we were tasting – and out of the corner of my eye I saw another couple give me a strange look. But the wine hostess started talking about the soil and the climate and the harvest and the notes – she even gave me another healthy pour so I could take full advantage of her private lesson. It was awesome! And you know what? That other couple disappeared. You get the point. Talk to people. Ask for wine tasting travel tips. Talk to the wine maker, the wine host – talk to the limousine driver. Don’t worry about the peanut gallery. Make the day yours.
#10) Buy A Least One Bottle Of Wine
Wine tasting is just the beginning of a real wine excursion. Buying wine is what it’s really all about – because your goal is to find a winery that you can call home. Whether you jot down notes on the wine tasting list or you just know because that’s the one, buy a glass or purchase a bottle and enjoy that beautiful moment. If you buy a glass and it lives up to your dreams, consider joining the wine club. Sip outside and stay awhile. This is what wine tasting is all about. We hope to see you there. Thanks for reading our best wine tasting travel tips!