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Wine Tasting Tips

Wine tasting can be very exciting and educational, but it shouldn't be intimidating! Follow our lead and you'll fit right in no matter where you choose to start your wine-lover journey.

  • Plan ahead and call the wineries you'll be visiting to confirm their hours and policies, especially as we reopen. Our "What to Expect" guide can point you in the right direction.
  • Note that many wineries have transitioned to an appointment-only policy since the pandemic. Some wineries accept walk-ins, but always check first, and plan your trip around appointments rather than "winging it."
  • Consider visiting mid-week if your schedule allows. Appointments will be easier to make and wine country will be less crowded.
  • Visit wineries that are in close proximity to limit driving time.
  • Get a designated driver!  For a carefree day of tasting it’s the prudent thing to do. Take advantage of local tour services that are fun and affordable.
  • And speaking of designated drivers, these wineries offer nonalcoholic options so that everyone can have something fun to sip. 
  • Avoid wearing any perfume, cologne or heavily scented beauty products. It will interfere with your tasting experience as well as the experience of those around you.
  • Spit, like the professionals do! You will be able to taste more fantastic wines (and remember them).
  • Ask a lot of questions. This is your opportunity to educate your palate and learn more about the winemaking process. Tasting room staff are friendly and love to share their knowledge with guests. No question is too basic!
  • Explore a new wine-tasting region. Likely you’ll experience less congestion and you’ll have a great time tasting new wines! 
  • Likewise, try a new type of wine or grape variety during your wine tasting. You must taste the Valley’s signature Pinot noirs, but don’t be afraid to try something new. 
  • Visit small wineries and larger wineries, or try a mixture of urban wineries and more rural settings, to enjoy a variety of wine-tasting experiences. 
  • If you discover a winery you really love, consider joining their wine club