If you're a wine lover but have never visited a winery, you're missing out on a great deal of fun. Let's take a look at what's involved so you can plan a trip very soon.
Most wineries these days, except for the very smallest, will probably have a web site, and you should visit there before you actually go to the winery. On the site you'll find the hours of operation, directions, types of wines, tasting fees, if any, and a host of other information. This simple step will save you lots of time.
Some wineries offer tours, and if you're interested in wine making this can be a great way to find out how their wines are made. If you're just there to taste their wines and maybe buy a bottle or two, find the tasting room.
At most wineries there's a nominal fee for tasting, and it can range from a few dollars at the smaller wineries to $25 or more at some of the larger ones. The fee will allow you to sample a handful of the wines of your choice. A sample will probably be less than an ounce, enough to give you a taste of the wine but not make you tipsy if you end up sampling 4 or 5. And remember, the pros always spit the wine out, unless it happens to be a rare or very expensive wine.
You shouldn't feel obligated to buy a bottle of wine, especially from the bigger wineries. The smaller ones will appreciate your support if you find some wines to your liking. This is a good way to collect a few bottles you may not find in your local liquor mart.
Here are a couple of hints that will make your visit more enjoyable. If you're in an area with a lot of wineries close by, don't plan to visit too many in one afternoon. Try to make sure you get something to eat in between visits.
I hope these few simple facts will encourage you to visit a winery near you soon. You'll be glad you did.