When visiting Napa Valley, you’ll see a lot of people talking about taking a wine country tour. In fact, you may be taking one yourself! Wine tours are plenty of fun, and they can be enjoyed in groups or on a romantic one-on-one date. Let’s take a look at what you can expect on a wine tour so that you’re comfortable with this part of your stay.
Personal vs. Guided Tours
You can choose to take your own wine tour, or you can select a tour from a tour company, which most people choose to do. Tour companies know the best routes to take and the best wineries to visit, and their strong rapport with local wineries in the Napa Valley area means that you will get to enjoy hands-on picking or grape crushing (only in season). You can spend a little or a lot depending on the tour you take, but most wine tours are affordable, especially since transportation, wine samplings and a guided tour are included in the price.
En Route to the Vineyards
There are various modes of transportation as well. The most common wine tours take place on a bus, van or shuttle, but others take place on trains, hot air balloons, limos or even horse-drawn carriages. The tour will take you on a scenic route so that you can enjoy the rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, as well as the small, quaint towns along the way that lie right outside the Napa wineries. Most tours will stop at several wineries.
At the Winery
Once at the winery, you’ll walk through the vineyards and listen to a host talk about the types of grapes they grow and fun facts about wine. You’ll also learn about the different stages of winemaking, and you may even be able to pick some of the grapes. Wineries will show their visitors the different materials they use such as stainless steel vats and oak barrels. You will then be able to sample some wines, which will be out of this world.
Gift Shop and Return
Don’t forget a stop in the wine gift shop before you leave! You will then depart and move on to the next winery. When the last winery has been visited, you will head home through the scenic route. Some wine tours may even drop you off in a small village for an afternoon lunch or evening dinner. Always check with your particular tour to learn more about the included amenities and options.