The Best Season(s) to Go Wine Tasting & Vineyard Hopping
Seasonal wine travel offers adventure and culture enthusiasts an opportunity to taste history. Every season offers a different perspective, but the best time to visit wine country depends on your personal travel preferences.
In this guide, we’ll explain the differences between seasonal wine travel, and help you decide what regions and seasons may be most compatible to you.
- The Best Season(s) to Go Wine Tasting & Vineyard Hopping
- Frequently Asked Questions about When to Visit a Vineyard or Winery for Wine Tasting
Highlights of Visiting a Vineyard During Winter
- Fewer Crowds
- Different Landscape Perspective
- More Personal Experience
Often the most under-looked season to take a visit to wine country, Winter wine travel has dozens of advantages.
Not only is the “Winter Wonderland” aspect of snow laying across a beautiful landscape appealing, but visitation at this time of year is also down. That means you’ll have an opportunity to have a more personal experience when you visit a tasting room. More often than not, the winemakers and owners themselves are willing to give you a more intimate tour or tasting.
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Keep in mind that the winter season in the southern and northern hemispheres are different. Officially, the northern winter meteorological season begins on the Winter Solstice, or around December 21st. The southern winter meteorological season begins on June 21st.
Highlights of Visiting Wine Country in Spring
- Ideal Weather
- Spring Flowers
- Witness Bottling Processes
- Fewer Crowds
Early Spring is also an ideal time to visit a wine region if you’re hoping to avoid crowds. Especially in Europe, when this time of year is considered one of the shoulder seasons. The weather is still relatively cool, hotel costs are down and plenty of accommodation options are available.
Aesthetically, the vines themselves are just starting to bud and local flowers are starting to bloom. This often-overlooked season makes for a perfect getaway opportunity.
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Highlights of Visiting Wine Country during Autumn
- The Colors
- Unique Harvest-related Experiences
- Barrel Tastings
A personal favorite time of year to visit wine country, autumn gives Winetravelers an opportunity to see the vineyard and winery at full tilt. Aside from seeing wine production in action, the stunning fall colors present on both the vines and surrounding landscapes is nothing short of breath-taking.
Producers at this point are intensely focused on harvesting their grapes. That means you’re unlikely to have an opportunity to hang out with the winemaker without a special appointment.
Larger wineries may offer special events or experiences, including grape stomping with your bare feet, live music, and food and wine festivals.
Keep in mind that this time of year is very popular for wine tourism, so making reservations and planning your route is recommended in advance.
Highlights of Visiting Wine Country during Summer
- Sweeping Green Views
- Juicy Grapes
Next to fall, summer is another popular season to have a wine-focused vacation. Remember that many wine regions during the peak of summer can be exceedingly hot, as it’s advantageous for growing certain grape varieties.
For the traveler, however, it can be brutal. If you’re willing to put up with the heat, the landscapes are often in full bloom, the grapes are juicy on the vine and there are food and wine festivals in many regions.
Be sure to make reservations ahead of time and consider looking up any potential events to maximize your summer wine travel experience.
Frequently Asked Questions about When to Visit a Vineyard or Winery for Wine Tasting
Featured Image via iStock / Getty: Worth mentioning, this is a unique vineyard in Slovenia while the vines are dormant during the winter season, the tranquility and serenity offer a unique experience. The air is crisp, and the quiet is interrupted only by the soft crunch of fresh snow underfoot. The vineyard’s normal verdant green is replaced by a blanket of pristine white snow, punctuated by the stark brown vines, standing silent and resolute, patiently waiting for spring’s rejuvenating touch.
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