Winery Season: Best Times of Year to Go Wine Tasting

By | Travel & Wine Writer, Co-Founder
Last Updated: February 18, 2024
Best Times of the Year to Visit Wine Country by Season |

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.

RELATED: How to Plan the Perfect Wine Tasting Trip


Highlights of Visiting a Vineyard During Winter

  • Fewer Crowds
  • Different Landscape Perspective
  • More Personal Experience
Vineyards in Tuscany during the winter wine tasting season
Frosty vines remain comfortably sleeping in Tuscany under a morning fog.

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.

RECOMMENDED: Romantic Tuscany Itinerary to Follow This Year

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.

RELATED: The Best Winter Destinations in Europe to Visit This Year


Highlights of Visiting Wine Country in Spring

  • Ideal Weather
  • Spring Flowers
  • Witness Bottling Processes
  • Fewer Crowds
  • Inexpensive
Budbreak at Borthwick Vineyard in Spring
Budbreak during an early frosty spring season in the southern hemisphere at Borthwick Vineyard in New Zealand. Up close, these moments are remarkably beautiful. Image courtesy New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, Borthwick Vineyard.

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.

RELATED: How to Best Explore New Zealand’s South Island for Winetravelers

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.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Wine Regions to Visit This Year


Highlights of Visiting Wine Country during Autumn

  • The Colors
  • Unique Harvest-related Experiences
  • Barrel Tastings
Piedmont vineyards at the beginning of fall from an aerial perspective
Piedmont, home to Barolo, Barbaresco, Langhe and other notorious wine regions we often drink but don’t visit, is an ideal destination to visit in the fall, where truffle hunting, wine tasting and exceptional scenic tour opportunities exist. Take a look at our guide to recommended tours across the broad landscape of the Piedmont region.

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.

RELATED: Best Fall Travel Destinations for Winetravelers this Year


Highlights of Visiting Wine Country during Summer

  • Sweeping Green Views
  • Juicy Grapes
  • Events
Provence is an ideal summer wine destination
Lavender fields bloom between June and August in the northern hemisphere. Many regions, such as Provence in France (known for its Rosé), offer views like this not far from the vines.

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.

RELATED: Best European Wine Regions to Visit if you Love the Seaside

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.

You are reading “Best Times of Year to Visit Vineyards: Learn About the Different Wine Tasting SeasonsBack To Top

best time for wine tasting, wine tasting season, best times to visit a vineyard: top wine regions to visit this year

If you enjoyed this guide, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and our Facebook Group to interact with other Winetravelers, ask for additional European travel advice, and for travel inspiration around the world.

Get These Articles Directly in Your Inbox

Subscribe to Winetraveler and receive notifications when new articles are published.

Leave a Comment, Ask a Question or Share a Review

Comments ( 2 )

In this article

Share to...