Greig Santos-Buch

The Best Time of the Year to Visit Vineyards Around the World

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 a vineyard or winery depends on your personal travel preferences. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between seasonal wine travel, and help you decide what regions and seasons may be most compatible to you.

Best Times of the Year to Visit Vineyards | Winter Wine Travel | Winetraveler.com
The first snow of the Winter season in Tuscany.

Winter

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, visitation at this time of year is down. That means you’ll have an opportunity to have a more personal experience when you head to a tasting room or vineyard tour. More often than not, the wine makers and owners themselves are willing to give you a more intimate tour or tasting.

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.


Visiting Wine Country During Spring | Winetraveler.com
Flowers bloom just beyond Puente Nuevo in Ronda, Andalucia, Spain.

Spring

Highlights of Visiting Wine Country in Spring

  • Ideal Weather
  • Spring Flowers
  • Witness Bottling Processes
  • Fewer Crowds
  • Inexpensive

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.


Reasons to Visit Wine Country During Autumn | Best Time of the Year to Visit Vineyards | Winetraveler.com
The colors of autumn are gorgeous and pronounced in wine country, as seen here in San Terenziano, Umbria in Central Italy.

Fall

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 wine traveler’s 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 the surrounding landscape 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 wine maker 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.


Learn About Visiting Wine Country During the Summer Season | Winetraveler.com
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.

Summer

Highlights of Visiting Wine Country during Summer

  • Sweeping Green Views
  • Juicy Grapes
  • Events

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 traveller however, it can be brutal. If you’re willing to put up with the heat, the landscape is often in full bloom, the grapes are juicy on the vine and there are often 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 travel experience.

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Greig Santos-Buch
Co-Founder at Winetraveler.com
Greig Santos-Buch is a Co-Founder at Winetraveler.com and a WSET 2 sommelier. He works with several brands focusing on experiential and immersive-style travel.

In his spare time, you can find him hiking with a bottle of Cabernet Franc in his backpack or scuba diving trying to talk a reef shark into trying Swiss wine.
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