What To Expect When in a Winery Tasting Room

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“Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Most tasting rooms are the same in the way they operate. Upon entering the wine tasting room, a staff will greet you. Walk up to the tasting bar and inform them that you’d like to taste some of the wines. Though some wineries may charge for tastings, others do not. Some wineries will give you a souvenir glass when you pay a tasting fee. You have a choice of tasting all the wines that are on their list or you could also choose a certain number of wines to taste.

To guide you, let a winery consultant help you. A winery consultant will pour the wine and ask you about what you are about to smell and taste. Others will ask what you have observed with the wines.

Usually in the middle of the week, the wine tasting room is less busy which means you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the opportunity of talking about the wine, winery, and the vineyards. Most tasting room staff members know about the wines they pour in your glass.

Sometimes, you would stand at the tasting bar. Some of the tasting rooms have bar stools next to the tasting bar. This is a welcome addition if you taste at your third winery of the day. Some wineries use tables for tastings. At McGregor Vineyard and Winery along Keuka Lake in New York, you’ll be asked to sit and you’ll be presented with a plate of bite-sized food as they discuss the wine list with you. At Gloria Ferrer in California, you’ll also be asked to sit down and you’ll be served with food. Schramsberg in California is also another place worth visiting.

The Lenz Winery on Long Island in New York is another great place for wine tasting. You’ll be given the chance to taste wines from a stainless steel tank as well as wines from the barrels. Tasting wine from the barrels or tanks will give you an idea whether the wine is ready. The winemaker at Prince Michel Vineyards and Winery in Virginia also has special barrel tastings.

Also put the Del Dotto Winery in California on top of your to-do list. You’ll be led through the more than one hundred year old candle-lit tunnels. A guide will stop along the way and let you taste wine from the barrels. If you like the wine, you’ll get the ticket attached to the barrel. Then after the tour has finished, you could order any of the wines that you have tasted. The wines will be bottled and then shipped to many places.

Visiting a winery tasting room is a great and exciting activity. But try to limit the number of tasting rooms to visit in one day. Two to three tasting rooms in a day is enough. Also try to visit during weekdays because tasting rooms are less crowded on these days. Before you head on for an adventure, call ahead or you could check their times online.


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Touring the Sonoma Wine Country with the Whole Family

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“Image courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Is there a place where parents could taste wine and children could just have fun?  The answer to this is yes. If you are going to Sonoma wine country for about two to three days, it’s best to have a nanny service to watch your children. The nanny service which is recommended by the Sonoma mission Inn, The Lodge, and Macarthur Place is called ‘Nanny on call’. This is the best agency and with them you have the option of having your children stay with the nanny or you could bring the nanny to help you out with the children.

There are great wineries that you can visit in Sonoma and there are a few that stands out as being extra accommodating when taking the whole family. Continue reading this article as we highlight a few wineries in Sonoma.

Chateau St. Jean is located at 8555 Sonoma Highway (Highway 12). They have really good wine – chardonnays, viognier, gewürztraminer, pinot blanc, Riesling, fumé blanc cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir. They have the most beautiful gardens in Sonoma. They also have a huge lawn where you could have a blanket style picnic. There also are picnic tables available.

Benziner has a tram that will take you to a 40-minute tour of the terraced estate. The best thing about this is that you could rest your tired feet. The tram tour costs $10. For $35, you could have a tram tour and a cave tour where you get to see their 27,000 square foot wine cave. They also have one of the most interesting wine shops in the area showcasing a lot of unique gift items. Love art? If you are an art lover, you can find a nice variety of wine country art.

Viansa is another great place to visit with your family. It is the only winery in Sonoma where you can tell your kids to order a pizza. The pizza is cooked in a delightful outdoor brick oven. They have a marketplace where there are a variety of food items, gift items, and kitchenware. Their winery is located on top of a hill that opens to a stunning view overlooking their 90-accre waterfowl preserve.

Train Town is another place worth visiting. It is located at 20264 Broadway – Highway 12 Sonoma. It is one of the greatest attractions for your kids. As you enter Train Town, you’ll see the forty seven foot clock tower and station modeled after Oakland’s 16th Street Depot. This winery has three full-sized cabooses that date from 1930s to 1940s. You will also see a number of carnival style rides in the area including a dragon roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and an airplane ride. There is also a refreshment stand located in the station if you want to grab a snack. Train Town is located on 10 acres with one and a quarter miles of track. Your trip would take you over five bridges and trestles. You can also find two tunnels – a 140-foot tunnel and another 40 foot long tunnel. You can also get off the train at the petting farm to see the lamas, goats, sheep, and other types of animals.

These are just some of the family-oriented destinations that are located in the Sonoma Valley.

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California Wine Tours for Bikes

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“Image courtesy of satit_srihin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

There is so much about California that makes it one of the must-visit places in the country. There are so many things that you can see and do here that it’s impossible to get bored. To make the most out of your visit in California, you should go on a wine tour. For wine enthusiasts, their vacation wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the best wineries in California. There are certain areas in the U.S. that are all about the wine just like the case in Napa Valley. Those who are looking for something different may still want to go on a wine tour but this one something like the California wine tours for bikes. You could easily ride from one winery to the next in Napa Valley because there are more than 300 within a relatively small area. You could visit several wineries within a short period of time. California wine tours for bikes should be on your to-do list when you visit California.

There’s something unique about California wine tours for bikes. You’ll be seeing the most beautiful countryside in the United States. The stunning landscape will surely blow you away. You will also get the chance to see some of the best wineries in the world. There are also big vineyards that will take you about a day to walk around but there are also other beautiful treasures all over the place that you could easily visit any time throughout the day. Small family businesses usually provide some of the best wines and you could experience wine culture in California. Discovering these treasures is possible through the California wine tours for bikes.

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“Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

California’s weather is also perfect for wine tours for bikes. The blue skies are present for most of the year, making your bike ride enjoyable. For those going on California wine tours for bikes, there are lanes on public highways that are made especially for bikes so you could visit one winery from the next without fearing for your life on the road. You could arrange your California wine tours for bikes or you could go with one of the several companies that actually offer them as par for the course. You can find many of them but they are matched in number by bike hire places in the Napa Valley. You could hire a bike for the day or you can book into California wine tours for bikes that would last for a specific amount of hours with likeminded individuals.

California wine tours for bikes could also be offered as a vacation package with hotel accommodation and meals. These are fantastic because you get to spend all week or weekend visiting different wineries and experiencing the fun with people that eventually may become your new friends. Thus, wine tours for bikes should be on your to-do list when you visit California.

If you are interested in wine and you’re in California, you should never miss the California wine tour. There are a lot of wineries that are open to the public so it’s worth spending a few days exploring as many of them as you can. You’ll surely not get bored when you visit this amazing place.

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Bottles That Impress: Perfect for the Holidays

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Image courtesy of Boykung/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A bottle of wine can be a perfect gift for the holidays. You could present it to your host at a gathering or dinner party. You could also give it as gifts to family and friends. Whether your list includes your boss, a colleague, a friend, or a family member, a bottle of wine is sure to be a hit especially when presented with some flair.

Viansa Winery is located at the Carneros grape-growing region at the entrance to California’s Sonoma Valley. Viansa Winery produces more Italian varietal wines than any winery in the country.

Consider these gift ideas that would set your bottle apart:

  • Bottles That Impress

Match your choice of wine to the person’s personality. If you are giving a gift to an Italian food lover, there is an assortment of fine Italian varieties available like Viansa’s “Vittoria” Pinot Grigio, “Pierina” Vernaccia, Arneis, Sangiovese, Barberra or Nebbiolo. For the Sonoma Valley enthusiast, varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot are perfect.

  • Gift Baskets

Viansa’s also produces a wide range of award-winning wines and gourmet foods exclusively available at the winery like the Sonoma Picnic Basket filled with salami, Vella Mezzo Jack Cheese, Olive Oil Crackers, Olive Harvest Nuts and Lemon Drops, along with a cork puller, cheese knife and two steady sticks to place your wineglass upright in the lawn. You may also want to try the Pasta & Piccolo for instant Italian meal with porcini pasta sauce, imported pasta, and Sangiovese wine.

Viansa’s pestos, estate olive oils and vinegars, herbs and seasonings and dessert sauces could add a flavorful twist to your gift. To leave an even longer impression on wine and food lovers, there is an exclusive membership offered by Viansa to “The Tuscan Club” which provides a 25% savings to all members who purchase a wine and a 10% savings on food and baskets.

  • Accessorize

You can also add some accessories to your gift of wine like drip stoppers, decorative corks and wine stoppers, or wine charms. You could also wrap your bottle of wine using a fine bath linen, tablecloth, or a vintage material and then tie it with a beautiful satin ribbon.

  • Personalize

Viansa Winery also offers a customized solution to make impressive gifts with specially created wine or food baskets as well as custom-etched or private-labeled wine gift baskets.

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5 Reasons Why Wine Drinkers Should Visit California’s Wine Country

There are a lot of reasons why you should visit California’s wine country. Though you may be content with sipping your favorite glass of wine from the comfort of your own home, you may be looking for reasons why you need to visit the place. Even if you prefer drinking wine at home, there are still several, five to be exact, reasons why you need to plan your trip to wine country.

1. Your Options Your options are literally endless when you’re in California wine country. California has more than 400 vineyards and wineries and most of them are open to the public all year round. It means you could have vacations as you’re able to hand pick just about every step you take.

2. Winery Activities The biggest draw to wine country is the wineries. There is definitely a large number of wineries and vineyards in which you can visit but this is not just the only option you have because there are also many wine-related activities that you can enjoy.

Though there are variations depending on the public winery, many of them offer similar activities like wine tours, individual winery ground tours, wine tasting, educational classes about wine, annual wine festivals, and other activities. And because there are so many things to see and do in wine country, you may want to request a few free vacation guides.

3. Simple to Plan Whether you are living in New York State or in California, planning a trip to wine country is simple. You can find vacation packages available. Included in these vacation packages are the hotel accommodation, airline reservations, and car rental.

Vacation packages are a nice way to plan your travel arrangements and they are very convenient, quick, and easy. Wine tours are also easy to plan. Tourists are given the options of touring local wineries on their own, independently or they could book reservations if they want a guided wine tour. A guided tour is often a good option because all will be planned out for you.

Image courtesy of Apple's Eyes Studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Apple’s Eyes Studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. Other Activities to Enjoy If the above mentioned activities aren’t enough for you, there’s still so much for you to do and see. Interested in planning a vacation? You could make visiting and touring wine country just a part of your vacation. But to enjoy the wineries even more, you need to spend at least two days touring the area. Other fun activities in California include driving to the coast and having fun at the beach, hiking, boating, shopping, and more.

5. Unforgettable Experience The biggest reason why you must plan a trip to California wine country is because it’s a place that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Even people who aren’t wine drinkers are captivated by the place. The beauty of California wine country is breathtaking.

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