The Local Winery – A New Travel Destination


Local and small wineries and vineyards have multiplied in the past ten years.  It appears that every small town in America now has their own local winery and/or vineyard.  This author feels that it is her duty to visit every small town winery and vineyard she can find.  These small businesses are a great thing and should not be taken for granted and frequented as much as possible. Visiting these places you will find a variety of taste and experience.  Of course you will taste some wine that is lovely and you will taste some that is not so pleasant, but you find some that will quickly become your favorite.  Wine regions are extremely pleasant and fun to explore because the ability to tour the vineyards and see the wine being made can be a very informational experience.  There is usually a range of large and small wineries so you can choose which to visit.  A tour will always end in wine tasting so be sure to have a designated driver because even though these samples are small, they are plentiful and before you know it you can be a bit tipsy!  Some of the smaller wineries may not offer a tour but you can be sure that there will always be tastings!

Traveling to different locations can be made more fun by trying to find wineries where ever you go.  A simple search on the Internet will help you find all the information you need to in order to plan your trip and visits.  I am hard pressed to think of a place in the world I have been that didn’t have a vineyard to visit.  A lot of the smaller wineries will not have their own vineyard, but instead they buy their grapes from established growers and bring them to their winery to make their own special concoctions.  This method is completely acceptable and some of my favorite wine is made using this method, so don’t discount a place just because they might not grow their own grapes. 

There are so many places to visit and they will all have their customs, but there are some standard expectations when visiting a winery.  For instance, each business will have its own tasting room where you can sample most or all of the wines they have on offer.  Normally they will provide you with a pamphlet of descriptions of the wines they have to offer.  The rule of thumb to follow, and they will instruct you on this, is that if you are going to taste multiple wines, you will want to start with the driest and work your way to the sweetest of the wines.  You can expect these tastings to be free, but there has been a few times where I have had to pay for a sample.  This is most likely to happen if you are sampling Ice Wine which, due to the harvesting technique, is the hardest wine to make and is available in limited quantities.  A sample averaged me about $ 5 a tasting.  Regardless of the price for a sample, I highly recommend you try some Ice Wine if the opportunity presents itself!