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Eat, Drink and Be Merry

George Macallister
Mar 24, 2017

Winery Tour Etiquette Tips for a Fun and Relaxing Trip

Winery tours are all the rage these days, with small vineyards and large commercial operations alike opening their doors to visitors and sharing the results of all their hard work and dedication. Whether you are visiting a winery as part of an organized tour or putting together your own itinerary, it's important to observe proper etiquette.

Learning winery tour etiquette isn't difficult, and it will make your trip a lot more fun. Here are some of the do's and don'ts of winery visits.

  • Spitting and pouring are both fine. Spitting out a sip of wine or emptying the rest of your glass is not rude or inconsiderate. It just means you are limiting your alcohol consumption so you can taste more samples.
  • Swallowing is fine, too. If you really like a wine and are only visiting a handful of wineries, it's perfectly fine to swallow your swig. Just pace yourself and know your limits. How annoying is a drunk on a winery tour?
  • Leave the perfume at home. Enjoying a glass of wine is as much about taste and subtle flavor notes as it is about bouquet and scent. So, it makes sense not to wear perfume or cologne, which can interfere with your olfactory enjoyment. Your fellow wine aficionados will thank you.
  • Be adventurous and get out of your comfort zone. You may have a favorite type of wine, but a winery tour is the perfect opportunity to branch out. Taste a wide variety of wines. You just may find your new favorite.
  • Don't be a wine snob. No one likes a wine snob, not even other wine snobs. Share what you know, but leave the pretentiousness at home.
  • Engage with the winery owners or guides. Talking to winery owners and managers is a big part of the fun, so engage them in conversation. Take the time to learn about how the wine is made, how the grapes are selected and how the finished product moves from the vine to the bottle.
  • Take home some wine. Winery tours are fun, but they are also marketing tools. The winery owners fully hope that their guests take a few bottles home, so shop to your heart's delight. You shouldn't feel pressured to buy, but if you enjoyed the tasting, you can show it by opening your wallet.

Touring a winery is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon, and a wonderful way to learn about the art of winemaking and the importance of local small businesses. Local wineries have been growing fast, so chances are there is at least one within easy driving distance. Plan to take that trip soon, and remember a little winery tour etiquette goes a long way.

You May Also Be Interested In Reading: 5 Wine Clubs That Will Keep You Top of Mind With Clients

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