There is something special about drinking wine at the place it was made. Exploring the vineyards and cellars while observing the wine making process from the winemakers themselves, will make you truly appreciate all the elements that have gone into the wine you are tasting.
What exactly is a “wine tour”? What should you expect from this experience beyond the usual wine tasting? How can you make the most of it?
A wine tour is primarily an immersive stay, educational in its own way, set in a circumscribed geographical area or region which focuses on the discovery of wines and wineries of the very same area. During a wine tour you can expect a visit to one or more wineries, particular wine districts or a wine region. The duration of the wine tour can vary according to the personal taste and the area in which the tour is focused. You can either take a one-day or a multi-day wine tour. The organization may be delegated to a tour operator, or you can deal with it yourself by booking online visits to the wine cellars you find most suitable. What we recommend is that you go with someone who has already done the homework for you and has a tried and tested plan for giving you the best wine experience. In this case that will be the wine tour operator. The major benefit is that will safe you time dealing with reservations, transportation and logistics, and most of all, it will let you fully enjoy tasting and drinking without thinking about driving.
The stages of the wine tour
The journey usually begins in the vineyards with a cultural and historical introduction of the particular region, district and winery. The stroll in the vineyards will give you a closer look at the plant, the type of terrain and soil and the types of farming and different pruning techniques, with information provided about each grape variety. The connection with the land is always central, just as it is in the identity and character of the wine produced.
The tour continues inside the cellars where you will observe the stainless steel tanks in which the transformation process of wine takes place and get a thorough explanation of the wine making and aging process. You will go along the various rooms where this process is carried out, from fermentation to bottling, to the areas in which the wine is stored. Naturally the visit to the cellars changes depending on the time of year. During the harvest season, in September/October, the staff will be busy in the harvest and you can see “live” the magical moment that is our yearly ritual. In the following months, the focus is more on the production process.
The tour ends in the barrel room, which is entirely underground and where the wines are aged. In some wineries the wine tasting in done inside the barrel room or among the vineyards itself, while most of the wineries practice to do the wine tasting in their winery restaurants.
The wine tasting
The wine tasting is one of the highlights and is the true ‘closing of the circle’. Now you have come to know the land, the region, the history of those wines and who produced them, you’ve discovered how they are produced and stored, and now is the time when all these stories acquire a sense and a meaning: the tasting. We can say this is a key moment. The wine tasted directly from the winery has a special flavor. The territory, its perfumes, the history of wine is all around you. Of course, very often, you can enjoy food pairings with equally typical products.
The tasting signals the end of the tour – an experience that we recommend in every part of the wine-producing world. Because in the end, where there is wine there is always a story to tell. With the wine tour you not only discover the story, but in a certain way can live it directly. And it really is worth it.