Tips for enjoying your wine tour!
If you’re joining us on a wine tour, the odds are you’re looking to have some wine, learn a bit about some wineries and most importantly have fun. We make touring Niagara wineries as easy and as stress-free as possible but there’s always a few tips that can help your day go just a little bit smoother. From before you leave for the tour, all the way through until you get back to your hotel we want to help you make your visit to wine country as enjoyable as possible. So here’s a few tips for truly enjoying your visit to wine country:
1) Ask lots of questions
The first stop of the day is usually a bit of a breaking in period for many of our guests. We like to have fun and talk to you on the trip from your hotel or our office but it seems like the second you step into that first winery it’s suddenly real. The most important thing you can remember is that it’s all about the interaction, feel free to ask any question you might have and never be afraid to speak up. No matter how silly you think your question is, we’ve all probably been there and wondered that. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll get to take back from wine country with you. Also asking questions of the staff at the wineries is when you’ll get some of your most interesting and passionate answers of the day, it’s their chance to have some fun with you and change up the tasting a bit. You also never know, your question might even lead to special tastings or surprise tour segments.
2) Dress for the weather and the winery
Niagara wine country can get windy, it can get rainy, it can get snowy or it can be hot, dry and scorching; Dress accordingly and you’ll be much happier. We do our best to accommodate the weather but you’re probably going to be in cool barrel cellars and outside at some point so pay attention. Also realize you’re in farm country, while wine might seem glamorous at first look, there’s tons of dirt, stones and nice red staining wine out there, so avoid those whites and delicate clothes. Feel absolutely free to dress nicely, but just remember that even on the civilized wine touring side, this is still the country. Also a tip for the ladies, especially the bachelorettes, unless you’re a pro in heels you might want to think about your choice of shoes. Wineries and vineyards often have gravel driveways, soft dirt and plenty of other wonderful surfaces that can really make heels a challenge.
3) Eat Breakfast
It might not seem like you’re drinking a lot but those tastings can really add up and an empty stomach doesn’t help. A breakfast or snack of some sort in the morning will not only have you energized but it will also help your body digest the wine more slowly which can make all the difference between an ok and an amazing, memorable experience in wine country. Also wine being quite acidic can sit rather heavily on your stomach if you haven’t eaten, and anyone familiar with heartburn will know they want to avoid this. For our American and other foreign friends, this means an excuse to get out int he morning and enjoy some Canadian bacon and Maple syrup, for our Canadian guests well it just means an excuse to enjoy breakfast.
4) Drink Water
This piece of advice might seem odd, “I’m on a wine tour you say”, but after many years in the industry it’s an important consideration. Alcohol dehydrates you, and over the course of a day with nothing but wine it will really set in, you’ll feel fine but add a little bit of water into the mix and you’ll feel great and enjoy the tour all that much more. This piece of advice is doubly true in Summer when the heat is already beaming down and dehydrating you on its own, a little bit of water can go a very long way to making for a much more pleasant enjoyable day… and a much more pleasant next morning.
5) Keep an open mind
Many people come to wine country with biases of one sort or another. We hear it on every tour: “I don’t like red/white wines.”, “I don’t like dry/sweet wines”, “I won’t like this winery, they’re german”, “I don’t like x/y/z grape.”, “I’ve had x wineries wine before, I didn’t like it.” and the truth is, this is completely true in your past experience. The reality is, however, the wonderful thing about wine is that it’s so varied, from region to regions, grape to grape, year to year and winery to winery every wine is completely different. Change any one of those factors and you change a wine completely, we also change as people. That one wine you had from that winery 6 years ago might taste completely different that you remember it, you might love it now when you used to hate it and realize you’ve been missing out. One of the great things about coming to wine country is there is no harm in trying something, so see what you think. But remember one thing, when you tell yourself you won’t like something you probably won’t, if you think something is going to be amazing you’ll probably like it, and even if you take the pragmatic “I want to try this and surprise myself” approach you stand infinitely more chance of enjoying yourself than if you tell yourself you won’t.
6) Tell us any special requests ahead of time
Are you coming for a special event? An anniversary, engagement, birthday, a bunch of long lost friends? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do to make your day special. Maybe you visited years ago and there’s a winery that’s very special to you that you’d love to visit or maybe you’ve had a bad experience at a winery and you’d very much not like to return, again let us know. If there’s something you love or hate, health concerns that we should be aware of or absolutely anything of importance we’d love to know. We can’t always accommodate every request but we’re in the hospitality business so we love nothing more than to see you having a great time and making wonderful memories. Wine is all about having fun and enjoying yourself, so we take our customer’s enjoyment seriously.
Having been in the tour and events businesses now for many years we are always full of tips and tricks to make enjoying wine and wine touring in Niagara easy so feel free to ask us for more advice when you are planning your tour. We know that wine touring can be fun, exciting and intimidating all at once if you’ve never been so let us worry about the details that will make sure you have a great time. You just come out, relax, keep and open mind, enjoy the scenery and love the wines.