Appointment-Making Tips, Suggested Wineries and Etiquette
With our first Napa Valley trip of 2013 just six weeks away, it’s nearly time to begin my favorite part of the planning process; coordinating our wine tasting itinerary. Everyone has their own way of going about this, but I thought I’d share some of our tips and tricks to help guide your future travels.
Considerations for Napa Wine Tasting Appointments
Several factors can influence appointments, including party size and availability of openings or hours at each winery. Due to local regulations, some wineries require advance appointments while others welcome visitors any time. Additionally, it’s important to consider the location of your accommodations, dinner reservations and travel times in-between. Napa Valley is approximately 30 miles from end-to-end and traffic can cause delays in some spots. Lastly, you may wish to balance a mix of large, well-known wineries with some of the smaller, lower-production tasting rooms. By now, your head may be spinning, but don’t worry – with these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free visit to Napa Valley.
- Aim for three-to-four tastings per day, including two previously booked appointments and two or more at the spots that allow walk-ins. We usually schedule the first for 11:00 a.m. and the second for 2:00 or 3:00 p.m., which leaves plenty of time for lunch, travel times and pop-in tastings. We always keep a folding map in the car that lists winery hours and phone numbers to help us make decisions about where to go on the fly.