If you’re thinking of going on a vineyard tour for the first time or you’ve received a wine tasting gift, you might be wondering what your experience involves or what you should bring. Luckily, we have all the answers.
Over the years, we’ve run thousands of vineyard tours and tasting, we’ve met all manner of guests, and have been asked all sorts of questions! So to help you enjoy a memorable trip amongst the vines, we’ve listed some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from our visitors below.
Naturally, if you’d like to know any more about our vineyard tours, or we haven’t answered your particular question below, feel free to get in touch – we’d be delighted to help.
What should you wear to a vineyard tour?
It’s important to dress appropriately for your vineyard tour, so that you can fully relax and enjoy your time at the winery. Most vineyard tours, like those we offer here at Three Choirs Vineyard, involve a walk around the grounds and a tour of the facilities. So the right footwear is often essential. We ask our guests to wear comfortable, flat shoes, such as weather-proof walking shoes. That way feet stay happy over bumpy terrain and whatever the weather.
Casual is usually the only dress code at a UK vineyard: think comfortable jeans, shorts, a skirt and a top. Some of our previous visitors have dressed up in the past, so if you fancy it, you can – although, it might be worth checking what your winery recommends beforehand.
Dark colours are a good idea, to hide spills, and try to avoid bulky clothes (like flapping sleeves or dangling coats) that could knock over glasses. If you’re taking notes or photos, remember also to bring a small bag or backpack with you to stash them away safely whilst you’re walking around with a wine glass.
Some vineyards recommend being fragrance free during your visit which, when you think about it, makes sense. Smelling wine is a big part of a vineyard tour and wine tasting experience and it’d be a shame to miss out on the subtle aromatics of the wines on offer because of overpowering perfume or aftershave!
Do you need to bring any money with you?
For a vineyard tour at our vineyard here in Gloucestershire, we recommend bringing a little spare cash in case you want to buy a bottle of one of our English wines to take home! Especially when you can grab a bit of a bargain if there are some on-site deals running.
However, you should never feel pressured into buying wine whatever vineyard you go to. At the end of the day, a vineyard tour is about the sights, sounds, smells and tastes – but if you do want to fill up your wine racks whilst you are there (after all, many vineyards sell wines that are only available direct from the cellar door), you can.
Should you drive to a wine tasting?
It’s one of the most common questions we are asked – and our answer is always the same: if you are planning on drinking wine when visiting a vineyard, do not drive home. Make sure you have a designated driver who isn’t wine tasting with you or you’ve arranged suitable public transport to and from your winery.
Alternatively, you could book accommodation near the venue to make a mini break of it. Speaking of which, did you know that you can stay here at our vineyard? We have Vineyard View Rooms and Vineyard Lodges that make a wonderful escape for two people.
Tasting wine on an empty stomach is the quickest way to a light head! Although it may seem like a fun idea, getting drunk too quickly could mean you can’t properly enjoy the whole experience. Even a couple of slices of bread before a wine tasting can help you stay in control, so make sure you eat.
Food is available at our Brasserie at lunchtimes and dinner, so you won’t go hungry at Three Choirs! Remember also to keep hydrating with water in between different wines!
What should you do if you don’t like the wines?
Wine tasting is a combination of two things: knowledge and personal taste. Which means, not everyone is going to enjoy every wine they taste. So don’t worry if you dislike the wines you try; it’s all part of learning which grapes appeal to your palate and which don’t.
To avoid disappointment before you book a vineyard tour, consider doing a little homework. Look at the wines the vineyard produces and the wines that’ll be available to taste – if you only like fruity sweet wines and the vineyard specialises in dry wine, it might not be for you.
What’s the best time of year to visit a vineyard?
Any time of year is a good time to visit a vineyard in our books because all four seasons bring new delights amongst the vines or in the winemaking process.
Many guests enjoy visiting Three Choirs Vineyard during the spring, when the vines come into leaf, or in the summer months, when the vines start to flower.
However, there is still a huge amount going on in the autumn and winter. Indeed, from September to October the wine is harvested so there’s a lot to see and learn. Plus, walking amongst the vines on a crisp, cold wintery day is definitely one of life’s little pleasures – even if we do say so ourselves!
If you’d like any more information about our wine tasting experienceshere at Three Choirs Vineyard, please do get in touch; we’re always happy to help.