Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wine Tasting in the Winter Time

Guests are always asking me when the best time to go wine tasting would be. My answer ? "It depends!"

The cooler weater of Spring starts showing the grass and flowers starting to bud as well as the grape vines. It's not hot yet so the tasting rooms are not so busy. Many wines are released at this time so there are lots to choose from for your tastings.

Tasting in the summer is fun - the weather can sometimes be hot, but the sky is a beautiful clear blue, you can just throw on your shorts and flip-flops, and dine outside. Of course we have to work hard to keep the cheese and chocolates on our tour plate chilled, but have developed a talent for that.

Fall is stunning for tasting - the leaves on the trees and the vines turn beautiful colors, the weather is comfortable inside and out, and the wineries are harvesting grapes so it's often we get a chance to catch some action like grapes being destemmed. We’re often offered tastings of grapes as well as wines. You do have to book early since it's a popular time to visit our wine country, and be prepared for some crowds, but wine tasters are a jolly bunch!

But winter, ah... I love tasting in the winter! The busy crowds are gone, the wineries have recovered from their frantic long days of harvest, and are relaxed and ready to spend some time with us, often taking us into the cellar to try this or that. Fireplaces are burning warm and bright, and to me, the vineyards, dormant against the winter sky and snow are a romantic sight.

But then again, I'm a native San Franciscan, and we think our morning fog is romantic and beautiful!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My one trip to the wine region of Virginia was a memorable experience. It was in May and the weather and scenery were delightful. There is something special about wine and winter; it is cozier and more intimate. Thanks to Erika and her article, wine country in the snow sounds like a wonderful vacation destination! Barbara

Camille Christie-Barber said...

How nice to hear from someone on the East Coast for a refreshing change. : )

Arcady Wine Tasting Tours has done an incredible job getting the word out to begin with. Erica's writing evokes such wonderful warm memories and make me want to get in the car and head down to Virginia just to sample some of her and her husband's hospitality.

Someday soon.... : )

Blessings & Joyous Howls,
Camille