Winery tour services typically provide you with a couple of affordable tour options. However, if you have the money, you can ask about more exclusive winery tours. These private tours take you and one guest around a winery, led by the owner, and offer some unique experiences you do not get with other tours.
Walking Through the Vineyards
The private tour includes a stroll through the vineyards, weather permitting. Be sure to bring rain boots in case the ground is a little soft and wet. The owner and tour guide will show you all of the different grapes he or she grows in the vineyard, as well as a sampling of the fruit right off the vine. This helps you to get a taste of the various grapes used to make wine.
Up Close and Personal with the Vats
The owner/tour guide will also take you into the winery to show you the process of wine-making. You may even get to climb a ladder to see and smell the wine in the vats during the fermentation and sugaring process. Some people find the smell somewhat unpleasant, but getting to see how the crushed grapes are transformed into wine is still fascinating.
A One-on-One Class for Wine Recognition
Next stop on the private tour is the barrel storage and aging room. Here, you can certainly sample wine, but on a private tour you get a little extra something. The owner will teach you how to taste and sample wine, how to smell it, and how to recognize all of the subtle flavors and notes in the wine. Most people spend a lifetime developing this skill. While you will not be a master of fine wines at the end of the class, you will be able to recognize a couple different types of wines by their grapes and a few flavors too.
A Seven-Course Meal Paired with Wines
Finally, you will enjoy a seven-course meal in the vineyard with your host. The table is set up with a view of the vineyards and surrounding hills (if applicable), and is often served just an hour before sunset, creating quite the perfect mood. Each course will be paired with a wine produced by the vineyard, from appetizers to dessert. You will also have a chance to purchase some souvenir bottles of your favorite wines to take home with you when the meal is through.