North Carolina is a fantastic place to plan a wine tour. The region is home to hundreds of wineries, so visitors will have no problem coming up with the perfect wine trail to suit their personal preferences. Before calling up fellow wine enthusiasts to enlist some friends to go along, read on to find out how to plan picture-perfect North Carolina Wine Tours so that everything will go smoothly.
- Determine a Time Frame
Before even setting a budget, figure out how much time everyone has to devote to the tour. Some visitors prefer to plan one-day events, while others go for a full weekend, or even a week of wine tastings scattered throughout the day along with other fun activities. Nailing down a time frame will make the rest of the planning process easier, so figure that out now.
- Know the Difference between Tours and Tastings
Winery tours involve checking out the grounds and vineyards, usually on a guided tour led by an employee. They still include a tasting at the end but are much more involved. Tastings just involve checking out the different styles of wine available at the winery, usually on-site. Most travelers to the region like to incorporate both tours and tastings into their itineraries.
- Research Options
Since there are so many wineries in North Carolina, trip planners will need to do some research to narrow down their options. Look for wineries known for their stunning grounds and scenery when planning tours, but don’t worry about that for tastings. Even small wineries with unimpressive grounds may produce delicious products and have an excellent bar staff on-hand to offer top-notch experiences.
- Make Plans for Safe Transportation
Don’t just assume that guests will find their own way to get around. Figure out how many people will be attending, then book a van with a driver to provide safe, comfortable transportation. It’s the best way to keep everyone on-track and, even better, it completely eliminates the possibility of getting into trouble behind the wheel.
- Make Reservations
Some wineries require reservations for both tours and tastings. If it seems worth the extra effort, make them in advance. Free-spirited visitors to the region can also stick with non-reservation required wineries for the extra freedom to roam around without time constraints. Most choose to go for a blend of both approaches.
- Pack According to Climate
Make sure to pack seasonally appropriate clothing. What to pack will vary based on the time of year visitors choose to book their vacations. North Carolina is beautiful year-round, but the mountainous regions out West often see snow in the winter. Fall is a perfect time for a wine tour in the Carolinas. Just make sure to pack warm clothes since the nights, especially, can be chilly.
The Bottom Line
A wine tour will provide a perfect opportunity to get to know the region, spend time with friends, and discover a new favorite vintage. Just like any vacation, it takes some advanced planning. There are plenty of resources out there, from livery services to lists of popular wineries, that will make the process easier, though, so get started now.