Touring the California Wineries
By Andrew Garth
If your wine collection is growing rapidly and you don't have a wine cellar, then there is a huge choice of wine racking that's designed for home use. If you'd like to keep a few everyday bottles within easy reach, then wall mounted wine racks offer a solution. This type of rack is hung on the wall, which saves space, and allows you to always have a couple of bottles on display. Often, these racks come with built-in stemware holders, so you can conveniently keep your glasses in the same place. Wall wine racks are generally pretty cheap to buy, at around $40-$50.
California is well known for first-class wine and wineries. While they do not have as much romance and mystery as their European counterparts do, they, however, have a vibrance and body to them that is hard to deny.
California, with over 200 days of sunshine and a very dependable growing season, is ideal for cultivating grapes and setting up wineries.
For any wine connoisseur, a trip to California – both to witness winemaking and to engage in wine tasting – is a once-in-a-year, if not once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
If your goal is to visit California for this purpose, and to see the yearly festivals, the harvesting and processing events, then a tour of the California wineries is sure to delight you. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of a trip to these wineries.
1. Plan ahead. You will need a clear plan on which geographical areas that have been designated for viniculture – to visit since there are so many. Luckily most of them are bunched together by region right next to urban and natural settings. Choose a region that suits you and map out the areas that you would like to visit.
You could also visit websites or contact trade bureaus and winery organizations for a list of wineries to visit and for upcoming special events.
2. Make reservations. Some wineries offer tasting by appointment only, so you will want to call ahead of time to let them know. Also make travel and accommodations before hand because this period will generally be a busy one for them. Limit your visits to, at the most, three wineries per day since there is so much to do and so much to see. Some visitors make the mistake of trying to squeeze too much into one day, only to find out that travel to and from regions can be a terribly long affair. You will also want to allow for time to tour the wineries and participate in annual events. That's going to be a lot of things going on at the same time, so make sure you accommodate that into your schedule.
3. Study your destinations carefully. In order to make the most out of a visit, try to know as much as you can about the winery you are visiting. Having a designated driver helps when touring the California area. You will also have to consider using spit buckets and share tasting as needed.
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