Wine regions are perfect places to spend a relaxing weekend with your significant other or a group of friends. The scenery is breathtaking, the wine is superb and the fun is endless. While the main activity in California wine country will always be tasting wines, there are many other ways to appreciate the beauty and culture these regions have to offer. Make sure you pack the appropriate clothing for all your wine country activities, both formal and informal.
Visiting the Wineries
From touring the grounds to photographing the vineyards, from learning about the wine-making process and tasting the results, wineries offer fun and education. You’ll enhance your experience by arming yourself with a little information on its particular wine, history or location, But even if you’re haven’t done any research, you’ll appreciate all that you learn on the grounds. If you visit during the growing season, be sure to get up close to the grapes to understand the maturation process and what wine grapes look like. Take a look around the estates, too. Many wineries have small farms attached to them, while others bottle other products, such as jams or jellies. It’s also a good idea to ask the person pouring your tastings about the winery. Many can provide much fascinating information. Be sure to snap pictures before leaving, especially a few group shots by the vineyards. They’ll be fun, dramatic-looking keepsakes.
Sample the Local Fare
California wine country is not just known for its wine, it’s also known for its food. Many wineries have their own restaurants, with menus that are often complementary to the wines they produce. California winery restaurants tend to prepare dishes with fresh, locally grown ingredients. A salad followed by a meat-based entree and finished with a fruit-based dessert will give you a delicious sampling of California fare. Depending on your budget, you may want to preview menus ahead of time to ensure that they are within your price range. Some of the menus at these California wineries may be expensive, especially if they are served in courses or consist of multiple tastings. Don’t forget to ask your server for his suggestion on a wine pairing with your meal.
Rent a Bike
With their rolling hills and expansive estates, California wine regions are the perfect places to hit the road. These excursions need not be strenuous; a leisurely bike ride is perfect for taking in the beauty of the valleys. Be sure to stop at general stores and small, open-to-the-public farms along the way. A picnic lunch, with or without wine, provides a delectable interlude on your ride. You can use the picnic facilities at one of the wineries or you simply find a grassy knoll with a beautiful view.