Make your reservations well ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Weekend tours are often fully booked 1-2 weeks in advance. Three day tours also require reservations for lodging, which also may be booked up some time in advance of the tour dates.
Dress is usually casual (unless you are chartering us for a private formal event). White or cream-colored clothing is not recommended for wine tasting – especially of red wine. Wear comfortable shoes as you may be walking in wine production facilities with wet floors or in vineyards with dusty or rocky soil. Bring a light jacket, sweater, or long-sleeved top since wine production areas and cellars are kept cool even in summer.
Do not wear perfume or scents while wine touring. Because smell is such an important factor in wine tasting, they will interfere with your ability to appreciate the wines fully.
Mints or chewing gum are also not recommended. They will have an undesirable effect on how wine tastes to you.
You will be given “tastes” of wine, not full glasses. The amount poured in each taste may vary from winery to winery, but will typically be 1-2 ounces. You do not have to drink all of any taste. You are allowed to pour out any of your taste into a container at the tasting area provided for that purpose. If you wish, we will also provide you with a plastic “spit cup” for spitting out some or all of each taste.
You may also forego tasting a particular wine if you know it’s not a type you favor – or just if your palate is tired. However, remember that wine is not a beverage manufactured by formula or recipe. One winemaker’s Chardonnay or Syrah may be completely different from another’s, and you may find it more to your liking. The purpose of tasting wines is to expose you to a variety of wines and to a diversity of styles in making the same varietals or blends.
Bring bottled water and drink it between tasting stops. This will refresh your mouth and taste buds. And hydration helps avoid hangovers.
Be sure to eat something along the way. We schedule lunch and gourmet food stops to provide you with plenty of appealing choices.
Bring a note pad or small spiral notebook for tasting notes. You will taste up to two dozen wines during a typical tour day. At the end of the day, you may not remember exactly which Riesling or Cabernet was the one you really liked. It helps to write down your impression of each wine as you taste it. Later, these tasting notes can be a useful reference when purchasing wine at a wine store, ordering wine on-line, or picking a bottle from your own wine storage for drinking.
You are not obligated to make wine purchases on your tour. But when you find wines you want, please do purchase them right at the winery. You are likely to get a better price, and you will very often be able to obtain wines not available elsewhere. Bottles of wine are a great way to recall your Bon Vivant Wine Tour experience or to share it with friends afterwards. There will be room in our vehicle for your wine purchases – even if you purchase a case or two of some great wine you don’t want to miss.
Taste only at wineries, tasting rooms, and restaurants on the tour. Drinking or tasting wine or other alcoholic beverages in the vehicle between wine tour stops is not allowed.
Washington State law prohibits wineries from allowing the consumption of alcoholic beverages other than the wine they produce anywhere on their premises.
Wineries are required by law to refuse to serve anyone who appears intoxicated, whether they are driving or not.
Always have a designated driver when you tour wineries. With Bon Vivant Tours, we do your driving, allowing you to relax and to concentrate on enjoying your wine touring and tasting.