Wineries are trying to make their business more accessible these days. however understanding what to do as well as state when you see one can make the whole experience of a trip to the vineyards more enjoyable. October’s wine of the Month publish tackles exactly how to make the most of the cellar door.
When I very first visited a winery, I had this photo of ‘the cellar door’ being just that: a trap door under a bit stone cottage leading to lines of dirty old barrels full of wine. There we would satisfy with a rosy-nosed old wine maker, ankle deep in the next vintage’s grape harvest.
But no. The typical cellar door is not like that at all.
Most of them are more like a shop with a bar in it… which really seems remarkable when I believe of it like that.
Since then I’ve been to rather a few wineries around the world. These are the three rules of thumb that I try as well as comply with to make my experience at the wineries as great as possible:
1. Be friendly
Smile, ask the person serving you exactly how their day’s going. Pouring tastings all the time is tiring. You’ll discover you’re more likely to get more attention, perhaps bigger pours as well as wine they don’t usually open for tastings.
2. Don’t try to be an expert
Even if you’re a wine genius, let the guys on the other side of the bar tell you what they know. You’ll only noise like a know-it-all if you try as well as do all the talking.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Generally speaking, the personnel at wineries are proud of the wine they’re selling, as well as they understand their stuff. get them speaking as well as you’ll discover a great deal more about the wine.
Anyway, let’s get our wine Saints on board to provide some pro points for making the most of your winery tour.
Do your research. There are great deals of cellar doors available – some excellent as well as some not so good.
Often the true niche players offer the very best experience. For example at Bloodwood Wines, you can book in advance as well as be treated with over an hour of wine tasting.
If the winery charges, ask yourself why they’re charging. otherwise ask them whether you get the charge back if you buy something.
Set a budget plan as well as don’t get brought away… though I’m not truly one to talk!
If you’re truly keen, ask the owner some concerns like what food would this go well with as well as why? Is it appropriate for medium / long term cellaring? exactly how is it finest served? i.e. 18dC / decanted / aerated…
Make sure you can’t buy it cheaper in Dan Murphy’s or one of the other huge liquor stores.
Mmm. My number one tip is to relax as well as imbibe! Cellar door personnel are more commonly friendly, down-to-earth lovers than snobby wine bores.
Be adventurous: see wineries both big as well as little as well as try new styles together with your favourites.
Don’t fill up your boot with costly ’boutique’ wines. just since the wine’s small-yield as well as expensive, it doesn’t mean it will be all that good.
$10 tastings are excellent for sampling a winery’s top wines without feeling you have to buy.
Make a note of the wine you like the most at a winery: most locations have take-away tasting notes. You may be able to discover it when you get house – or you can order it on the internet from the vineyard later.
Forgot to mention: ‘eat something first’ as well as ‘swallow’. Those spittoons are for show only! If you’re driving, just don’t drink as much. It’s okay to share a tasting glass with your partner.
Winery tours can be a great deal of fun. Driving (or even much better – being driven!) around wine country, dropping in on different vineyards to sample their products – there’s nothing better.
The feeling of coming away from the cellar door laden with clinking bottles, the beginnings of a purple moustache to match your red-wine grin, as well as the views over the vines are always incredible.
Good luck as well as enjoy!
Do you have any type of tips for buying from the cellar door? Do you feel at simplicity when you see a winery? tell us in the comments!
Images by Mrs Romance.