Whilst being an educational experiences, tasting wine, you will also be touring the vineyards and walk the rows of the season's harvests. Depending on the time of year, you may even be invited to pluck a few grapes and sample them straight from the vine. After returning from the vineyard, you'll head inside to visit the production area of the winery. Tours culminate in wine tasting.
A wine tour can last anywhere from an afternoon to two weeks depending on the country you are visiting. Some people tour in cars, vans -- others on bikes and even kayaks. And some wine lovers will even squeeze in a game of golf or a cooking class between tours. Most wineries are open to the public a large part of the year. If you're in the mood for a vacation, you can tour multiple wineries every day.
Once you have a destination in mind and know how long you plan to spend in the region, it's time to make reservations. Schedule your wine tour during the growing season. In Europe and North America, that's April to October. In New Zealand, visit during February or March to witness the grape harvest. While some wineries allow visitors during the winter months, when the grapevines are dormant, you'll miss out on the awesome experience of walking through the rows of grapevines with fruit hanging heavily as far as the eye can see.
If a traditional wine tour sounds too stuffy or dull, try an alternative:
Participate in wine boot camp. You'll get to spend two or three days harvesting grapes, sorting them and participating in the blending and fermentation process.