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Napa Valley Wine Tours

If you're visiting the Napa Valley, most likely you are here to taste some of the great wines that have made the area famous. Napa Valley wineries produce some of the best wines in the world, and with over two hundred wineries located throughout the thirty-mile valley, your options for wine tasting are plentiful. While some people may just want to explore the region on their own, one of the best ways to enjoy your Napa wine tasting experience is on a wine tour.

Napa Valley Wine Tours
Wine tours are a great way to relax and enjoy the trip thru the Napa Valley.

Types of Wine Tours

There are many wine tasting and wine tour options to choose from. Most wine tour companies offer both prearranged and personalized itineraries and can accommodate groups of all sizes, from large corporate affairs to celebrating couples. Wine tours may be designed to highlight a particular area of interest, or they may be arranged to highlight several popular destinations. Speciality tours might include stops at wine caves or sparking wine cellars. Some tours may focus on wineries in historic buildings, and some may involve wineries with wine education facilities. If you have particular wineries or areas of interest, you can customize your own agenda with the wine tour company. Some people want to visit large wineries, some people prefer to visit the smaller wineries. Whatever your interests, wine tours are a great way to relax and enjoy the trip thru the Napa Valley. There are many wine tour options, and you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Tour Transportation Options

Transportation options range from full size motor coaches to luxury cars. Buses are convenient for large groups, while smaller groups can choose from vans, limousines, luxury SUV's or cars. For the more adventurous, there are jeep tours and bike tours thru the wine country. Booking a wine tour allows you to enjoy wine tasting and sight-seeing without the hassles you often encounter if you're on your own, such as renting a car, buying maps, and trying to decide where to go. You also don't have to worry about getting lost or designating a non-drinking driver. Another benefit of touring with chauffeurs and tour guides is all the information they can provide about the Napa Valley area - the region, wineries, shopping, and dining opportunities.

Bus tours are popular with people who want to visit the Napa Valley. These bus trips are both enjoyable and an affordable way to visit the Napa area. Bus tours depart from local Napa hotels, as well as from the San Francisco area. If you're staying in the San Francisco area, catching a bus tour is a great way to make it up to the Napa area. The bus tours pick up guests at locations throughout the San Francisco Bay area and bring them to the Napa Valley for the day. If you're already staying in the Napa area, you can catch the bus at one of their local departure locations. The wine tour itineraries are varied, so you can choose the wine trip that most appeals to you. The bus tour typically visits several wineries as well as making stops at popular shopping and dining areas.

If you don't want to travel in a group or would like to visit the wineries of your own choosing, customized and personal wine tours are also an option. You can arrange where you would like to be picked up, where you would like to visit, and the amount of time you spend at each stop along the way. You can choose any level of customization you want for your wine tour. You can choose one of the prearranged tours, request stops within your area of interest, ask your tour guide to help you with recommendations or attend to all the details, or personally choose each winery and vineyard you want to visit.

A typical wine tour day involves stops at 3 to 5 wineries and a stop for lunch. Lunch can be at a sit-down restaurant or a picnic lunch at one of the wineries. Many wine tours provide light refreshments and snacks for the time you're in the vehicle. Wine tour fees usually includes pick up and drop off at your hotel, transportation, narrated tour with a knowledgeable tour guide, and some wine tasting fees. Extra expenses might include food, wine tasting fees in some wineries, and an optional driver's gratuity.

Etiquette and Tips for Wine Tasting

When wine tasting, knowing a few simple things can help you increase your enjoyment and get the most out of your wine tasting experience. As a big part of enjoying wine is the aroma, you'll want to avoid wearing any scented products such as perfume, cologne, or other grooming products. In order to enjoy the full taste of the wines, you'll want to avoid smoking immediately before or during the wine tasting. When you are drinking the wine you are tasting (when you are swallowing rather than spitting), you will want to drink an equal amount of room temperature water. (Water at room temperature won't affect your taste buds.) Also, it's important to eat something, both for nourishment and to cleanse your palate between wines. Good choices are unsalted water crackers or unflavored french bread.

Spending a day wine tasting in the Napa Valley is a great way to spend a day. Following a few simple wine tasting tips and booking a wine tour will help make the day even more enjoyable.

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