01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

Vineyard visits


#1

Hello.

I’m looking at my first vineyard visit in the new year.

Any advice/tips on what to expect and the best time of year to visit.

Would also love to hear of other members experiences when visiting vineyards.

Thanks.

Rich.


#2

First Q…where In the world do you want to go ???


#3

We visited Rioja in October. My notes are Hello Haro -travels in Rioja
But there’s several others who have visited too, so plenty of advise there.

Did you have an area or country in mind?


#4

Yep. Would love to try a couple in France-Burgandy and Bordeaux for starters.

Locale wine cafe I use-Veeno- get their wine from Sicily-Caruso e Minini and I’d like to try that one too as the wines from there are really nice.


#5

I don’t have experience of Bordeaux but many places in Burgundy will charge for tastings and you have to look a little harder for a vineyard visit rather than just a tasting. I’m sure many more knowledgeable than me will be able to point you in the right direction but you’re right to plan ahead. If you’re prepared to pay for it, Olivier Leflaive’s vineyard and winery tour (Puligny Montrachet) make for a great day when combined with the tasting lunch or dinner and they also have some nice rooms to stay in

Also worth considering some English producers for shorter trip - I hear Gusborne, Chapel Down and Camel Valley all have excellent visitor facilities and I’m sure there are many, many more that could be added to the list


#6

Thank you.

I’ll certainly have a look at these.

Rich.


#7

Always email in advance to book a visits - especially if you would like the visit in English

I too would recommend Olivier Leflaive for a visit and tour…Its much more commercialised than when I last went but was a great visit.

Domain Rollin was another good visit - and they are a TWS supplier - https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/ProductDetail.aspx?pd=BU61521

For Bordeaux…most now charge, recent but good were:
Ch Pape Clement - and not to far out of the centre of town…don’t buy wine here though
Ch Angludet - Daisy Sichel is brilliant
Ch Palmer - nice visit
Ch Beaumont (another TWS supplier)
Ch Beychevelle

Very few offer real vineyard visits…you might get tot eh edge fo the vines and have a small introduction to, so really state in your emails that you would like to see the vineyard too.

message me separately and I can give some more advice / email addresses if needed


#8

Almost all producers now have websites, so start there. And once you reach an area, if you like a wine at dinner, ask the hotel/restaurant where to find the producer.

Visits are so variable, from videos and a museum at an architect-designed building to traipsing up a muddy hill in Alsace and having the producer’s rows pointed out to you. (The Alsace one was pure chance: we saw a notice on the town hall saying there would be a vineyard walk the next day at 10, and turned up with a Belgian couple: good walk and information about the vineyards, discussion of post-WWII, and, of course tasting in the cellar. Not the best Alsace wines, but one of the most interesting visits. ) And if you really want to visit someone, and can’t find out anything, it is always worth ringing the bell and asking.

Increasing numbers charge, understandably.


#9

I believe Veeno has grown now, but if I remember right, the founders in Manchester are from the same family as the Sicilian producer. So I would start by asking at the wine bar. At the very least they should be able to find who to contact there. In my experience of Sicily, unexpected emails and web-form queries are often totally ignored. Telephone seems to be how they prefer to do business. Lots of other great producers on the island!


#10

Cool.

I’ve spoken to the people at Veeno Croydon and they were very helpful in providing contact details. I emailed them and they responded within a day and the info on their website seems adequate.

Is there a best time of the year when I can visit a vineyard so I can get the most out of my visit, or does it not really matter?

Thanks.

Rich.


#11

Until you’ve been to a few, no. Harvest season: interesting, but many vineyards suspend visits then. Summer: you can start to distinguish the different grapes and cultivation styles, and certainly these two are most picturesque. Winter/spring: they will have more time for you, and the best time to see the vines. And then there is the choice of times to visit the production side…
So go when you can, and go at a different time next year (or to a different hemisphere), and another the year after, and…

Some people get bored by bottling plants, but even these vary.


#12

Larger places will be able to receive visitors at any time of the year. Smaller family producers may be too busy at times like the harvest, and bottling days are busy too. I think you need to contact ask the individual producers for definitive answers. But for general planning it would be better to avoid harvest time.