Ask Sid: What’s the best time to visit a winery?

September 17th, 2014

What's the best time to visit a winery?

Question: What’s the best time to visit a winery?

Answer: Quite a difficult general question. No best time really but lots of different opportunities. Earlier in the day is less busy than later in the afternoon. Weekdays are easier than the weekends – especially crowded long weekends. The month depends a lot on your destination. In the Northern Hemisphere January, February & March are slower in the winery and vineyards so this offers a nice chance to maybe meet the winemaker and walk through the dormant vines to learn more about their specific location. April through August is a popular time. I am often in the European vineyards for update visits during May & June. Remember that August can be vacation shutdown especially in France – and check out their numerous Bank Holidays. September & October are excellent to see the harvest but remember that all the winery staff are extremely busy at this time and many take no visitors. Piedmont super late October early November for the “nebbia” fog and experience the white truffle festival. Popular winery visit times however mean it is more difficult to reserve restaurants and hotels.  November & December slows down but they are looking after the new young grape juice and the Christmas/New Year seasons bring closures. Note that the Southern Hemisphere wineries will be opposite for seasons. Nice to visit southern Italy & Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa during our northern winter months of November through April – their summer including early Fall harvest. Check out the local wine tours offered in your region. I recommend an interesting wine tour blog for some European wineries here.

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September 17th, 2014

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