5 Steps to Planning a Fun and Memorable Wine Trail Experience

by Miki, This Is The Life Winer

[pullquote]Planning a smooth and relaxing wine trail doesn’t have to be that daunting.[/pullquote] 

Have you ever thought about spending an entire day, or even an entire week, doing nothing but visiting one gorgeous winery after another, but yet not knowing exactly where to start? Are the following questions familiar?


Texas Hills Winery (28)

Image: The Vineyard Trail

Where should we go visit?

Do we have to go to Napa Valley to have a great experience?

How many wineries should we visit in a day?

What if we pack in too many visits for one day and the day becomes rushed?

What will we do about lunch?


These questions and many more can appear quite daunting if you pay them much mind.


Well, there’s good news! Planning a smooth and relaxing wine trail doesn’t have to be that daunting. With the right step-by-step instructions, you can easily build a fun, relaxing, “no glitches” wine trail in a short amount of time that you and all your friends are bound to enjoy.  


Continue reading and we’ll walk through how to plan your next wine trail in this very blog post. When we’re done you’ll know exactly how to plan your next trail that provides a relaxing and fun atmosphere and memorable moments.


Ready? Let’s dive in.


5 Steps to Creating a Fun and Memorable Wine Trailing Experience


1. Where do you want to go on your wine trail?


Image Credit: Sanja Gjenero

Have you been aching to visit a certain part of the world or country?

Is there a famous wine-making region you would just love to visit?

Do you have the time for an extended visit or do you need to make this trail a single day or even a long weekend?

Answer these questions to help narrow down where you want to trail. With more time and financial resources, an extended trail requiring travel might be perfect. However, if you just have a few days or limited available funds, perhaps a trail closer to home might just be the ticket.

2.  When do you want to go?


Image Credit: Marja Flick-Buijs

After you’ve decided where you want to go, the next step is to pick a date. The answer to this question can be dependent on multiple factors.

First, if you’re like most of us, you might have this little pesky thing called a “job” that only allows you a certain amount of time off. If so, obviously this is going to be a factor. Another consideration might be the weather. If you are heading to the Finger Lakes District in New York, perhaps winter might not be the best time for trailing. In fact, they may even be closed seasonally.

It also might be a good idea to see if there are any other major events going on near your chosen destination that might impact your visit (i.e., an international balloons festival, Tour de France, etc.). If you don’t check this out, you may find yourself sleeping in your car!

3.  Plan your timing


Image Credit: Jean Scheijen

The next step is to plan the timing of your day(s)/week(s). Questions to ask yourself:

a. How long do we want to spend at each winery? This may depend on if they have a tour that you can attend, a special tasting event occurring at the same time as your visit, a restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat or live music to enjoy as you sip a purchased glass of wine on their shaded patio.

b. Are we going to grab a bite to eat at a winery (better check and make sure that one of them has food – many don’t), stop at a restaurant for lunch or pull up a spot of green carpet and enjoy our homemade fare?

4.  Which wineries do you want to visit?


Image: The Vineyard Trail

After figuring out your allotted time, the next step is to decide which wineries to include on your itinerary. This step can seem quite daunting to some as they may be asking:

Which wineries are the best?

Which winery has the best wine?

Which winery has the best ambiance?

…and on and on.

Let me suggest to you to toss away those questions and make your decision on the following steps instead:

a. Ask other wine enthusiasts that have been to this area which wineries they would suggest and take their word for it!

b. Visit the state winery association website which will usually give you a list of wineries and sometimes a map.  Take this information, visit the winery on their website and make a decision based on the type of wine, scenery, location, tours, etc. or….

c. Search Google using ‘[name of state/area] wine trails’ and see what pops up. From the information you find, pick a starting point and just plan on stopping at every winery you pass until your day is done. Not much more thought to give to this one – Simple, easy, done!

5.  Plan your route

Grand Junction Wineries

Image: The Vineyard Trail

Finally, based on the timing above and the hours of operation for each winery, you next have to plan your route.

Obviously, the most direct route is best so that driving is kept to a minimum, however sometimes, when wineries are close together and certain activities are scheduled at set times, a little back-tracking may be necessary to hit all the highlights.

Don’t forget to take into account the drive time between wineries. In some parts of the country, it might be many miles between two locations and if not built into your trail, can really throw the whole day off.


Last, but certainly not least…




Enjoy your time with friends, as you’ve carefully planned out a very relaxing and enjoyable wine trail experience that is sure to please. And if you want to go one step further, click here to receive our latest blog posts and find out where The Traveling Winers are headed next so that you can join us on the Trail!


I’ll be looking for you on the Trail!






Miki “This is the Life” Winer


Additional Resources:

What to Expect When Visting a Winery

Example Vineyard Trail Wine Trails:

East of Dallas Wineries

Grand Junction Colorado

Fredericksburg Texas

Santa Barbara California

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