is it worth the trek to the winery

Kamloops is within close proximity to quite a few wineries. Actually, a lot of wineries. There are several hundred wineries within a day’s drive of our fine city. But I am not convinced it is worth visiting them all.

If you haven’t stopped in at a winery before you might not know what all the hype is about. If you have visited a tasting room or two in the past you still might not know what all the hype is about. Some are certainly better than others.

Popping into the winery should be about soaking up the atmosphere of where the wine was produced. Some wineries have this down to a science and some have really missed the mark. You can expect to try a few wines and learn a bit about the wine, the vintage, the winemaker, the winery owners or the vineyard. All of them will have their wines for sale in the tasting room, often at a lower price than the liquor store, but you are under no obligation to buy. Good luck with that, though. It’s like going to a Tupperware party for the snacks.

Be prepared – some places charge for a tasting. This fee is usually put towards the wine you purchase that day. Other places will charge to taste the premium wines only, like the more expensive dessert wines. Usually you will try two to five different wines on site. And some don’t charge at all!

The tasting room staff (or the owners of the winery in some cases) will tell you about the wines and be able to answer any questions you have. Sometimes the spiel includes some background about their winery as well. Snob Alert – not all of the staff at these places come off as approachable and helpful. Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts is shamed out of the fancy clothing store on Rodeo Drive? That clerk has nothing on some so-called wine experts. Ignore it, remember it and don’t go back.

Many vineyards have a restaurant, bistro or gift shop on premises as well. If you are lucky, or you planned ahead, you may be there for a tour of the vineyard or the facilities. Unless you take advantage of one of these amenities, however, your visit will be about fifteen minutes in length. If you want to make a special trip to visit a winery, plan to visit a few. There are many websites to help you plan out a route to make it worth the drive. During the summer many wineries are open every day of the week so you can just pop in if you follow the road signs you spot along the way. If you find a great wine and enjoy your detour then it was well worth the trip!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jocellyn
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 14:06:26

    There is a tasting shop down on the main street in my college town. You can shop around, pop in for half an hour, get a wee bit tipsy, and be on your way. There are a few wineries in the area, but I haven’t gotten around to them. well, there is still a month left of “True summer”

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