2.Get you picnic lunch early and put it in a cooler in the car. At lunch time the few markets near the wineries often get slammed with business and half of your lunch break is spent waiting in line at the counter. If you are starting off in either southern Napa or Sonoma my favorite place for picnic supplies early in the day are their Whole Foods. They are big stores so there is less waiting.
3.Don’t backtrack! These are long valleys with narrow roads so you want each drive in the first half of the day to bring you further from your home base, and in the second half of the day closer. At the end of the day you should be close to where you are staying.
4.Plan your driving route so that it has more right hand turns than left. This is faster and safer. Remember those two lane roads crammed with people, who don’t know the area, and who have been drinking. Always pick the safer choice.
5.Take your time, there is no rush, you’re on vacation. If you running late for an appointment call them and find out if it’s a problem. It rarely is! Wineries know that if you arrive there feeling stressed there is less chance that you are going to buy wine. That is the business they are in, selling wine.
6.Buy wine! It is the best souvenir, it reminds you of where you went, there are many wines that you can only buy at the winery, and it helps the wineries that you are visiting stay in business, so you can visit again.
7.In the cool weather drink two ounces of water for every ounce of wine. In the hot weather drink four ounces of water for every ounce of wine. This prevents dehydration, heaviness of the head and keeps the taste buds refreshed.
8.Start the day with a good breakfast that includes plenty of protein and high quality fat. Avoid high carbohydrate foods like pancakes and waffles.
9.Eat more protein and fat every two wineries. A typical tour includes two wineries and then lunch for a reason. This strategy increases your tasting endurance.
10.If you are in a mixed group of men and women plan that the last winery of the day have some light wines, a sparkling wine house is nice, and even better, wonderful shopping. Women make less of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol, so while the guys are still ready to taste, the girls want to do a little gathering. A good tour should have something for everyone.
Ralph & Lahni de Amicis are authors of the Amicis Winery Guides, and owners of Amicis Tours. They are authors of over twenty books on health, design, business and travel. Their iPhone Apps, The Napa Valley Wine Tour, and The Sonoma Winery Tour are a tour guides approach to these beautiful area, complete with 1000’s of photos and insights. Their articles and products can be found on the sites http://www.amicistours.com and http://www.spaceandtime.com
Call 707-235-2648 for Tours, Books & Seminars Copyright Ralph & Lahni de Amicis 2013 All tasting fees, hours, wine lists, etc are subject to change.