Wine Country Etiquette

  • Always have a designated driver. Many wineries will have refreshments just for designated drivers.
  • Plan ahead of time and select three to five wineries for a single day tour.  Picking a few that are near each other will help with a successful tour.  Don’t forget the wineries in the outlying areas.
  • Be aware of individual winery hours of business.
  • Be sure to drink lots of water during the day to prevent dehydration.
  • You do not have to drink each entire taste of wine. If you’re tasting 5 or 6 wines at 4 wineries for the day it will all add up. Take a couple of sips and pour the rest out into the spittoon. Typically, wineries serve one-ounce pours. As a reference point, there are four to six ounces of wine in a typical glass.
  • Please be patient when entering a crowded tasting room. The staff will do their best to serve you as they can.
  • Please be respectful of your confirmed appointment times. Take a few minutes to understand the length of time from one winery to another when mapping your day.
  • Bring the proper identification. Winery staff will check if you are of age.
  • If you are bringing children on a wine tour with you, make sure to keep an eye on them so they do not disrupt other guests.  Bring a toy or game to occupy your child and a snack or drink.
  • Bring a sweater or jacket as certain areas of the winery make be kept cold.
  • Please check with the wineries ahead of time to see if they are dog friendly.
  • Do not leave purchased wines in a hot car.  Bring a cooler and ice packs inside.
  • Do not leave pets or children in hot cars while tasting or touring at wineries.
  • If you loved the wines, take advantage of joining the wine club for discounts and special future bottles.
  • Many of the small wineries don’t work with distributors so if you find wines that you like, you should purchase them from the tasting room because you are likely not find them in stores.
  • When driving the Hill Country, watch for cyclists and be courteous.

Tasting Tips

  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne. It will interfere with your ability to smell and taste the wines.
  • When tasting, swirl the wine in your glass and look at its color.
  • Before taking a sip, put your nose inside the glass and take a deep breath and notice the aromas.
  • As you take a sip of wine, notice how it feels and tastes in your mouth at first and then swish it around on your tongue before swallowing. Your opinion of the taste may change, so do not rush to swallow.  Always take another taste, the first might be affected by your previous wine or food.
  • Eat crackers, bread and cheese between tastings to cleanse your palate.
  • If you don’t know the difference between wine varieties, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • If you have questions or don’t understand the terminology, winemakers and tasting room staff are happy to explain.
  • If you do not like a certain wine, do not make negative comments about it. Simply state that it is not your favorite, and taste another one.
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