3 Things to Consider When Planning a Wine Trip

Updated: Mar 14

Planning any kind of vacation takes time and research. Here we'll discuss a few key items to keep in mind when planning a wine trip to make the most out of your next wine-focused vacation.

planning a wine trip

1) Define Your Goals

For any kind of trip, you need to define your goals. Are there particular places you’re trying to visit? Foods you want to sample?

Planning a wine trip is no different. It’s a good call to think about why you’re taking the trip in the first place and identify any particular regions you want to explore or wines you want to try.

“I want to drink wine in California” is very different from “I want to learn how wine is made” versus “I love big, buttery Chardonnays, and I specifically want to try one at Ferrari-Carano.”

Someone interested in the history of winemaking might choose different tours from someone who just wants to relax. If you have a good understanding of what you want to accomplish, you can start planning activities that best suit your needs.

2) Decide on a Budget

Wine trips and wine tours can easily get very expensive. At any level, it’s important to factor in the costs of lodging, transportation, and any tours you’re taking when you start planning a wine trip. We have found that sites like Viator are a great resource for finding tours that meet your goals and stay within your budget.

You will also want to think about any wine accessories or souvenirs you might want and budget those in, as well.

Planning a Wine Trip - Souvenirs
Corkscrews - gotta catch them all!

From our experience, these costs can quickly add up. We usually plan to make a rough budget for all of our trip’s expenses, especially if we might want to buy some wine to take home.

I also highly recommend taking the time to research how much shipping costs to your state, as laws differ by region. If you don’t want to ship wine, you can also look into how much wine you can take in your suitcase and what your bag will cost if it goes over an airline’s weight limit.

If you’re planning to pack wine, bringing bubble wrap or liquor cannisters is also a good call. This can prevent bottles from breaking on the trip home. Another option is to buy a suitcase specifically designed to store and transport wine bottles.

Do whatever makes the most sense for your budget, and fingers crossed for no broken bottles!

3) Know Your Limits

If you’re visiting three or four (or more) wineries in a day, it can be easy to accidentally imbibe a little too much. When planning your wine trip, think carefully about your own limits and how much wine you can realistically expect to drink without going overboard.

Another thing to think about is that specific types of wine have different alcohol contents. A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon will have a higher content and might affect you differently from a light rosé.

Planning a Wine Trip