Winery Etiquette: 21 Dos and Don’ts from a Wine Expert

When visiting a winery for the first time, you may be wondering about things like what to wear, how a wine tasting works, and what the deal is with tipping. It can all be a tad overwhelming.

As a professional wine traveler, I’ve visited more wineries than I can count. And I’ve bottled up a list of essential tips to share, from planning must-dos to tasting room taboos.

You don’t need to cram like it’s finals week. But a sprinkle of knowledge about the local grapes and signature styles can go a long way.

Do Read up on the Region and Wineries

Most wineries are a click away from securing your spot. A quick visit to their website or a stop by reservation platforms like Cellarpass or Tock, and you’re in business.

Do Make Reservations

Cramming in a winery world tour in a single day? Not the ticket to blissville. Overbooking is a surefire way to dull your palate. And, let’s be honest, it might just tip you from “tasting” into “tottering.”

Don’t Overbook Yourself

Planning a girls’ getaway, bridal bash, or reunion romp? Many smaller wineries aren’t equipped to host large groups, typically setting their limit at 6 to 8 guests. And even if they do, a heads-up is a must.

Do Be Mindful of Group Sizes

While most of Napa Valley might give a polite “not here” for bringing kids and pets, places like the Finger Lakes in New York are more flexible.

Do Check if Kids and Pets Are Allowed

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