Interest in arts, food and, of course, wines, has led to rising number of wine tourists throughout the world. Whether you are a wine novice or a connoisseur, there are now more places than ever where you can enjoy unique samplings your favorite red and white blends. However, wine tastings can often add up to hundreds of dollars, meaning a single wine tour vacation can blow through your entire holiday budget.
Luckily, you can get all that makes a great wine country experience—provided you plan right. Many lesser known winemaking destinations of California offer opportunities to taste fine wine at affordable prices. All that without the tourist traffic, and expensive hotel and rental bills, and you can save quite a lot of green as you indulge in red and white!
Go for off-the-beaten-track regions
Forgo the more-talked-about and expensive wine country places such as the Napa Valley, and head towards the coastal regions of central California. The vast stretch of meadows and hills in Santa Barbara is rich with diverse wineries and vineyards.
The winemakers of Solvang and Santa Ynez excel in producing amazing blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel. The charming mix of historic and contemporary tasting rooms provides budget-friendly, quality wine country experiences for every tourist.
Travel during the off-seasons
Capitalizing on tourists’ interest in filling vacation boredom with exciting adventures, the winemakers, hotels, airlines and every other tourism-related industry raises the prices of their products and services. Peak summer months are when California welcomes heavy crowds of travelers—whereas in fall and winter, the wine producing regions are considerably calmer.
Do your wine homework
Conduct research on the wineries and tasting rooms of the destination you are travelling to prior to making any reservations. Look into wine establishments which offer affordable tasting menus.
Most wineries in the leading regions of Santa Barbara offer inexpensive tasting reservations, typically ranging between $20-$50. You may even receive discounts on your tasting fee if you visit with a large group.
Pack your meals
You may not have realized this yet, but food takes up a substantial percentage of your travel expenses. If you are going wine tasting during lunch hours, pack your own snacks to have with your wine.
Most wineries have picnic areas where guests can bring their own picnic, or buy cheese, breads and salami at cheap prices from their tasting rooms. Check out your wineries’ rules regarding bringing your own food.
Book a cheap wine tasting tour
Rather than making the mistake of going to expensive wine tastings, planning your own transport services and relying on old tour maps for directions, get help from a wine tour service. Artisan Excursion offers unique and affordable wine tour packages in Santa Ynez, Solvang, Santa Maria and other winemaking regions of Santa Barbara, as well as airport and wedding transport services.
Call us today to book a budget-friendly wine tour!