Some wineries along the Wine Road require an appointment to taste. It is worthwhile to plan your tasting adventure and discover these hidden gems.

Worth The Extra Step

Here are some benefits of scheduling by appointment tastings:


Intimate— Often by appointment wineries are so small that the owners or winemaker will be pouring for you, and can share the inside track on their wines and winery.


Exclusive Generally by appointment tasting means your party will be the only folks tasting at that time. Where else can you get this much personal attention?


Easy — Tasting appointments can be made the same day, and sometimes just minutes in advance. However, to secure the day and time you want, planning ahead is always best, but it doesn’t hurt to try for a last minute appointment.

tasting along the wine road

Why bother with an appointment at all then? Because the winery’s tasting permit requires they are open only by appointment.


Your Schedule Impacts Others

Here are some considerations regarding by appointment tastings:


Timing is Everything. Usually these wineries don’t have tasting room staff, so the owner or winemaker schedules their time to accommodate visitors. If you make an appointment and are going to be more than 15 minutes late, need to cancel or reschedule, please be courteous and call to let them know. Your schedule impacts their day.


Don’t Over Schedule. When scheduling your tasting appointments, remember to allow plenty of time between each appointment. The distance between wineries may look close on the map, but traveling on the beautiful back roads of Northern Sonoma County can take longer than planned. Also, by appointment tastings can last over an hour. Try to schedule them so you know you’ll be on time. Don’t over schedule your day so you feel rushed or can’t fully enjoy the intimate setting of a by appointment tasting.


Winery owners and winemakers love sharing their wines with you. If you enjoy their wines, show your appreciation by taking home a bottle or two. Nothing validates their hard work than someone enjoying the fruits of their labor.



Rebecca Germolus

Great tips by Rebecca, read the innkeeper tips 

Posted by Anne Loupy


  1. This is great advice for those that want to enjoy wine country at it’s most personal and intimate level. I would recommend that if you are doing tastings by appointment that you plan on no more that 3 wineries in a day. Give each winery at least an hour for the tasting and 30 minutes in between for travel time. Also if you don’t have a big breakfast then build in time for lunch or find a winery that has picnic facilities and may it your second winery of the day.


    1. Thanks for the helpful advice, Roger.


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