The Wine Road launched a new website in February, transforming a great online tool for planning your wine tourism day or vacation into a spectacular one.
The best features from the previous website are still there, but now there are even more planning tools and information available to you.
Favorite Online Tools & Info
Here’s a quick list of some of my favorite features:
Experiences – this new section gives information on various types of wine experiences
Day Trips – under each of the appellation tabs in Explore, you’ll find a new offering—day trips. Each day trip itinerary has a topic or theme, and lists wineries, food purveyors and lodgings that go along with the day trip’s theme and location.
Winery Maps – using Google map technology, this section lets you see at a glance how many wineries are in a specific area, and the winery names and locations. You can even customize your own tour map!
Winery Events – if you want to attend a winery event, or find out what wineries are offering, this is the place to look for a listing of what’s happening.
Searchable Databases – I love searching for specific information quickly, and the Wineries and Lodgings database lets you do that. For example, if you want to taste only sparkling wines, you can do a search on that term under Search By Wine Type, and get a list of every winery along the Wine Road that makes a sparkling wine.
Wine 101 – there are several educational pages under Wine 101, but the most visited page is FAQs. You can find answers to all types of questions about wine tasting, tours, wine clubs, shipping wine, transportation, lodgings, dining out, night life, and more.
Recipes – years of recipes from Wine & Food Affair are available online, with many ways to search for them—by main ingredient, by wine pairing, or by category such as appetizers, main dish, salad, and more.
Why Am I So Excited About This Website?
My husband and I recently visited friends in another part of California, and wanted to explore the region’s wine country. A few days before we left, I attempted to do some basic online research. I soon realized how spoiled I am to have the Wine Road’s website at my disposal all these years. The winery association sites for this area gave limited information, and showed unreadable maps when viewed online or downloaded as PDFs.
Next, I then tried going to individual winery sites. The information on the sites was so hit and miss, with some winery sites not listing hours of operation or even wines produced. I finally gave up, and we decided to wing it when we got to our destination, a decision we quickly regretted. Without a good wine touring plan, we visited one stellar winery on the first day, but had a less than productive adventure on our second tasting and touring day.
This experience reinforced that planning ahead:
- allows the best use of limited time
- focuses on the wineries and activities we are most interested in
- allows us to take advantage of the scenic countryside
- keeps us from getting lost and wasting even more time.
It also made me wish every wine region had an online tool as comprehensive and easy-to-use as the Wine Road’s site.
Everyone loves to have great experiences while on vacation, especially when visiting wineries. The Wine Road’s Experiences page offers you vetted experiences, organized by categories for you to review and determine how you want to spend your time.
Here are the current categories, with more being offered over time:
- Only In The Wine Country
- Discover Gardens & Caves
- Culinary Events
- Explore Vineyards
- Palate Pleasing Food & Wine
- Exploring the Art of Winemaking
And Yet More
Maybe you love watching videos, then this site has you covered. Go to any page on the Wine Road website, and scroll down to the footer. There you’ll discover a link to the Wine Road’s YouTube page. There are plenty of great videos to inform and entertain you.
But, you don’t have to go to the footer to find links of the best pages on the site. The home page will send you to the most popular pages, and if you like to poke around on your own, there are many other hidden gems in the drop down and footer navigation. You might check out the Explore > Gallery page to view some breathtaking landscapes taken along the Wine Road.
If you’re looking for a new experience or adventure in Sonoma County, be sure to check the Wine Road’s new website, and enjoy using the best online tool for exploring Wine Country.
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