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MAY-JUN 2017

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selecttraveler.com 49 M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 7 3) ASK FOR SPECIAL EXPERIENCES. One of the downfalls of planning wine-themed tours is that they can become somewhat repetitive as wineries tours and tasting experiences begin to blend together in the minds of travelers. To make the trip more memorable, consider asking wineries for special experiences that will thrill wine novices and experts alike. "Some of our wineries offer a tasting class with the winemaker along with the winery tour," Barnhart said. "If you contact them ahead of time, they can often open up the cellar and do a barrel tasting or a private tasting. Some sort of activity like that is always available if you ask." In the Finger Lakes, Poland said the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery offers a high-end activ- ity for groups that is very popu- lar, called the 1886 Reserve Tasting Room Experience. "is winery produces phe- nomenal wines, and they have opened the 1886 Re- serve Room for higher-end, more-exclusive tastings," she said. "It changes every month to focus on a dif- ferent type of wine. You get the local flavor and his- tory and one-on-one atten- tion from the winemakers and owners." 4) INCLUDE OTHER FOODS AND DRINKS. Wine tasting might be the headliner on your wine tours, but you shouldn't focus on wine to the exclusion of other food and drink experiences. Many areas that have interesting wine cul- tures also enjoy fabulous culinary scenes with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. And some are branching out into other types of beverages as well. e 1886 Reserve Tasting Room Experience in New York fea- tures high-end food pairings along with the wines visitors taste, Top: Williamette Valley Vineyard, courtesy Oregon Wine Country Right: Wine tasting, courtesy Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Alliance Left: 1886 Reserve Tasting Room Experience, courtesy Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Alliance giving them a lunch's worth of small bites. And that's just one example: Poland said many of the wineries in the area include restaurants run by celebrated chefs where visitors can linger over a meal and enjoy lakefront views and live music during the evenings. e Finger Lakes is also home to a growing craft brewing and distilling scene, and including a handful of these kinds of stops on the tour will help engage travelers who might prefer beer and spirits to wine. 5) DON'T FORGET OTHER ATTRACTIONS. A good wine trip should include plenty of winery tours and tast- ings, but it would be foolish to overlook the other enjoyable experiences that destinations offer. To keep the days interest- ing — and keep the travelers sober — consider interspers- ing the wine activities with vis- its to other area attractions. "We have an adven- ture company called Evergreen Escapes in Portland that offers a Wine and Waterfalls tour," said Barnhart. "It's a full day of tastings and waterfall excur- sions, because we have a lot of water- falls that are really accessible." Since the Willamette Valley is such an outdoor para- dise, locals encourage visitors to mix their wine tasting with activities that will help them enjoy the natural abundance of the area. "We try to stay health conscious and make sure you're do- ing something active, and then you get rewarded by going to a winery," Barnhart said. "We have options such as you-pick farm tours or covered-bridge tours. ere are also included cul- tural and historical opportunities for museums and shopping in downtowns."

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