At Harvest Card, we’re pretty much obsessed with all things wine. Not only are we focused on giving our card-holders exclusive access to the areas best wineries, but we want to ensure guests and tourists are prepared before they arrive at the tasting room or vineyard. Continue reading for helpful answers to questions frequently asked before wine tastings and vineyard tours.

What should I wear to a wine tasting?

We suggest dressing casually and comfortably in layers. Sonoma County is a coastal region, and the mornings and evenings are typically cool while the afternoons can be quite warm. Tasting rooms and cellars are kept cool to protect the wine, so guests should bring a light jacket.

How much does a typical wine tasting cost?

As a Harvest Card Member, the tasting fees for the card member and one guest will be waived at each of our partner wineries. Typically tasting fees range from $15-$20 per person.

Are reservations required for wine tastings?

Some wineries require reservations, some do not, however, it is always suggested that reservations are made for your party, especially if you plan to go to the wineries on a weekend. Harvest Card partner wineries that require a reservation are noted with an * next to the winery name. Making a reservation insures that you and your guest will receive the elevated experience that you deserve, always.

Should I tip the winery associate?

While tips are not required, they are always appreciated. Remember that the winery employee is in the service industry and just as you would tip a waiter or server in a restaurant, leaving a tip, especially if you enjoyed your experience and he or she did a great job, is appreciated.

Other wine tasting tips from Harvest Card:

  • We suggest that you refrain from wearing overbearing scents at the wineries. Others may find it difficult to fully enjoy each of the wines that are being poured.
  • Taste in the order suggested by the winery. It is impossible to enjoy the nuances of each wine if you start with a bold Cabernet and then try to transition to a Chardonnay.
  • Hydration and food are key components to an enjoyable day at the wineries. Make sure that you have a solid breakfast before your excursion, take a break for lunch, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Use the dump buckets or spittoons at the wineries. Winery employees are not offended if you use the dump bucket at any point during a tasting, especially if you’re not keen on a certain wine.
  • Never bring other alcoholic beverages to drink at a winery as their liquor license does not permit anything other than their own wine to be consumed on the property.

We truly hope you have an incredible first trip to wine country. If you have not registered for a membership yet, please click here. The opportunities and experiences offered by a Harvest Card membership are endless!