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Planning a Wine Weekend

Wine expert, Stuart Robinson aka The Vinsomniac shares his guide to planning the ultimate wine weekend.


For me, the holiday starts long before my arrival at the intended destination.

The excitement rises within, increasing with each bit of research undertaken, possible itineraries planned, reservation made, excursions booked, repeated visits to websites of businesses in the chosen destination. 

A trip to a wine region is no different -  you might seek to get into 'mode' and try a few wines from the region prior. In short, it's an exciting time - as any holiday should be. 

But there are a few things you might want to consider ahead of your visit to try and maximise your enjoyment whilst there. 

One of the best ways to try and get a ‘feel’ for a region is to take a step back and survey the region before diving on in. Most regions have a unique geography that defines what grapes they grow and indeed, where they grow. You may want to consider trying to find a ‘vista’ or a viewing point that allows you look out across a region and see how it is shaped by the land. At the very least, it will make for a good reference point and provide some stunning photo opportunities.


Think about where you are staying. Many wineries also offer accommodation now, and staying on site at a winery may afford extra privileges - such as bonus wine or food packs included in your stay. You may also get to be the first, or last, cellar door visitors of the day - getting some special attention.

Depending upon how long you are staying and how many are travelling in your party, you may wish to consider discussing a 'driving' plan, a way of sharing driving so that there's always a designated driver for a nominated day. 

Alternatively, if your time is short in the region, you may wish to look into the services of a tour guide. The owner or manager of your accommodation, or the local tourist office, will likely have the names of recommended companies. Ask around too, social media sites such as Twitter are an excellent way of seeking recommendations (it’s always worth validating recommendations with your own independent research too). 

Give yourself enough flexibility in your itinerary to be able to accommodate changes. Wineries you may know of - there's likely to be at least one you've heard of, or are familiar with - may well also have recommendations. If you’ve enjoyed a particular visit, take the time to seek recommendations, they may well point you to the ‘next big thing’, a producer you’ve not heard of.


If you’re a regular mail-order customer of a particular winery, ensure you have any membership details to hand. Often, members, or mailing list customers, can access special promotions or deals such as free shipping - invaluable when you’ve bought some special wines from your stay.

In many wine regions, the wine and food produce shares a unique relationship. Many cellar doors sell local produce and it can be fun to put together a tasting board, or picnic, as you taste your way through a region. Sharing in such is a great way to unwind at the end of a day and reflect back on a day of memories.

Finally, as fun as it is to ‘enjoy’ the vast range of samples on offer, you should think about trying to ensure that you enjoy the first wine tasted as much as the last. Be a good guest of a region, be courteous to your hosts, buy something if you have enjoyed it.

Holidays are intended to be fun, relaxing and a great way to enjoy new experiences. Enjoy yours.

Stuart Robinson is a wine blogger at The Vinsomniac, a website dedicated to reviewing and exploring Australian wine. Stuart also runs a side project, Swirl Sniff Spit a monthly wine tasting group in Brisbane.

Browse alluxia's handpicked collection of accommodation perfect for a wine weekend.

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