This is a collection of the most commonly asked questions about visiting a Winery or Vineyard for the first time.

Most wineries & vineyards have posted hours for their Tasting Rooms, but always check with the destinations you plan to visit ahead of time. Traveling with a group of 4, stop on in; traveling with 7 or more, please be polite and call ahead to schedule your visit. This will allow for the proper preparation in anticipation of your group's arrival. Most wineries and vineyards give tours by appointment only, so make sure to contact the location before you just show up.

If visiting a working winery facility, keep in mind that the temperature in the facility will be an average of 66 degrees. San Diego’s countryside has many microclimates and the weather will change slightly as you move from the coast to the foothills. Make sure to check the weather for the winery you are visiting on the day of travel. Dress to your comfort level and use layers to help heat-up or cool-down throughout your experience. Remember to see if the tasting areas are indoor or outdoor, so that you have the proper attire to enjoy your visit. If you are planning to go to the vineyard, bring boots!

When you visit a winery, if you like the wine and want to buy it that is great, but you should not feel the need to purchase a bottle of wine. Do not buy a bottle of wine unless you really enjoyed it. Participating in a winery tasting room can be a delightful experience for everyone.
The fees charged by wineries for the wines they pour, can vary widely from one winery to another. The average tasting fee in San Diego currently can run from about $15 to $45 per guest, for anywhere from four to nine tastes (about an ounce). Check with the tasting room host to see if they offer other options (3 oz. Flights, by the Glass, Bottle Service) to enjoy their selections. Fees for these types of services will we explained by the host, if they offer them.
Yes! Please do. That's right, if you want to know more about the wine, vineyard, wine-making; just ask your tasting room server. Most tasting room staff are trained to educate you and there is no wine question too elementary. Showing an interest in the wines you are tasting and the story/history of the winery will add to your experience. The servers and tasting room managers are bursting with information, and in most cases in San Diego, they are the owners as well. Take advantage of this wealth of information.
Seasoned tasters know it's essential to expectorate when tasting a whole bunch of wine. If you swirl your glass, take a sniff, sip, swish, and then spit, you're still going to get a sense of the wine. You taste the wine. This is a wine tasting, after all, not an all-you-can-drink open bar. But do not be afraid to enjoy the rest of the glass when you find one that intrigues your taste buds!
Wines Tasting are usually presented in a particular order based upon the styles of wine being presented. If you do not want to drink a particular wine, that’s understandable. Simply cover your wine glass with your fingers to indicate you do not want to taste that particular wine selection. Not all wine enthusiasts like all varieties of wine, and your host will understand this. However, keep in mind that the person next to you may very well enjoy it, so please respect the others enjoying that selection.
Good chance you will taste more wine than you had intended to, as those lovely samples add up. If you’re not used to enjoying your wine early in the day, it could catch up with you fast. In many of the newer wine regions, the wineries might be spread out, so you have some driving ahead of you. Plan ahead, if you think you might need or want a service to drive for you, schedule with the car service of choice or look for a tour operated in the region you are visiting.
Regulations vary widely from location to location, due to municipality or other regualtions. Some wineries have 'child' themed tastings, while others are 21+ age restricted, so please check with the intended destination to make sure everyone involved has an enjoyable experience.
Each Winery/Farm/Vineyard has a preference on the presence of your 4 legged friend. Of course service animals are always welcome, but please check with the intended destination to make sure the rest of your party is welcome to join in on the experience.

Palate Cleansers - bland crackers, french bread, or plain baguettes. (Avoid Salty or Strongly Seasoned items)

Cheese - Wine & cheese is a classic pairing! Cube or slice your favorite cheeses and serve with toothpicks for a great snack with your wine. Check out the fine cheeses section at your grocery store or meat market. Experiment with different flavors too discover which cheeses you enjoy best with different types of wine.

Nuts - Stick to Dry Roasted. It is recommended to go with a mixed nut selection. Avoid the Honey Roasted, Salted, or flavored varieties.

Chocolate - Plain dark chocolate is amazing with either white or red wine, and richer truffle varieties are great with drier wines.

Berries - Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are all amazing with wine. Pick your favorite type of berry to serve, or try a mixture.

Hummus - The full body of hummus compliments robust red wines. Even better if your winery also has fresh olive oil, be sure to check.

Dried Fruit - Having a lighter taste & a more solid texture than fresh fruit, a simple dried fruit selection can help to play up the fruit tastes in the wine.

Cured Olives - The salty flavor compliments many wines, the briny solution makes the mouth salivate, helping you recover from some of the drier wines. Kalamata olives are an excellent choice that many people are familiar with. Be sure to bring a bowl for the pits.

Driving or flying, taking wine home from your San Diego visit is the perfect way to take your vacation experience back with you. Airline restrictions require that all liquids be checked within luggage. A proper flight case or bottle box for your wines is highly recommended, and check it as luggage. Some of the local wineries have these or shipping options available for your purchase, so ask the winery you are visiting what they have for your shipping needs.

You should also consider having your bottles delivered home by the winery you visit. Check where you live locally, to make sure that you can take shipment of these items via post, as each state has different shipping regulations regarding alcohol.