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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What it Costs to go Wine Tasting

This is for the Napa / Sonoma area cuz that's what I know best. Many less-visited wine areas will charge less -- places like Mendocino County just to the north or Amador County in the Sierra Foothill. This is strictly an unscientific study. So much for the disclaimers. What's this trip going to cost you?

Napa Valley is a renowned destination and charges accordingly. I mean, it's not like Disneyland is cheap either. As the economy has been improving over the last several years and visitation is up so are prices in both Napa and Sonoma.

In Napa a "regular" tasting at the typical winery on the valley floor averages $25 for four or five wines. Many of these wineries will have higher-end tastings -- maybe they're seated, maybe it's more expensive wines -- that cost $40 and up. A number or tasting rooms throughout the valley charge $50-$100 as their only tasting option -- most of these will require appointments. Many, unfortunately, do not refund your fee if you purchase wine. Let's say you and one other stop by four wineries in the valley one day. You're going to average at least $50 in tasting fees per stop for a grand total of $200 just to taste. Three days of tasting and you're talking real money! Don't forget to budget for this.

Sonoma County is somewhat cheaper as a $15 fee is pretty typical though you can find some at $20-25 for a standard tasting of four or five wines, but this is usually a seated tasting. Most refund that fee if you purchase.

Well, here's one I like -- in British Columbia
There are actually still a few free tastings in both Napa and Sonoma. Some of the freebies in Sonoma County are Alexander Valley Vineyards, Coppola, Korbel, Rodney Strong, and Williamson.

You can find 2-for-1 tasting coupons for wine tasting. These are often shared among wineries so when you are at your first stop check to see if they have coupons for other tasting rooms.