While a wine experience can bring great rewards to a meetings program, there are important tips that planners should keep in mind, according to Myriah Mutrix, private experiences manager for Hall Wines St. Helena.
Most wineries experience their highest demand on weekends from leisure visitors as well as wedding clients, she noted.
“If you want to schedule something during a weekend, it’s really important to book it well in advance,” Mutrix said. “There’s nearly always much greater available midweek, as well as during the morning rather than the afternoon.”
Also requiring longer-term planning are dates during the popular “crush” season extending from August into November when the grapes are harvested, she added.
When planning a tasting tour to multiple wineries, Mutrix advises planners that less can be more.
“It’s really important to not pack the schedule so tightly that groups can’t enjoy each experience,” she said. “Three or four wineries in one day is often enough. You don’t want people to feel rushed.”
Bryan Hope, co-owner of Sustainable Wine and Vine Tours, agrees, adding that “our experience has taught us that wine tasting is enhanced when you slow down the process, making each visit a personal and memorable encounter.”