It’s tough to argue with the romance of the vineyard. American wineries have been popular as wedding venues for a long time now . . . but think of all the other occasions that these verdant outdoor spaces could play host to!
Here are our top three suggestions for vineyard events beyond the wedding:
1. Wine Classes
A vineyard is of course the perfect place to arrange a class where your guests can learn more about this most cultured of drinks. Learn to taste for those subtle hints of flavor that sommeliers describe — peach jam, oak, blackberries, leather. Know the qualities of different grape varieties and the qualities that come to wine during the aging process; see how wine is made; understand how to pair wines with food. You might be able to arrange with the vineyard to host a class that you and your friends can attend as well as other people from the general public, in order to save on costs, or you may prefer to arrange a private class for your group or family. Either way, it’s sure to make for a memorable day.
2. Corporate Retreat
Getting outside the four walls of the office building and into beautiful wine country is a powerful resource for team building. As a writer for the NY Times reported recently: “Wineries around the world are increasingly accommodating businesses asking for meeting space, catering and even wine-making lessons for their workers. These are not drunken office parties; most of the alcohol consumption is associated with supervised wine-making activities, and top executives are usually present.” (Just in case you were worried about Accountants Gone Wild!) Skip the indoor rock climbing this year, and let your employees stomp vats of grapes into wine instead.
3. Group Picnics
Another great possibility is the family reunion picnic. Since touring wineries is a popular summer activity, most vineyards have some type of outdoor eating space, and most will work with patrons who want to reserve it for special events. The natural beauty of wine country will inspire relaxation and tranquility, and afterward everyone can return to their busy lives both refreshed and more connected to nature and to each other. Concannon Vineyard in California has a great guide to planning the perfect vineyard reunion here!