The wine industry in North Carolina is exploding in terms of both growth (the number of wineries) and popularity (the number of people visiting the wineries). It is a huge economic boom for the state having almost a 2 billion dollar impact on the economy and supporting over 10,000 jobs. While all of this sounds great; what does this mean for the average consumer? The person that doesn’t own or work at a winery but just wants to visit one from time to time? It means a lot of good things for the consumer!
The Power of Choice!
With so many vineyards and wineries available it means that there are lots of great choices for the consumer. Those choices also mean that the wineries will be competing to offer the best wines and experiences at their respective locations. While it is true that most of the wineries have friendly relationships and view the industry almost like a family, you can’t ignore the fact that they are all quietly pushing each other to do better. Think of it almost like sibling rivalry. All of the wineries want the industry as a whole to improve and grow. They want the wines to get better and they are constantly seeking ways to improve the customer experience. So when one winery “raises the bar” others take note and respond. For you, the consumer, this is a wonderful thing and means that the industry is not going to get stale or become complaisant with the status-quo. This means that there will always be options for exploring new or updated wineries within the state as well as establishing and visiting your favorites.
Too Many Choices!
Too many choices can sometimes lead to choice overload…Which ones are the best ones to visit? When is the best time to visit? With so many options it can be somewhat overwhelming. But there are a few options:
- Visit all of them – It may sound crazy but this is an obvious option and one that is actually quite popular. Create a list, make a plan, and then spend your weekends and free time visiting different wineries each time. This is obviously going to take some time to complete and will likely involve overnighting on some weekends but what a fun endeavor for the lover of wine and all things North Carolina.
- Do your research – There are a number of online rating systems that provide quick summaries of any specific location as well as detailed comments that can be read. You can use these to determine if a specific winery is for you and whether you want to visit it (or not).
- Hire a Tour Company – You knew this one was coming. Yes, this is a shameless plug since we are a tour company but it is a good option and here is why; we deal with the wineries inside our service area on a regular basis. We are constantly bringing people to them and actively receiving feedback from our clients about their experiences at each winery. We know which ones are providing the best customer experiences and, more importantly, when are the best times to visit these wineries. We also have a strong working relationship with most of the wineries and can coordinate your visit so that they are expecting you when you arrive. We also know about and can help coordinate options that may not be publicly available or widely known. Examples of these types of experiences would include private barrel room tastings or vineyard tours with an owner or wine maker. Options will vary depending on the specific winery, time of year, and staff availability but we are aware of what is going on at the vineyard and will present you with the best options for your trip.
The Best Tour Available…
The main point we want to communicate with this article is that with so many options available, whether you use a tour company like us or not, every North Carolina wine tour that you partake in should be the best tour available. Accept nothing less for yourself! If you need help planning a regional tour trip or just don’t want the hassle of driving, we are here for you.