Aside from lodging questions...my husband and I are interested in touring wineries all over the region. Whether close to the river or further west near Jordan.
We plan to bike some and wondered if we could just use a map and look up times and do a self guided tour. Would it be better to go with a group for better treatment? I like the idea that if we purchase while touring the group will deliver your purchases back for you versus us lugging them via bike. Since we are renting a car we love taking the less beaten path and discovering the niche areas on our own among countryside roads and lovely scenery....so we also like the idea of doing a day of touring that way. We would love to do a picnic lunch....I am a big slow food/local food gal and want to experience the markets and fruit/veggie stands around the area as well as the gourmet cheese and pastry havens.
I also like the idea of doing an elaborate dinner in the vineyards...I looked into Peller and Hildebrand but their dates for these arent out yet, we will be there June 27 and stay for 3-4 nights. Because this is such a special vacation for us and we are really big into wine and gourmet cuisine, we want to experience the culinary trails of this region.
As far as our wine tastes...I prefer crisp to medium whites and hubby is more of a medium to full bodied red drinker as well as a love for micro-breweries.
I'd love to combine wine touring with visiting twenty valley and Jordan and seeing any antique stores, lunch with a nice waterfront view, etc.
SO do you suggest taking the self guided adventure or booking a group tour? We definitely dont like the supersized tour feel. We like intimacy and feeling in touch with the culture of a region without tons of tourists crowding every entrance or road. :)
We want to feel like we are locals but experience the diversity of such a prestigious food and wine region.
We will be staying at the Grand Victorian as of now which is near Reif along the river so those few wineries around that area we can definitely make an afternoon of and possibly picnic by the river if we pick up some goodies from Kurtz orchard or some farmers markets (not sure if there are any during Mon-Thursday).
THANK YOU for any assistance!!!