How to Enjoy a Wine Country Vacation

Wine industry insiders spill on tips for your next boozy vacation

Nitsa Knoll and Todd Knoll, Jordan Winery

With a hospitality program that sets the standard even among Sonoma’s famous destination wineries, Jordan Winery in the Alexander Valley sees thousands of visitors every year. And chef Todd Knoll has some tough love tips for those who are tempted to over indulge.

"Visit just one to two wineries maximum before lunch. Have a light lunch... and then visit one to two wineries in the afternoon," he recommends. Though picnicking is always a favorite mid-day option, food and wine pairing programs like the one he runs at Jordan are sometimes the only way for visitors to get a formal "dine among the vines" experience, that’s typically much less rushed than a tasting room.

"Drink lots of water between each tasting," Knoll reminds us. And don’t rush from your last tasting of the day to a dinner reservation. "Relax and recuperate before having that amazing dinner at Scopa or Cyrus," he says. After all, if you’re going to spend $200 per person on dinner, you don’t want to fall asleep halfway through.

As far as enjoying wine country bounty back home — well, don’t limit yourself to wine. Hospitality director Nitsa Knoll has all sorts of at-home spa treats and tricks that use California EVOO as the main ingredient.

"Dab a Q-tip in EVOO and use it to remove eye makeup with a natural product while softening your skin," she suggests. 

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