Tag Archives: wine tasting

Mackinac Island Weekend

Visit Mackinac Island this September for a wonderful getaway with historic tours and some interesting area festivals the weekend of September 5th and 6th.

September 5th the area is host to the 7th Annual Antique Tractors Mackinac Bridge Crossing Parade.  The Mackinac Bridge is a sight to see anytime, but imagine it with a parade of antique tractors chugging across from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace.  The tractors can be viewed in Mackinaw City on Thursday, then the big parade as they cross the bridge on Friday, and will be on display in St. Ignace following the parade.

Antique Tractors Mackinac Bridge Crossing ParadeThe weekend is also the 18th Annual Hopps of Fun.  Stay in Mackinaw City for the evenings of the 5th and 6th for extensive sampling of more than 50 award winning Michigan micro-brews, and more than 40 wines from Michigan’s four internationally recognized wine regions.  The event is only $5 to enter and your admission buys a commemorative wine or beer tasting glass, and two samples.  Additional samples can be purchased with the $1 tokens.  The tasting tent opens at 5pm each evening, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the areas sightseeing during the day.

Hop on board a Hydro-jet Ferry for a fun-filled ride with views of all the sights around Lake Michigan.

Sample the Harvest in Apple Hill

As the summer draws to a close we have much for which to be thankful.  Cooler temperatures, warm memories of summer fun, and the bountiful harvest of summer crops make this a special time of the year.

If you’re planning to spend some time enjoying Lake Tahoe before winter is upon us, there is a fantastic tour on Wednesdays that will take you into the Apple Hill region of the Sierra Nevada foothills for a day of visiting some of California’s productive farms and vineyards.

The El Dorado County Wine & Harvest Tour in Apple Hill travels through the astounding beauty of the foothills to visit the Historic Boeger Winery built on the site of an 1850’s homestead. You’ll visit the original home and distillery still in use and sample award winning estate bottled wines.

The tour includes stops at Jodar Vineyards and Winery, and Boa Vista Orchards.  At Boa Vista you’ll enjoy the cider making facility and visit the bakery where you can find delicate pastries and fresh fruit pies, and shop the farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables, jams, cider, honey, and gourmet olives among numerous other offerings.

The tour includes samples at three wineries and a catered gourmet picnic in the foothills, with a wide range of treats that can easily accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free diets.  Create custom sandwiches and salads to enjoy in the fresh air.


Texas Hill Country Winery Tour

When you think about Texas, you probably don’t immediately think of wine.  And when you think of wine, you aren’t likely to think Texas.  Well, you have another think coming.  Texas actually ranks fourth in wine producing states, behind California, New York, and Washington.

The history of wine production in Texas goes back at least to the 1600’s when Spanish Missionaries are recorded to have produced wine for sacramental use.  However, of the dozens of grape varieties grown in the region today, fifteen are native to the state, more than any other region on earth, so its likely wines were produced there before recorded history.

The Texas Hill Country, outside of San Antonio is home to a 9,000-acre wine region, where the climate produces wines that have been compared to Portuguese vintages, and vines were planted and cultivated hundreds of years before grape propagation began in California.

San Antonio Wine TourFor a fun, scenic and educational day-trip from San Antonio, grab some friends and take a wine tour.  A luxurious mini-bus for transportation ensures that you have a designated driver, so you can feel free to sample the wines at the wineries you visit.

San Antonio Wine Tour stops include:

Becker Vineyards – Tour the winery and cellar set in a 19th Century stone barn reproduction that is surrounded by fragrant lavender fields.  Sample hand-crafted, award-winning wines.

Grape Creek Vineyards – Offers a taste of Tuscany in Texas.  Sample premium quality wine in the romantic Italian Villa tasting room, visit their unique cellar at the state-of-the-art wine production complex..

Torre di Pietra Winery – It’s all Texas style here, from the award-winning Texas grapes, to the live Texas music on the Piazza.  With your wine you are encouraged to sample their assortment of cheeses, crackers and wine-infused chocolates

Fredricksburg Texas – This quaint German built town will provide a lunch stop on your tour.  You’ll find authentic German, Persian, Spanish and Mexican restaurants.  Explore the neighborhoods shops and culture before meeting up with your wine tour group .

The natural beauty of the vineyards in Hill Country, the rich cultures of Fredricksburg, the scent of lavender, it will all come back to you each time you uncork a bottle of your favorite Texas Hill Country wine.

Treat Yourself to a Parents-Only Weekend in Williamsburg

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, and often challenging, roles that a person can take on. As you dedicate so much of yourself to your children, every now and then you and your partner deserve some alone time! Upcoming weekend events in Williamsburg have everything that you and your spouse need to make the most of a weekend away from the kids! This sample itinerary for a kid’s free weekend during October 4th-6th gives you and your partner some well-deserved down time!

The most important part of any weekend getaway is reserving the perfect hotel for your stay, and Williamsburg presents visitors with several options! For couples wanting to make the most of their time alone, there is no better hotel than the Hampton Inn and Suites, located only one mile away from Colonial Williamsburg! Luxurious rooms and choice accommodations offered at the Hampton Inn will leave you feeling pampered and well-rested once the weekend is over. If you want to feel “at home” during your stay, consider a bed and breakfast! Cedars of Williamsburg B&B, and Brick House Inn are both quaint lodging options in the area that will give you the leisure of a weekend away while keeping you comfortable in warm, pleasant surroundings. Once you’ve reserved your room, you’ll need to get out and enjoy the city! Consider the following “parent-friendly” activities to fully enjoy your time spent together!

Merchants Square—85th Birthday Bash!
After checking into your room, head on out to Merchant’s Square, Friday October 4th, to celebrate their 85th birthday! From 7 to 9 pm, enjoy free music from the Right On Band, as you dance the night away to 70’s funk and disco! Hot dogs, burgers, brats, and shrimp will all be available to purchase in the square’s food tent during the festivities. Admission to the event is free and the celebration starts at 6 pm.

Yorktown Wine Festival
Spend Saturday, October 5th sampling premiere wines and enjoying the sounds of Bobby “Black Hat” Walters at the Yorktown Wine Festival! From noon until 6 pm, you will have the opportunity to taste wines from some of Virginia’s finest wineries, including Belle Mount Vineyards, Williamsburg Winery, and Good Luck Cellars. After a day of wine-tasting, don’t miss the festival’s dinner event! Enjoy a romantic 4-course dinner, accompanied by harmonious air provided by the Williamsburg String Trio.

Williamsburg Hot Air Balloon Rides
Spend the last day of your parents-only weekend cruising along delicate and slow-moving clouds in the Williamsburg sky. A hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to unwind with your partner as you cherish your last day free of the kids. Relax as you soar effortlessly high above the countryside, and allow yourself to ease into the gentle breeze before your departure back to Virginia soil. After your ride, you will be ready to return home, rested and at ease.

For more information about activities in Williamsburg, where to stay, and things to do, please visit http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/WilliamsburgVA/

Explore the San Diego Wine Country this Spring!

San Diego is a great destination spot in the spring, especially if you are a wine aficionado looking for a leisurely way to pass the afternoon. Through May 13, you can take a trip on the Coaster Wine Train for five hours of wine tasting at premier urban wineries, a gourmet lunch with wine tasting from around the world and beautiful coastal scenery. Also available is the La Jolla Romantic Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting Tour. This three hour tour provides you and your loved one with award-winning wine tastings and gourmet food pairings of Mediterranean, Italian, Californian and Japanese cuisine. This tour takes place from now through May 15. If you are looking to treat Mom, make sure to visit the South Coast Winery in Temecula for their fabulous Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch on May 8 at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant. You and your family can also make San Diego area lodging reservations in the  as well.

While you are in San Diego, you won’t want to miss visiting the World Famous San Diego Zoo. The zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals of over 800 species from all over the world and hosts a variety of special events and experiences at the park throughout the season. During your visit, you can take advantage of educational programs and hands-on experiences. Travel from the “Urban Jungle” to the “Lost Forest” to see thousands of animals up close in beautiful, natural habitats when you visit the San Diego Zoo.

If you are interested in learning more about the historical aspects of San Diego, book the San Diego City Tour, which will take you on an in-depth, narrated tour of city. See the beautiful harbor views from Embarcadero, the Exposition Museum buildings in Balboa Park and even the historic landmark Hotel Del Coronado on this four hour trip. Whether this is your first time to San Diego or one of many visits, you are sure to see something you and your family will remember for years to come.

Wine Lovers Gather in Branson for the Celebration of Tastes

If you’ve been looking for a special way to spice up your winter, you won’t want to miss Branson’s Celebration of Tastes. This event will be taking place February 4th and 5th at Big Cedar Lodge and features the delectable wines of the Estancia Winery. Wine and food lovers won’t want to miss their chance to sample the many wines presented and get a taste of the hors d’oeuvers that have been prepared to bring out the subtle flavors of each wine. The best part is, all the proceeds from this event go to charity, so you’re getting a taste of fine wines and helping out the less fortunate.

If you enjoy new experiences like trying out wines you’ve never tasted before, you’re going to love flying a helicopter for the first time. The “I Pilot” Helicopter Adventure will give you the unique and thrilling chance to try your hand at piloting a helicopter. In addition to the excitement of being a pilot, you will also get to see incredible views of Branson. Stunning panoramic views of Table Rock Lake, the Ozark Mountains, and Silver Dollar City theme park make this great for those who love non-traditional sightseeing methods!

Finish off your Branson experience by exploring the unknown with a trip into the Cosmic Cavern. Unbelievable rock formations and two bottomless lakes make this one of the most popular places to visit in Branson. In one of the lakes, you will get to see trout that have lost their color and gone blind because they have never been exposed to natural sunlight. The cavern is perfect for a winter visit because the cave stays a comfortable 64 degrees year-round.