World's Top Wine Tours
LongIslandWineCountry.com: Best for Picking Grapes
Today’s experiential traveler wants to participate rather than merely observe. But while working a harvest usually means backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk labor, an increasing number of companies have constructed tours that get you in the vineyard during the prettiest—and most productive—weeks of the growing cycle, and get some juice stains on your hands along the way. In addition to other tours during the summer and fall, LongIslandWineCountry.com (one-day itineraries for two from $259) requisitions the Chilean-owned North Fork winery Laurel Lake for one afternoon every September and leads 150 visitors through the harvest, with optional blending seminars (using juice from a previous vintage).
The Caveat: You’ll literally be picking grapes for only about 20 minutes, not actually working the harvest in the romantic, we’re-all-in-this-together sense. Don’t expect foxhole camaraderie with the winemakers, who are likely to be sleepless and stressed during the most intense time of the year. But if you decide to blend the wine ($45), you will get to take home a bottle.
Bruce Schoenfeld is T+L’s wine and spirits editor.