By Haley Shapley
Ready to take your wine tasting up a notch? Add an active excursion to your sipping to create a memorable experience that is worthy of toasting. Here are a handful of options, from near to far.
Horse Around in Ohio’s Amish Country
Saddle up for a 45-minute guided trail ride through the stunning countryside of Holmes County with Amish Country Riding Stables, located at Guggisberg Swiss Inn in Millersburg. With a quarter horse below you and miles of farmland surrounding you, you’ll meander along at a relaxed pace in a small group of two to five. On Saturdays in the winter when there’s at least four inches of snow, that horseback ride can become a magical sleigh ride.
When the ride is done, the adventure isn’t over – stop by on-site Doughty Glen Winery for a tasting. Selections include Gewurztraminer, Pink Catawba, Raspberry, Concord, Blush, Pinot Noir, and more. And check out the wine labels – you may even recognize the horse you rode earlier on one of the labels!
Skydive into a Vineyard in Washington State
With Skydive Chelan, you can combine the serene sensation of sipping wine with the heart-pumping, adrenaline-spiking activity of skydiving. Their Tandem Winery Skydive package is the only one of its kind in the country, and for those with a touch of fearlessness, the experience is not to be missed.
It all starts at Tsillan Cellars, overlooking the deep-blue Lake Chelan in north-central Washington. The Tuscan-themed winery sits regally atop a hill, with landscaped gardens, an indoor/outdoor pavilion, and unforgettable views. After sampling, choose a favorite and buy a bottle – this will come in handy later.
As you fall through the sky, you’ll spot Mount Rainer, Mount Baker, and the Columbia River. Once you’ve touched your feet on terra firma, you’ll immediately be welcomed with the wine you chose earlier in the day. Take a good, long sip – you and your daring spirit have earned it.
Cycle Under the Tuscan Sun in Italy
Tuscany’s countryside is known for its stunning landscapes and distinctive food and wine – what better way to explore it all than from atop a bicycle? Getaway Adventures has teamed up with La Dolce Vigna to create a wine-and-bike tour with a week-long itinerary covering Tuscany, home to Chianti Classico and other notable wine regions.
Each day includes 15 to 25 miles of biking, accompanied by generous amounts of food and wine. Wander through a monastery, dip in thermal springs, go on a guided tour in the medieval city, and take a cooking class at your farmhouse – this is the stuff dream vacations are made of. Each tour has a sommelier along for the ride, so you’re guaranteed plenty of time to ask all your wine-related questions while you live la dolce vita.
Sip and Ski in the Chilean Andes
Finding the perfect wine-and-food pairing is unforgettable. But when it comes to pairings, there’s not much that matches wine and skiing. Do just that in the Chilean Andes on the Ski-In/Wine-Out trip from active-travel experts Upscape.
This nine-day adventure is hosted by Derek Mossman, founder of the Movement of Independent Vintners and a former ski instructor. You’ll go snowcat skiing at Ski Arpa, cruise the wide-open slopes of Ski Portillo, and explore the terrain at La Parva, where few international visitors journey. Your powder time will be punctuated by tastings and trips to vineyards for an inside look at winemaking in a country where wine was introduced by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s.
Guggisberg Swiss Inn