A tour guide leads visitors through the vineyard rows while discussing attributes of the grapes and the harvest season. During harvest season, visitors are often invited to sample a handful of grapes fresh from the vine. The guide will direct visitors through the wine production area and educate tourists on the process of producing wine. Samples of wines are offered for free and most wineries do not charge for a tour. Wineries offer tours in order to boost wine sales. Some wineries allow visitors to view the catacombs where the wine is aged. In order to increase sales, most wineries make an effort to accommodate persons 21 years of age or older with mobility devices. The following three wineries are accessible from car to tasting bar for persons with mobility impairments.
- Abingdon Vineyard and Winery: Abingdon, Virginia boasts the Abingdon Vineyard and Winery located at 20530 Alvarado Road. The accessible scenic property of the winery overlooks a small creek and the South Holston River. Abingdon is a tourist destination in the peaceful Appalachian 259d Mountains. The area is known for hiking trails, blue grass music and crafts. Misty River is a dry, white table wine aged only in stainless steel tanks made from Chardonel grapes. Traminette is a popular spicy semi-sweet wine. The winery named one wine, Appalachian Sunset, which is a semi-sweet blush created from an American variety of grapes. Browse the web for information concerning tour schedules.
- Antler Hill Village and Winery: Antler Hill Village and Winery is located at the exquisite 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. The estate welcomes guests with mobility requirements. A guide will lead guests on a tour of the original dairy barn converted into a winery. Guests enjoy complimentary wine tastings as a host briefly explains the grapes and process of each wine. Cheese and local truffles are served with the wine tasting. Bring your sunscreen, as there is a lot to see and do on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore Estates. Check online for reservation information.
- Napa Valley Wine Train: The home of the Napa Valley Wine Train is 1275 McKinstry Street, Napa, California. The Napa Valley Wine Train is accessible with only a few hundred feet from the parking spaces labeled handicap to the front desk. A manual lift is available for persons unable to maneuver steps boarding the train. The train provides a transfer chair for the convenience of its passengers. Guests in wheelchairs may require restroom assistance from someone in his/her party. A gourmet meal is served on the wine train. Guests with dietary restrictions should call ahead. Guests step back in time to yesteryear aboard the Castle Winery Tour, which is a one and a half hour trip. Reservation information is available online.
*Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Creative Commons.