The appeal of a visit to wine countrywhich these days can involve not only stopping at tasting rooms, but also having dinner at top restaurants and having a grapeseed body polish at a spahas never been higher. In California alone, wine tourism revenues increased by 50 percent from 2002 to 2005, according to the Wine Institute.
As with all vacations, a little planning is necessary to get the most out of your wine-country trip, whether it's to Napa Valley or the northern Rhône. You don't want to arrive only to discover that the cellar doors are locked. Here are a few tips:
Make reservations in this order: top restaurants, hotel, spa treatments, private winery visits. The hardest reservations to get are often for famous restaurants, such as Napa Valley's French Laundry, some of which are booked months in advance for weekend nights.