I live 25 minues from the nearest Sonoma County winery, but rarely venture north by northeast to spend a day wine tasting there, or in Napa, another 15 minutes away. Why? Because at one time, you could just walk in, pay a few bucks for a “souvenier glass” and taste to your palate’s content.
Now, to prevent freeloading like you saw in “Sideways,” you’ll pay for it — dearly — if you’re one of the four million tourists per year that visits Napa County for some winery hopping.
According to an article from the SF Chronicle, “some wineries charge as much as $25 for tastings, offer pricey VIP packages and, in many cases, require appointments and credit card numbers for visits.” Read the story.