Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6 Campy Wine Trips for Summer

June is National Camping Month: Time to load up the camper/RV/motorhome and head out for some R & R & W (Rest, Relaxation and Wine.) But now your stay can be up close and personal at designated wineries and breweries across the country.

A growing number of agritourism businesses now offer RVer’s a chance to camp at their sites for up to 24 hours at no charge.

In return, it is hoped that RV travelers will visit the wineries, breweries, farms, orchards, and ranches to experience and enjoy what their hosts have to offer. 

Many wineries offer free tours of their facilities and a wine tasting to their RV visitors.  Animal ranches and farms may offer a chance to see the animals up close and purchase food and products made directly on the farm.  There is no obligation for an RV visitor to purchase anything while staying there, although buying a bottle of local wine to enjoy while watching the moon rise over the vineyard is a nice token of appreciation to your hosts.

If you prefer an RV Park with hookups and amenities, there are several located near wineries that charge a daily rate for parking, and some have extra wine-related perks.

Here are six places to check out for a wine country getaway in your motorhome this summer:

1) Harvest Hosts      
(Free Camping/Annual Membership Charge)
Started in 2010 by Don and Kim Greene, Harvest Hosts is the first membership program for wine-loving RVers. For a $40 membership fee per year, campers will receive unlimited access to the member website which provides maps, host locator, travel itinerary ideas, latest updates and host directory. The directory is a downloadable list of agritourism sites that allow self-contained RVs to park and stay. (Self-contained means that your camper has a toilet and built-in holding tanks for waste water.) Host sites are not normal campgrounds and do not provide water, electric, restrooms, trash or sewer facilities, but most will provide you with memories you wouldn’t get at a regular campsite. 

2) Wine Country RV Park
(Daily Rates for Parking)

Located in the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington State’s Wine Country, Wine Country RV Park actually provides the parking site for your RV, with amenities, all within walking distance of 13 tasting rooms, and another 23 wineries are within easy driving distance. The park can accommodate different kinds of rigs and 125 sites are equipped with full hookups, a picnic table and WiFi. Daily rates run from $34 to $56 depending on the size of your rig. Discounts are available for Good Sam, Escapees RV Club and AAA. Located in the town of Prosser, there are also two local breweries and a walking/bike trail to burn off some of those calories.

3) Wine Country RV Park Sonoma
(Daily Rates for Parking)

Sonoma is home to over 400 wineries, and Wine Country RV Park Sonoma will put you in close proximity to many of them. Located in Santa Rosa, California, the Russian River Valley is home to 25 outstanding wineries.  With over 150 full-hookup sites, the 5.5 acre park is located in the heart of Sonoma's Wine Country. All sites include water, sewer, electric, cable and WiFi for $49 per day. Weekly and monthly rates are available along with discounts for Good Sam, AAA, and seniors.

4) Vineyard RV Park
(Daily Rates for Parking)
This campground is in Vascaville, California and located near Napa Valley; home to over 400 wineries. Amenities include full hookups, cable, WiFi, a catch and release pond, laundry facilities and a pool. Daily rates range from $52 to $55 with Good Sam, AAA and active military discounts available. Weekly and monthly rates are also available. No RV? No Problem! You can rent an RV here to stay in.

5) The Vineyards Campground and Cabins on Grapevine Lake
 (Daily Rates for Parking)          
Located in Grapevine, Texas, this 52-acre award-winning RV Park is close to five local wineries; all located on the Grapevine Wine Trail.
The park has over 90 full hookup RV sites with WiFi, located on or near the lake, with or without trees. There is a nature trail, and fishing and paddling are allowed on the lake. Rates are from $48 to $68 a day depending on whether you have a pull through or a back-in site. Discounts include Good Sam and TACO (Texas Campgrounds.)

6) Texas Wine Country Jellystone Park
(Daily Rates for Parking)
Located outside of Fredericksburg, Texas, this RV Park is on Highway 290 in the heart of Texas Wine Country and close to 12 wineries. Another 30 wineries are scattered around the area. This is definitely a park for families with kids. Amenities include full hookup sites, WiFi and cable, plus a pool, hot tub and amphitheatre. Twenty-four RV sites are located in the park with daily rates ranging from $58 to $70 depending on where you've parked.

If you’re an RV owner and a wine lover, then it’s time to head out to a vino-centric RV destination and enjoy camping and wine with like-minded oenophiles around the country.

~ Joy