The Winery Style Guide: What To Wear On A California Wine Tour

Published on:
September 29, 2021

Travelers in southern California often include a trip to wine country in their plans. Going on a winery tour is an opportunity to indulge and have a wonderful experience. Of course, if you’re going to visit wineries, it’s essential (and polite) to dress appropriately for the occasion. Doing so shows respect for the occasion and the work put into creating the wines you’re about to taste. So what should you wear on a California wine tour?

What’s the Winery Like?

One of the first things to consider when selecting your attire is what the winery or wineries you’ll be visiting are like. Are they kid- and dog-friendly venues with a casual air? Are they more formal? Will it be an indoor experience or an outdoor tasting? Will you be expected to sit or stand during the tasting? What are the walkways like there? The answers to such questions can help guide you as you select appropriate attire for your tour, especially when it comes to your shoes.

Keep It Comfortable

You’re going to spend the day either walking or sitting. Hence, it’s essential to keep that in mind when choosing your clothes and shoes for your California wine tour. Classy, yet comfortable is the key.

For example, a wine tour probably isn’t the occasion to wear your brand new stiletto heels. Women are better off wearing a pair of classy sandals (not flip flops), comfortable yet stylish flats, or wedges. Men should stick with closed-toed shoes, such as a nice pair of loafers. Whatever style you choose to wear, make sure that the shoes fit well, are adequately broken in, and have enough support to keep your feet comfortable. Keep in mind the surfaces you’ll be walking on during your tour, and appropriately plan your footwear choices.

The clothing you choose to wear should also be comfortable. Avoid clothing that is too tight, too loose, or will need constant adjusting. Your southern California wine tour should be a luxurious, fun, relaxing experience. Wearing attire you’re always fussing with is an excellent way to take the relaxation out of it.

Watch the Weather

While southern California enjoys relatively moderate and consistent temperatures, it’s still important to consider the weather when planning what you’ll wear. Layers are a must for wine country tours, as they allow your outfit to accommodate various weather and circumstances. Look at the weather forecast, so you have an idea of what to expect on your wine tour. Sun, wind, precipitation, and temperatures will impact what outfit will be best for the occasion. Additionally, indoor tasting venues may feature barrel rooms or caves. These are often chilly environments, sitting at a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool temperatures help preserve the wine’s quality but can leave you shivering if you aren’t adequately prepared. Bringing a classy light jacket can help you stay warm indoors but can easily be removed for warmer outdoor tasting venues if necessary.


As you travel to various wineries on your wine tour shuttle, you may find yourself inclined to adjust the formality of your outfit. How you accessorize your attire can significantly impact how formal or casual it appears to be. You may find it helpful to have an extra pair of shoes, a scarf or two, or a couple of jewelry sets handy to make adjustments as you see fit. That said, try to travel light and keep your accessories tasteful. It’s normal to buy bottles of your favorite wines during tasting tours. You’ll need to be able to carry them along with any other accessories you’re toting. If you carry a purse or satchel, opt for one with comfortable straps since that will leave your hands free and reduce the chances of your personal items accidentally being left behind.

Choosing Your Colors

When choosing your outfit, think carefully about the colors you decide to wear. It’s normal to spit mouthfuls of wine out after tasting it to delay getting tipsy or even a little drunk. The hope is that the whole mouthful makes it into a designated container, but spills and splashes do happen. There’s also a chance that your neighbor might accidentally bump you or spill their wine on you. Due to these factors, wearing white or light colors can be risky. Darker colors can hide accidental spills far easier than lighter options. Unless you plan to stick to just white wines, you may be better off wearing dark colors.

Finishing Touches

People tend to be concerned about how they smell when they go out, especially for fancier occasions. You may be tempted to put on cologne, perfume, or a nice-smelling lotion, but it’s better not to. It’s generally considered rude to wear something with a strong scent to a wine tasting since scents can significantly impact tastes. A strongly scented lotion, perfume, or cologne may impair your ability to enjoy the subtleties of the wines you’re tasting.

For makeup, avoid wearing bold lipsticks and opt for chapstick instead. Lipstick tends to leave residue and marks on wine glasses, which can be tough to clean. Also, it will be a hassle to retouch your lipstick constantly throughout the wine tour.

When choosing a hairstyle, keep it low-maintenance as well. There are many ways to style your hair that look nice and keep you from having to manage it all day long. Buns or nicely styled ponytails can be an excellent way to keep long hair out of your face throughout the tour.

Some Don’ts

Finally, there are some general don’ts you should be aware of before your southern California wine tours. Don’t choose to wear clothing that is too tight, uncomfortable, casual, or high maintenance. Specifically, avoid flip flops, sweats, workout clothes, and t-shirts. If you’re visiting more casual wineries, dark wash jeans that are well-kept are appropriate, especially when paired with a button-up shirt. It is best to leave distressed jeans with rips or bleach stains at home.

Going on a southern California wine tour can be a fun, exciting adventure. Dressing appropriately for the occasion is part of having the best experience possible on your wine tour. Comfort and class are the key elements that should govern all your wardrobe decisions. Whenever possible, check out the list of wineries you’ll be visiting on your tour so you can make sure you are appropriately prepared for each stop along the way.

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