Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Harvest Hosts: Something New for RV Vineyard Travelers

Courtesy of the Norton Travelers:

Disclaimer: The writer is a member, but not associated with the Harvest Hosts organizers.

Do you travel by RV (recreational vehicle) and enjoy visiting vineyards? This is the case for us. There have been long trips made bearable with vineyard tour breaks along the way. And there have been trips made specifically to visit vineyards in only one geographical area or state. Over the years we have stayed overnight at vineyards with the permission of the owners. This has been usually because of vineyard events, literally getting lost, or waiting for next day winery opening hours. Now there is a new RV vineyard travel venue provided by Harvest Hosts.

Already in Harvest Hosts? first year of operation, there are over 160 vineyards (with new additions each month) belonging to a winery organization that allows you to stay overnight with them at no cost. Sure, there are wineries sporting full service fee camping with water and electricity in Arkansas, Idaho, Virginia, etc., but with a Harvest Hosts annual membership you get a downloadable listing of select vineyards that will let you stay without hookups FREE. Since most RVs are self-contained units, the possibilities of wine tour travel is unlimited from Florida-to-Maine-to-Washington State-to-California and almost every state in between.

FREE does not come without some very easy to live with restrictions and a simple Harvest Hosts membership Code of Conduct which includes: courtesy; calling ahead for confirmation space; arriving during business hours; checking if the host allows pets; staying no longer than 24 hours; take all trash with you; etc. Realize that these selected vineyard sites are not campgrounds, but are hosts that invite you to stay onsite and visit their winery. Required calling ahead secures if an overnight site is available. Most vineyards are limited to 1-to-4 vehicle and not available during special events as reunions, weddings, business receptions, or when they may be seasonally closed.

Benefits have included sitting quietly at a closed vineyard by yourself viewing sunsets with wine in hand, meeting some truly interesting vintners after winery hours, sharing with others lovely wines and travel ideas, or eating evening gourmet meals at the vineyard?s restaurant and retiring comfortably to your nearby RV. If you can live without RV hookups, a few common sense rules, and enjoy visiting vineyards, let me encourage you to look into Harvest Hosts (http://www.harvesthosts.com/).

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