I frequently get asked for advice on which wineries to visit. It's a question that's difficult to give a simple answer to, as a lot depends on what you expect to get from the visit.
If you're looking to hit a few tasting rooms and have a picnic then a good place to look is Wine Questers. Jim Preston is building a database of winery tasting rooms all over the state, with details such as whether they are kid and pet friendly. There's even an iPhone app that you can download.
But if you're looking for a more personal visit, where you get to meet the owner, vineyard manager and winemaker (quite often it's the same person) then that usually takes a little more planning. Typically you'll have to make appointments. Also it can be a long drive from one winery to another, and some mapping software doesn't take into account just how bad the roads can be; in a few places they are quite literally dirt tracks that really requite a 4X4. So I thought I'd write up a brief tourist guide to visiting the wineries. Stay tuned for part 1.