Chicago is a city famous for a lot of things. It boasts some of the country's most beloved sports teams. It's full of art, music, and culture. It's the home of large corporations leading the world in technological innovations. It has entertainment, fine dining and enough sights to see that a tourist can make a whole week out of a visit without going to the same place twice. Until recently, however, one thing Chicago wasn't known for is wine.
Alcohol has always had a special relationship with the Windy City – from the turn of the last century, when Chicago speakeasies and saloons were the jumping off point for jazz to take over the world, to the turn of this century, when craft breweries and small wineries began their ascent. It hasn't been until relatively recently, however, that that relationship has been nurtured enough that the city is building a new reputation. Not only is the local food delicious and the local sights awe inspiring – but the local wine has made a name for itself as a force to be reckoned with.
Of course, it's difficult enough to find room for the 19 million people that live and work in and around the city, much less room for acres and acres of land to grow grapes. Sure, there are restaurants and wine bars in the city that offer the best the local vineyards have to offer, but to experience everything, wine connoisseurs have to leave the glass and steel cityscape behind and travel into the nearby countryside, where the hills are covered in arbors bearing the red and white fruit that so many have come to love and respect.
Thanks to the growth and respectability bolstering the industry, the region has become a magnet for wine lovers. Both locals and tourists alike have begun venturing out, creating wine tours that rival those found in Europe and California. There may not be many grapes inside the city, but a simple day trip can take a party past any number of stops featuring any number of vintages.
Tourism is an enormous industry in Chicago, so it's no wonder that there are a slew of options available. Guides can organize a party, set up an itinerary and point out all the interesting facts about the places they go and the things they see. However, the truly adventurous forgo all of that and make plans for themselves.
Formal tours can be fun and informative, but they come with too many restrictions. Each stop is meticulously timed, groups are often a hodgepodge of people that don't know each other, and transportation can by cramped and uncomfortable. Customizing a wine tour for yourself releases those restrictions so the day can evolve on its own.
The most difficult thing about doing it all yourself is figuring out how best to get around. Since the wineries are outside the city, sometimes even in a different state (although still close enough to drive to), transportation can be confusing and expensive. If it's a chore to just get across the city, how is one supposed to get around the countryside without incident?
If you want to take a wine tour in style, hire a car for the trip. It's more comfortable than a bus, more convenient than a rental, and safer and more economical than doing the driving yourself.
A limousine is a stylish and sophisticated option that ensures any wine tour is a smashing success. It takes care of all the small details that make organizing a trip a potential nightmare, and it improves the overall quality so every minute can be spent enjoying the ride.
The most obvious advantage in hiring a car lies in the very objective of a good wine tour – sampling the wares. While a wine tour isn't necessarily an excuse to get drunk and act irresponsible, tasting is a primary activity. With a professional chauffeur at your disposal, accidentally drinking a little too much at one of the stops isn't a problem. There isn't even a need for a designated driver.
Just as important is the ride to and from each winery – or brewery in the case of a craft beer tour. Wine grapes take up a lot of real estate, which means fairly long stretches of nothing but driving in between each stop. With a limo doing the transporting, that part of the day doesn't have to be spent staring out the window so long that beautiful becomes boring. Instead, the group can all stretch out in a spacious passenger compartment built with comfort in mind. Plush seating, plenty of legroom, a fantastic sound system, and climate control ensure waiting is worth it.
Additionally, limousine companies are known for maintaining high standards. Vehicles are ready to travel hundreds of miles if necessary, without a hint of mechanical problems. And if something unexpected does arise – anything is possible, after all – then waiting around for another vehicle doesn't mean standing idly at the side of the road, it means relaxing in the back of a limousine until a new car arrives.
A wine tour is meant to be a special occasion full of good food, good drink and good times. It's fine to jump on a tour bus and hope for the best, but it's better to guarantee the best by picking a few favorites and hiring a driver to get everyone there in style. And at the end of the day, when the festivities are done, the ride home won't be the let down it tends to be.