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A Guide on What to Wear to a Winery

18 Feb 2022

A Guide on What to Wear to a Winery

By James Shackell

Technically there is no ‘winery’ dress code. But there are a few good rules to keep in mind.

When you’re planning what to wear to a winery, do your research ahead of time. Will your event be inside or outside? Is it a summer afternoon or will you be making a mad dash from the car in the rain? What’s everyone else wearing? Finally, and this bit is sometimes hard to nail down, what’s the vibe of the vineyard? See, not all wineries are created equal. Some are more laid-back and have farm dogs running around. Others are all white tablecloths and spitting into silver buckets. Figuring out what type you’re attending is half the battle.

Here's our robust, well-rounded guide to winery attire.  

Winery Ambience

The winery ambience – especially in the fancy, more up-market wineries – is its own beast. These venues are trying to strike a very particular note. The wine is paired with the food, and the food is paired with good company, good conversation and very fancy clothes. It’s all about delivering a premium experience for the guests (that’s you). So if in doubt, err on the side of formal. Wear a nice suit, iron your shirt, and buff up your best dress shoes. Being the most underdressed person at a wine tasting is not a fun experience.

Premium Wine Tastings

If you’re invited to a serious wine tasting, the expectation is formalwear (or at the very least, semi formal). That usually means a suit, tie and dress shoes. Try to avoid anything too corporate though. Instead of your weekday black suit, pick something in dusty pink, khaki, brown or navy. When it comes to footwear, some CAPRI tan lace-ups or BENNET brown brogues are a classic choice, but don’t neglect loafers, especially in spring and summer. A pair of ALBERTO tassel loafers or BENITO penny loafers will look great with slim suit pants (neatly hemmed), a linen shirt and open jacket.

Gordon Black Oxford Shoes

Winery Tours

If you’ve booked a winery tour, that usually means hiking through vineyards (pro tip: do this before your tasting session). For this, you need footwear that’s slightly more robust. We recommend Chelsea boots for this one. They’re formal enough to wear with a suit, but tough enough to survive a trek through the vines. They’re also incredibly comfy, which is an underrated virtue when you’re 5km from the nearest chair. Simply grab a pair of DEXTER or LUCCA Chelsea boots and pair them with a navy suit two-piece suit. Don’t forget to hem your pants for a neat, natural break: the fabric should just rest on the boots’ upper.

Summer Sessions

Winery attire tends to relax in summer, if for no other reason than it’s too hot for formal wear. Tables and chairs spill outside, which is a lovely way to spend a summer’s afternoon. Most wineries will favour a semi formal dress code in the warmer months, which means you’re free to experiment with suiting separates. Try a pair of tan chinos, button-up shirt and a linen blazer, then finish the look with some suede HARLEY Chelsea boots, or maybe a pair of brown Chukkas. Loafers are also a classic look here. Just remember to pair them with some invisible socks and a high hem.

What To Wear to a Brewery

A quick note on breweries. These tend to be way more relaxed than your average winery, so don’t worry too much about dress code. If anything, the risk is dressing too formal (showing up to a brewery tasting with your mates in a three-piece suit will take a long time to live down). A good pair of indigo, slim-fit jeans is your staple here, usually paired with Chelsea boots, Chukka boots, or even military boots. Something like the SAMUEL military boot, with its aged leather and brogue stitching, is a great way to elevate your standard casual outfit. Just match it with cuffed jeans, a neutral crew neck tee, and a flannel shirt.

Wine Stains

If you spill wine on your full leather dress shoes, don’t panic. This is why we prep our shoes with water repellent spray, and keep them well-oiled and conditioned. Regular leather will repel most wine stains, even pinot and cabernet. Still, it’s probably worth giving your shoes a quick wipe, followed a more thorough clean when you get home.

The real issue is suede. If at all possible, do not spill red wine on suede shoes. Still, if the worst does happen, it’s not a total disaster. Immediately blot as much as you can with a napkin, then gently rub the stain with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol, followed by soapy water. Rinse well and allow to dry, then finish with a dedicated suede conditioner. This process may dry out your suede, but it’s better than a big blob of Bordeaux.

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