What do you get when you combine wine lovers with local wine and food pairings over the course of a month-long weekends-only March event at nine wineries?

You get the annual Vino in the Valley passport program by the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.

Passports are $35 each and entitle passport holders to tasting-sized food and wine pairings at all nine wineries on the weekends in March. Read a complete event description with details here and order passports online here, or pick them up in person (cash or check only) at one of the trail’s nine member wineries.

Only 1,800 passports are sold every year for this event, and they often sell out before the event’s first weekend arrives. There are about 500 left for sale right now. So get yours soon!

Since some wine lovers might be a little overwhelmed with how to get started planning their winery visits, here is some advice:

Tip #1: Start by determining which wineries you will visit on which weekends based on your favorite food and wine pairings. Read the list here.

Pinnacle Ridge (10)Tip # 2: Don’t try to get around to all nine wineries in one day, or even one weekend! Space your visits out over the course of two or more weekends, visiting no more than three wineries in a day. Remember that those little tastes add up! So plan your route ahead of time, plan to stop at a local restaurant for something to eat, and use a designated driver to be safe.

Tip #3: Consider doing your visits on a Sunday instead of a Saturday since Saturdays are generally busier. The wineries will be full so don’t be in a rush to taste and leave. Take your time and be patient. Why not visit with your fellow wine lovers and make a few new friends?

Tip #4: Plan to purchase the wines you like best to take home with you. All of the wineries sell wine by the bottle and case. Now would be a good time to start that wine cellar you’ve always wanted, or to replenish your wine rack!

Tip # 5: Pick up your passport holder gift at the winery designated by the number on the top of your passport. This year’s gift is a custom wine trail event t-shirt and logoed wine glass.

And be sure to review the Group Guidelines and Passport Program Rules before you head out too. Cheers!