WINE COUNTRY BASICS
First time to wine country? Don’t worry, a day with one of our wine educators and you’ll be swirling like a pro!
Serious wine collector? Our sommelier guides have access to exclusive wineries and will be happy to show you some of our favorite boutique producers to wow your palate.
No matter what type of experience you are looking forward to, our team of wine educators can help plan your entire day from start to finish.
GROUP TOUR INFORMATION
It’s just two of us and we don’t know much about wine, can we join a larger group?
You bet, that’s exactly what our group tours are for! It’s a great value for an individual or couple to explore wine country along with other first time visitors. Our friendly wine educators are with you throughout the day teach you the basics of wine and more!
What kind of vehicle will I be in?
We make use of comfortable, forward facing passenger vans with individual seats for each guest.
How many people on a group wine tour?
We keep our groups small, typically fewer than 8 guests but never more than 12.
How many wineries do we visit?
Our group tours visit at least 4 different wineries (usually just 3 from SF) and show you a variety of experience from large brand names to small family wineries.
Do you include lunch?
We don’t include lunch because we find most of our clients prefer to purchase their own unforgettable meal from one of the amazing local café’s or grab a gourmet deli sandwich to enjoy in the vineyards. With so many dietary restrictions, there’s just no way a sandwich platter or pre-made lunch will compare to the top notch eateries in Sonoma or Napa. Instead we charge less for our tours and let you purchase your own perfect lunch—most of the time this is around $10.
Can I bring the whole family?
Unfortunately our group wine tours are restricted to adults only. Our private tours are better suited to accommodate your entire family in the comfort of your own vehicle, and moving on your own timetable. Private wine tours can also include more kid-friendly wineries or other attractions than we would typically visit on a group wine tasting tour.
NAVIGATING TASTING ROOMS
How much are wine tasting fees?
That’s a great question! Winery tasting fees vary greatly by region, however on our group tours all of the wineries we visit will apply your tasting fees (typically $5-$15) to wine purchased.
Our favorite wineries are in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valley, where the tasting fees are often just $10 or $15 for our clients. These are the regions surrounding Healdsburg you’ll get to visit on our Northern Sonoma group tours.
Sonoma Valley gets a little bit more expensive, with tastings in the $15-$25 range, and these don’t always apply these towards your wine purchase especially if you have a larger group.
Napa Valley has some very expensive wine tastings, with $25-$40 becoming quite common, and some places charging $65 or more per person.
Can we share wine tastings?
Most wineries are completely fine with people sharing tastings, it’s a great way to sample wine responsibly without breaking the bank!
Do I tip the winery host?
Not unless you want to! Gratuities are always appreciated but never anticipated. Most of the time your host earns a commission, so if you enjoyed the presentation but aren’t taking any wine with you a gratuity is a great way to show your appreciation. If you are purchasing wine or sign up for the wine club they are probably getting a small bonus already.
How can I get wine home?
It depends on where you live! All wineries can ship wine, and while not all states allow for direct shipment you can always check wine in on the plane as luggage. Most wineries have specially designed boxes know as “wine shippers” for a nominal fee that you can pack your new goodies in and check on the plane.
Don’t forget, in California it’s okay to take wine to dinner and for a nominal corkage enjoy your wine purchases during your stay!
PRIVATE WINE TASTING TOURS
Is gratuity included in your pricing?
Our guides put a lot of energy into taking great care of you and insuring you have the perfect wine tasting tour. Rather than add 18% surcharge to the transportation, we feel that you should tip based on the level of service you received. So don’t let the industry standard limit you if you are having an amazing wine country adventure!
Do you add tax and fuel charges?
We don’t like surprises, and our pricing is based on round numbers to keep things predictable. Terrific Tours is based in Sonoma County so pick up locations outside of our home may incur a flat $25-$50 fuel charge--but we'll tell you this when booking!
If you are paying with a credit card or booking online, there is also a very nominal processing fee added to your total.
Cash payments have no additional fees added, just use the code CASHPAYMENT when booking online--your credit card will be required to secure the day, but won’t be charged.
What does a Terrific Tours wine educator actually do?
Beyond navigating the winding roads to the wineries in safety, our guides have all spent years navigating the wine business! Our wine educators will discuss the history of the region and can teach your group anything they want to know about the wine world, whether it’s about planting or harvesting grapes, wine making, wine tasting, wine storage, or the ever changing wine marketplace, our rock-star wine guides will be able to answer all your questions! We will also escort you into the wineries to ensure you get to the right place at the right time, and meet all the right people.
That being said, we’re also experts with iPhones so if you want to just crank the tunes while you’re cruising around Napa or Sonoma wine country not a problem--we’re happy to make your wine tour care-free and awesome in any and every way!