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Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

Tucson
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Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

I just checked the price for Saturday, and it seems a little steep at $124 for two people - and it doesn't include tasting tickets or lunch.

How hard is it get around by ourselves? Is it easy to grab a cab back to the hotel at the end of the day? Are any of the wineries within a reasonable walking distance? Is it possible to take our bikes, then grab a cab back to the hotel? We're staying the night at Hampton Inn. Thanks for any advice.

San Diego
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1. Re: Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

I don't know which wine tour you mean.

There's the

http://www.gogrape.com/

which offers a wine shuttle,some prices include tasting.

The reason people use a shuttle or a tour is if BOTH people want to taste as driving or riding a bike after drinking wine is NOT a good idea!

Tucson
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2. Re: Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

Well, obviously. I guess it depends on how much wine one is going to drink. Is it hard and/or expensive to catch a cab around town?

Temecula, CA
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3. Re: Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

Hi desertbeachgrrl - from where you are staying (Hampton Inn) to the wineries - is about a 5-6 mile trip down a very busy 4 lane road, and that's just getting to Thornton Winery - the first winery in the area. Most of the other wineries are quite a distance from the Hampton Inn. Once you reach the wine country, the road immediately narrows down to a 2 lane highway - average speed ranges from 55 (posted) to 65-70 (locals are a little heavy on the peddle around here), and its a bit hilly in some areas and I don't recall there being specific bike lanes throughout the whole wine country area. Personally I wouldn't try it on a bike, especially since many of the drivers in vehicles have been drinking as well as yourself. It'll just take a diverson of a second or two of either your attention or another driver's attention, and you could have a very bad ending to your weekend. We do have cabs - and no - the wineries are pretty spread out with the exception of Ponte and South Coast who's doors are very close to each other. At $124 for the wine tasting tour, you might consider a rental car (there's several in the area of your hotel) if you don't have a car. You can pick one of those up at far less than $124 a day. Using your bikes, you're going to miss most of the wineries because they are very spread out. Go here: http://www.temeculawines.org/ to explore other winetasting tour companies. Use the 'Partners and Links" connection. Perhaps there's another tour company that offers a better deal for you.

Tucson
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4. Re: Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

Thanks for the great advice, Meadowlark.

Normally, it would be a pretty nice bike ride for us but the traffic was heavy, especially as it was Saturday when we went. We ended up visiting three vineyards but I took it easy on the tastings since I was driving. We bought what we liked for drinking later.

I can't imagine spending a whole day on a tour - what a zoo. It was interesting to see not just the differences in wine but the different ways they handled the crush of people. Thumbs up to South Coast; thumbs down to Miramonte (we walked out, it was so disorganized). Thornton wasn't much better - lots of unhappy folks at that place.

johnkelliher
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5. Re: Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

Keep in mind that visiting wine country on a Saturday is like visiting Disneyland on a holiday weekend. It's like a crowded festival atmosphere, which has its appeal and its disadvantages. In comparison, visiting on weekdays is a relaxing and intimate experience.

One of the advantages of a good tour company, besides avoiding the DUI, is that if they do their job right you will have less issues with the crowds because they will have pre-arranged accommodations with wineries that give you access to reserved areas rather than elbowing through the throngs at the tasting bar. Also, the cost of the tastings, and lunch in many cases, are less through the tour company so your total out-of-pocket may be less than you think. Many feel that the freedom to taste without reservation for five or six hours is well worth the price, which is about what you'd pay for a cross-twon taxi in a large city.

Bias alert: I own the largest wine tour company in Temecula, The Grapeline.

6. Re: Wine tour: Is it really worth it?

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