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“Expensive and not quite ready for prime-time”

Wine Tours Valparaiso
Ranked #3 of 17 Food & Drink in Valparaiso
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Owner description: Wine Tours Valparaiso offer Chile Holidays and Wine Tasting Tours to the public. If you are an avid wine tour lover or just an enthusiastic traveller in Chile, you will enjoy what Chile Wine Tours Valparaiso has to offer. The Casablanca Valley offers an alternative wine tasting holidays experience to what can be found in the Maipo, Colchagua y Rapel valleys. It also serves as a complementary destination for the very serious wine enthusiast that might be travelling through the other wine regions of the country and Mendoza, Argentina.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

My wife and I booked a private tour thru their website. Very prompt and detailed responses to e-mails. Very flexible responding to our needs. We did a Vineyard tour in Casablanca and a tour of Con-Con, Vina del Mar, and Valparaiso. He picked us up and dropped us off at hotel in Santiago. Quoted a price of $250 US per person. Left at 9:00 and returned at 7:30 p.m.

Planned to go to Emiliana Vineyard, but when we arrived, Michael discovered the vineyard was closed to tours due to a special event. This is something for a tour this expensive he should have known. Went to another vineyard. Took the english tour with a group of 8, but Michael did not accompany us, despite the fact that he said he is a trained sommelier.

Next went to the coast, stopped for Empanadas (which he paid for) drove down the coast to Vina del Mar where we visited the Fonck archaeological museum. Again, Michael did not accompany us, despite the fact that he said he graduated with a degree in Archaeology and almost all the signs were in Spanish. Entry to the museum was not included in the price ($8/person). Very average museum.

After Vina del Mar, we went to Valparaiso, Michael's hometown. The city is very urban, not the quaint sea town I was expecting. Michael's insights were interesting. Stopped at La Sebastiana (house of poet Pablo Neruda). Again, Michael stayed in the van and said we could pay to enter the house if we wished. Then went to lunch, which was also not included. He ate with us and I paid for half of his meal.

Next, he took us to the Ascensor Concepcion and Paseo Atkinson areas. A very neat part of town, with beautiful views. We stopped at a couple of art stores and walked around the neighborhood. My wife felt some pressure to buy some art, based on his comments and the fact that it was owned by a friend of his. We were going to ride the funicular down the hill, but upon reaching it, Michael discovered it was closed. Tried to go to the Art Museum, which was also closed. Again, not the kind of haphazard planning I would expect at this price.

Overall, it was a fun day. Michael is a nice person. But the tour seemed more like being taken around by a friend in his hometown, than by a professional tour guide. For what we got, the tour was grossly over-priced in my opinion. The places we went to were all listed on Fodor's website guide to the area. I could have rented a car in Santiago and done the same tour, for about $150 max. I also suspect we could have taken one of the regular buses to Valparaiso and hired a local taxi driver for around $50. The only time he really did more than act as a driver was some occasional comments enroute and when we were in Valparaiso.

Overall, for the cost of a 3-4 day cruise for two in the Bahamas, we hired a driver who showed us around mostly over-crowded, dirty, graffiti-filled cities and one vineyard. Three big mistakes in planning (closed vineyard, closed art museum and closed funicular) were inexcusable at this price.

2  Thank Leo D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winetourvalparaiso, Owner at Wine Tours Valparaiso, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

So sorry you did not enjoy the tour with Wine tours Valparaiso.

Vineyards being closed for events and other attractions being closed our out of our hands.

I never said i was an archeologist. I said that i studied Latin American studies.

The price was high because you chose a company based in Valparaiso to take you from Santiago to Valparaiso for the day then back again to Santiago. You would have been better off choosing a company based in Santiago.

Also sorry that i joined you for lunch i had no idea that you preferred to be alone and also sorry i accepted your offer to pay for half of my lunch as a tip when i did say i would pay for my own lunch.

I in no way pressure people into buying things. I took you into the art shop shop thinking you would enjoy the art that was there. Unfortunately our definitions of culture are different. You did comment that one of the artists must have had some kind of mental problem because of the way he paints.

Once again sorry you did not enjoy the tour and didn't appreciate Valparaiso. I try to please people and when people don't enjoy themselves with me its always a shame.

If your are ever in Chile again let me know and i will get a bottle of wine to you.

Regards

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"wine tasting"
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"highly recommend michael"
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"excellent tour"
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"chilli"
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"his knowledge"
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Reviewed March 12, 2013

We spend a memorable day touring Valparaiso City, Driving Up the Coast, and Enjoying 3 Wineries of the Casablanca Valley before Ending in Santiago. This business was very easy to work with before our tour (clear and prompt communications). We could not have asked for a better guide... Michael was knowledgable, polite, and very focused on providing us with a great experience. Highly Recommended!

Thank WonderfulWorld59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

It's a long haul from the cruise ship port of Valparaiso to the Santiago airport but not so bad if you combine the ride with a tour of the Casa Blanca Valley wine region. Our guide picked up the group at our hotel in a nice van and took us and our luggage to three wonderful vineyards. If you haven't had the pleasure of Chilean wine, this is the way to discover it. When it was over he dropped us at the airport for the flight home.

Although the tour was a bit pricey, it was worth every peso. Our driver spoke excellent English, drove a clean, late model van and was very prompt. We worked with Michael via e-mail and everything was as smooth as the fine wines produced in Chile.


www.winetoursvalparaiso.com

2  Thank black5603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Michael was a highly knowledgeable guide, tailoring the tour for our interests. As a qualified sommelier he was able to give us very good information about wine from the production stage to pairing it with food.
Lunch was fantastic and Michael dealt with special dietary requirements very well, arranging the details with the restaurant before we arrived, despite the short notice we gave him.
He is a very easy going guy, good fun to be with, and the whole day was structured very efficiently, from the pick up at our hotel to the afternoon trip to Pablo Neruda's fascinating house Isla Negra.
We would highly recommend a tour with him.

1  Thank globalgirl30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 13, 2013

This is not the least expensive way to explore the vineyards of Casablanca, but probabely the most convenient. Michael is a knowledgeble guide to the world of wines and Chile. As a bonus he is also a rock n’ roll guy! Thanks Michael!

Thank Gambolputty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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