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“3rd Time Not a Charm”

Getaway Adventures/Sonoma On A Bike
Book In Advance
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$149.00*
and up
Carneros Wine Country Sip 'n' Cycle Bike Tour
More Info
$149.00*
and up
Calistoga Wine Country Sip 'n' Cycle Bike Tour
More Info
$149.00*
and up
Hidden Wineries Tour of Napa and Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Getaway Adventures / Wine Country Bike Tours is considered the Wine Country’s Premier Adventure Tour Operator. We’ve been offering Guided Bike, kayak and hiking tours throughout the Napa, Sonoma and Marin /San Francisco region for 20 years, the longest continuously owned bike tour company in Napa.Easy Rides like our Sip N Cycle series, stronger rides like our Velo n Vino series, we have tours for all abilities. Fully guided, with our professional guides, (see our reviews) we always include a wine country picnic lunch that some say is worth it alone! Learn all about wine, pedal to small family owned wineries all while traveling one mile at a time on the back roads of California Wine Country!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Colts Neck, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“3rd Time Not a Charm”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

I wish I was writing a good review, but I'm a "seasoned" client of Getaway, having gone on their weekend bike tour, and their 6 day adventure bike/hike, and kayak. Not sure what happened this time, but I convinced my friends that this was the way to see wine country. Our first two times were fantastic. This time is was a big disappointment. THE main winery they wanted to see was Vincent Arroyo which GA had to be reminded to book us a tour, otherwise we would not get in. Luckily my friend called GA a few days before we arrived, because it had not been done. She also sent in a list of wineries we wanted to go to if possible while biking with GA. Outside of Vincent Arroyo which was only 1 1/2 miles away from our hotel, we saw none of the others on her list. When we got to our hotel and checked in, they said our second night had not been paid, and took our credit card. That was straightened out (I think). Desk receptionist said she never heard of Getaway???? and needed a credit card. We had been placed in an alternate hotel than what was advertised for the "luxury" weekend. Our first day went okay, visiting a total of 4 wineries, but our picnic lunch was among chickens and a pent up duck, not exactly the wonderful scenery and beautiful quiet settings I remembered from my previous two trips with GA. The food was very good and plentiful. On the second day, the first winery was closed until 11 am (something a good guide would have known), so we wasted an hour of our day, then went to a "retail" type store for our second winery, then a peach stand (no wine) to pick up peaches becauese our guides' girlfriend was making peach pie that evening, and finally to a beautiful winery in a cave. Did we have lunch there? No. Instead we vanned it to a general store, where we waited in line to order, then had to wait for the sandwiches to be made. Another hour wasted. We got one bottle of water too. No chips, no fresh fruit, no cheese, no dessert, etc. like the day before. Not the "luxury" weekend, I had promised my friends this would be. Also the debit card we were given to cover our dinners and breakfasts, gave us trouble. We ended up paying cash the second day for breakfast. We also were surprised that GA did not just pick up the tasting fees at the places we went to. I don't remember ever pulling out our wallets the last two times we went with GA. We were not van supported on the second day. When we decided we had "enough" before our "gourmet" lunch of sandwiches and water, our guide had to bike 6 miles back to get the van. Mind you, we paid 2000 dollars per couple for the two days! So for 4000 total, we got sandwiches one day for lunch, not van supported the second day, paid for all of our tastings, unless we bought from the vineyard, and on the second day, saw a total of two wineries, one being more like a retail distributor. The next day on our own, we visited beautiful wineries and had one on one tours. I should have kept my 2 grand and done this on my own this time. Never again. Sorry.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank docmag23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winebikeguy, General Manager at Getaway Adventures/Sonoma On A Bike, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Oh my gosh, Ms M.
I can feel your frustrations in your letter and I am saddened that we disappointed you. As I explained in our lengthy conversation Monday evening, I apologize for the glitches with the check in and the gift cards. I also explained the we evolve and change with our guest desires and preferences, but a bit more on that later. I also offered you two free return trips a make good for Sunday that I would lead you personally, to help resolve the other items you brought up. I thought you seemed happy and we had resolved your issue with the make good and that is why I am a bit surprised you choose to air this out in a public forum such as Trip Advisor.
I want each and every guest experience to the best possible and our 98% excellent rating reflects that. Since you have chosen this forum I can now explain to the readers the issues involved.
The hotel we normally use was booked up for the weekend you wanted when you called to book your tour with us. We used an equivalent and some say superior, property nearby that had newly remodeled upgraded rooms. This place is actually one of my favorite spas.
I asked the owners about the check in glitch and they simply said it was a newer staff member and apologized for that. We had of course, made, secured and paid for as well as confirmed your two night stay with documentation to prove it. This was included in the email sent you on June 14. You mentioned you did not receive it and for that I apologize. However the rest of the party did get the update. We did not get any bounce back but we are going to change our procedure to ask for a return receipt on all such emails. We want everyone to be fully informed on the details of their itinerary.
With the wineries you wanted to visit we had set up a visit at Vincent Arroyo. It was booked and confirmed with the tasting room manager. Simple and done! The others on your list were to far away to reach on a bike tour.
The lunch spot you referred to on Saturday is a guest favorite. A bit irreverent, miles from the “stuffiness” of too many Napa wineries and has great wines including an exceptional port. It has a great big picnic table under a shade tree and, yes, the occasional chicken does wander over. For most folks it adds to the country feel that makes Calistoga so popular – relaxed, easy going wine tastings with a lot of fun thrown in.
As far as Sunday is concerned, I agree with you the winery should have been contacted and I apologize for that. The peach stand is usually a big hit with our foodie guests and most people enjoy the quick visit there because it is only seasonably open and they have fabulous peaches. It’s a 5 to 10 minute visit at most.
Going to the Dry General Store is a bit controversial among our guides. While it is not our usual Wine country Picnic lunch, it has become a gourmet lunch spot ever since it was purchased a few years ago by Gina Gallo of the Gallo family. It has been requested by some guests and has really great food, including their specialty sandwiches. It can be a bit busy. One change coming out of this is the return to us now serving our signature wine country picnic.
Over the years our van support has changed. Yes, we have our van, but it is not with us every second of the day. Guests have expressed being a bit uncomfortable with our van tailing the bike tour. Since our trips are relatively short (wine intensive) and a loop, the van is always nearby. The vast majority of our guests want to ride the entire ride and in the event of an emergency (or tired riders) we do have the van within minutes.
The retail distribution of wine you describe is actually a grouping of wineries, called Family wineries. They are a grouping of wineries in one location, but I assure you they are working wineries. All have great wines and there is even an olive oil company where you can taste different types of olive oil from the mild to the wild.
The use of the gift cards is to allow some freedom to choose where to dine in the restaurant rich towns we stay in. Guests have asked us for the flexibility of being able to look around and choose for themselves were to have dinner and breakfast so we now offer the use anywhere gift cards. I am sorry you had trouble with your cards. We were assured that they were activated and the other guests using cards from that batch had no problems. I'm not quite sure what happened there.
Tasting fees are never included in the price because of so many options available; 4 wine flights, 8 wine flights, premium tastings, and shared tastings. It’s a very personal thing that each guest can decide which option they want. We keep our prices lower and I believe it to be the practice among all the bike tour companies.
We are, by the way, roughly $700 less than a comparable bike tour company that come into this area.
Well Ms M. I do hope you change your mind and come tour with me. I know we are the best out there and I want you to get exactly what you want.
Thank you
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
“Calstoga Getaway Adventures”
Reviewed September 11, 2013

This was excellent .My wife and I met Jason at the assigned parking lot along with another couple. This is an easy flat ride to four wineries that are close to each other. The Hybrid Specialized Bikes are well maintained and comfortable. This is more of a sipping tour than a cycling intensive tour.The first stop was Chateau Montalena followed by Bennett Ridge Envy And Lava. All excellent wines Jason was very personable and knowledgeable about the vineyards.This personalized to th equality of the style of riding you want to do and definitely not a cattle drive style.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Joseph J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great way to experience the wine country”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

It was just my partner and I on the tour - so very intimate. It was a great way to experience the wine country at a slower pace, and our guide Eric was awesome. He chose wineries that each had their own personalities - great wine and not overly crowded. Lunch was great - exactly what we wanted a picnic to be like in Napa Valley. The banjo playing winery (Lava Vine) was a great way to end a wonderful day. We would highly recommend this trip to everyone.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Karenaustx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katy, Texas, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Exactly as advertised!!!”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

When I first booked this trip for me and my husband, I expected to be with tons of other biking tours and visiting packed wineries, but not at all!! I felt like we had wine country to ourselves and each winery was different and fun. Our guide, Tom, asked us what kind of wines we liked before we left and picked wineries based on our tastes. Lunch was delicious and fresh. Bikes were like new and a well known brand. My advice for others seeking to do this tour is to train a little beforehand; we were very tired at the end, and bring a seat cushion or padded bike shorts as the ride does get a little painful after awhile. Do research as you go as well, bought an expensive bottle of wine at one of the wineries that I thought was special, only to find it for half price at my local supermarket when I got home. Will definitely recommend this to everyone!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lauren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“fabulous experience with Tommy Thompson”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

My friend and I recently completed a 5 day multi-sport trip with Getaway Adventures with Tommy Thompson as our personal guide. Tommy constantly went and above and beyond all that we expected of him. We felt so fortunate to have Tommy, he not only was a great guide but it was obvious to us both that he is just a fabulous person! The day we arrived in San Francisco was the day after the Asiana plane crash. As you can imagine all planes were late or being diverted to other nearby airports. I knew that my friends plane was scheduled to arrive very late in into San Francisco airport and she was scheduled to take a very late shuttle out to Santa Rosa and Tommy was going to pick her up there. Due to the plane crash she was diverted to San Jose airport where she had to take a shuttle to San Fran airport but she would arrive too late to catch the shuttle out to Santa Rosa. Since he did not want her to spend the night alone in the San Fran, Tommy drove the 4 hour round trip to pick her up at 2:00am and dropped her at our hotel at 4:00am. We were shocked at his kindness and relaxed manner in dealing with all the uncertainty and changes in schedule.

After getting a few hours sleep he picked us up bright and eyed and ready to roll for a day of sipping and cycling. He took us to many great wineries all of which we could not buy the wine at home and all very unique and different from each other. He seemed to have a great rapport with all the people who worked at each winery. When my friend she wanted to see a working winery in action and learn more about the process he arranged a tour the next morning. He honored all our requests politely for things we wanted to do and see. His primary purpose was clear: to be sure that we did and saw what we wanted and on our our time table. If he did not know something he asked his many contacts and friends and had an answer for us almost immediately. On the day we did kayaking he took us to his usual spot and then realized the water and weather were too cold for 2 Florida girls and took us to a warm spot a few miles away. He made us feel like we were with a close friend and not someone we had met a few days before. I could go on and on about Tommy and how well he treated us but I think you have got the idea.

I am so thrilled that we went with Getaway Adventures and had Tommy as our guide.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank elz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winebikeguy, Guest Relations Manager at Getaway Adventures/Sonoma On A Bike, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Thank you for sharing what we have known all these years. Tommy is just one great human being! He has a passion to show our guests the best possible time and will go to any length to make his guests feel welcomed, and at “home” away from home. Our philosophy is to make sure you get the true insiders scoop in this area. Tommy does it every time. We are justifiably proud of Tommy and all our guides, who continuously garner great reviews. I always say what separates us from the rest is our great guides, and we definitely have the best in the business! Thank you for sharing your story and proving my point!
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