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“Absolutely fantastic tour”
Review of Valley Wine Tours

Valley Wine Tours
Ranked #6 of 42 Tours in Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Valley Wine Tours (formerly Jake's Valley Wine Tours) offers Napa and Sonoma wine country visitors the real “inside” wine tour experience. We guide you through hard-to-find, small family-owned wineries. Taste award- winning wines and learn all about wine, vineyards and Napa and Sonoma viticulture.
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic tour”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I did a great deal of research when trying to book an afternoon of winery visits while in Sonoma. The sheer number of wineries overwhelmed me and I decided to enlist the help of a tour company to plan and transport our group around. After researching various companies, I found that Valley Wine Tours not only had fantastic reviews but seemed very competitive price wise. I booked 4 adults for a group tour that was set to pick us up at our rental home at 10 am. Rene picked us up promptly and we discovered that we were the only ones on the tour that day (essentially a private tour for the price of a group tour). It soon became obvious that Rene was a true wine expert. He has worked at various wineries, including some of the ones we visited that day (some of which gave us discounts on purchases since we were friends with Rene) and shared a lot of his background and industry experience with us. On top of that, he was very personable and got along with our group really, really well. Rene took us to the following wineries - Cline Cellars, Larson Family, Gundlach Bundschu, Robledo and Jacuzzi. At many locations we were able to get more out of the experience than just the wine tastings. Rene knew everyone at Cline and was able to give us a brief tour of the vineyards themselves. At Gundlach Bundschu we had a terrific picnic lunch (fresh, local products, pasta salad, caprese salad, meats, cheeses, pestos, olives, and a never ending bowl of fresh baked bread) overlooking the vineyards and then Rene escorted us through a private tour of the wine cellars. And at Jacuzzi we also participated in an olive oil tasting. All fees were covered by the tour fee and nothing came out of pocket other than the wine purchases we made during our stops. Rene even offered to collect the bottles of wine we purchased and make arrangements for them to be shipped to our home so we wouldn't have to take time out of our vacation to arrange for shipping. It was a wonderful experience that I would highly recommend, and if we were in the area again, we would definitely book another trip with Valley Wine Tours. It was the highlight of our Sonoma weekend.

The day after our tour we met up with a bunch of friends (we were all in town for a wedding) who had booked a different bus tour that took them to a handful of more commercial wineries in the area. They paid a similar price for their trip, but what it sounded like was more of a driving service and tasting fees were not included. They missed out all the knowledge we received, not to mention the "behind the scene" experiences we got. Pretty sure they were all jealous when they heard about our experience. Don't miss out, book Valley Wine Tours.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great way to see wineries.”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

This was our first time to Sonoma and we thoroughly enjoyed our day. Our driver was prompt, courteous and interesting. The lunch was amazing!! We visited several wineries in Sonoma and enjoyed each one very much. There truly were no additional fees on this tour. I highly recommend this as a safe, enjoyable day to visit wineries.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank CindyR54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Great Tour, wife and friends had a blast”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Went to SF with some friends, and the wife decided she wanted to start trip out in Sonoma, and what better way than via a wine tour. Wife did her research, found Valley Wine Tours, and we are all glad she did. Bob (A, if not The principle) in the tour company was prompt, knowledgeable, and just plain fun. Bob picked us up right on the minute at our hotel, and we wasted no time loading up and heading out. We visited 5 winery's, all were fantastic and right in the middle Bob provides a great lunch (described to a tee by several other reviews). In short, if you read any reviews that are less than excellent, ignore them, those folks must either 1) are just grumpy and can never be pleased and/or 2) need to have their head checked.
I wont belabor all the great things about the tour - again, these are well documented in many other reviews, and we agree with them fully. I do want to throw in a few tid bits that I dont believe is covered in other reviews, and while most folks probably know much of this, our group of 4 did not, so I wanted to share. First, the price of the tour includes your guide, transportation, lunch, and all the wine and local Sonoma area knowledge you can handle. Keeping in mind, the tasting fee's are not included, but that was little issue to us since we made a purchase at each stop - also not necessary, but your on a tour, take a bottle or 10 home. :)
Also, the tour (as per my wife) was described as private tour for up to 6 folks. Well, we had four and were expecting there to be 2 others, but it turned out, it was a nice quaint private tour for the 4 of us, that to us, made a world of difference. So you might want to inquire about this when you book. Also, communication with the tour company (Bob) was prompt, accurate, and informative. In summary, its pretty straightforward process and just a super way to spend the day. We started at 1030 and were back to the hotel by 430 to enjoy the rest of the afternoon/evening. B/w the 4 of us, we bought 2 cases of wine, of which Bob offered to ship back home (east Coast) for us, and would just charge my card for the shipping costs - we bought the shipping boxes at the vineyards as we did the tastings.
Great tour, great people, hope this review provided some info that maybe you have not read elsewhere, and above all, feel 100% confident when you book with these guys.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank beardown_pdv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mankato, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Felt like touring with an old friend”
Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

What an EXCELLENT day spent with Greg in the Sonoma Valley! Smaller vineyards, a history of the area, a tour of historical landmarks, beautiful lunch and WINE!
It felt more like touring with a friend than a guide. There's a reason why you have five stars...it was TERRIFIC!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Paint-by-number
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We used Valley Wine Tours to celebrate our 9 year anniversary. The tour was wonderful, with small, quaint vineyards we never would have found on our own, an amazing gourmet picnic, and very helpful guide. Ron was a pleasure! We will definitely book with this company again :)

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Becky K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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