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.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.