We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Do You Want To Get Yelled At?”
Review of Iowa Wine Tours

Iowa Wine Tours
Ranked #3 of 7 Food & Drink in Dubuque
Attraction details
Sumter, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Do You Want To Get Yelled At?”
Reviewed October 18, 2011

In a previous review the owners asked the reviewer to tell the "whole" story. So I will without omitting any facts. I welcome the owner of Iowa Wine Tours to add if I have left out or gotten anything wrong. My sister's best friend and I wanted to plan a winery tour for her bachelorette party. At the end of September, my sister's BF contacted Iowa Wine Tours and talked with the owner about the details. I told her I would make the deposit, so she wouldn't have to bear all the costs of the day. The first week in October, when I called the owner to place a deposit for our 12 person party he stated that in order to reserve I had to pay all costs up front. I told him that I lived in South Carolina and collecting the money from everyone was going to be problematic-- keep in mind this is over 650 dollars folks! I was perfectly willing to leave a 200 or 300 dollar deposit, but paying 650 dollars seemed unreasonable to me and I told him so. I told him I needed to speak with my husband about putting that much money on our credit card and told him I would contact him again. In the mean time I located a wine tour with Fried Green Tomatoes out of Galena-- 10 dollars cheaper per person, that includes lunch at their wonderful restaraunt and a tour of three wineries--no deposit required. Gee.. I wonder which one I am going to go with. Out of COURTESY-- since I had NOT made an official reservation because I had not met the owner of Iowa Wine Tours requirement to pay the ENTIRE balance. I sent him an e-mail letting him know that we would not be using his company, and the reason why (placing the entire burden of the cost of a 12 person party on one person). I reminded him that I would have been happy to make a deposit, but according to his reservation policy (not to be found anywhere on his website) this was not an option.
One hour after I sent this e-mail, the owner calls my home and proceeds to YELL at me over the phone, "I have to deal with the crap all the time, yell yell yell" When I say yell I mean yell, "people say they are bringing 12 than show up with 6, yell, yell yell" So there I am in my kitchen in my pajamas-- a man is yelling at me over the phone, so I try to tell him why I chose not to go with his company, again. He wouldn't listen and kept yelling so I yelled back at him and hung up. I am upset, my two year old is crying and upset-- what a great way to start the morning. In conclusion a few points:

-The owner obviously thought since I lived in South Carolina his bad behavior wouldn't come to light-- but hello!! I grew up close to Dubuque and have six brothers and sisters who live in the area-- umm business mistake number one, it's called word of mouth. Also if I had not received this phone call, I would have considered using his company for an outing when my in-laws visit. Paying the entire cost for four is a lot less onerous than paying for 12! Note to the owner....that would be more lost business on top of the lost business for the party of 12-- CHA>>CHING

--Business Mistake Number 2: The only reservation policy is the one he tells you about over the phone-- total payment needed in order to reserve the tour. Maybe this "crap" wouldn't happen "all the time" if he had a clear, reasonable reservation and pricing policy on his website. Is the reservation made when the money is paid (as the owner said) or is it not? And if this is the policy why am I getting yelled at?

So reader what is my advice to you? If you have a party of two, go ahead roll the dice you might have a good experience. But why risk dealing with this very unorganized, very angry man? There are other options out there, even renting a car, packing a great picnic lunch and using your GPS would be far better than risking receiving an angry 9am phone call.

Visited September 2011
25 Thank Krista W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Canton, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great time with friends on the Black Hawk Wine Tour through Iowa Wine Tours”
Reviewed September 7, 2011

Myself and six of my friends went on this wine tour and had an excellent time! Dennis was right on time picking us up at our condo. He gave us a quick overview of the history of the Galena area on the way to the first winery. We went to Galena Cellars, Rocky Waters, and Massbach Ridge. It included trying no less than 6 different wines from each winery and lunch at a great pizza place named Procento`s Pizzeria in Galena.
Dennis had boxes on the bus to hold the bottles of wine we bought and a cooler of ice cold bottled water (which came in handy because it was hot that day!) The scenery was beautiful and we had fun singing along with songs on the radio and chatting with other people on our bus... especially after we had some wine in us :-)
Dennis went out of his way to haul us around and even gave us a ride from downtown Galena back to our condo long after our tour had ended. It was great service and fun for a great price. When we come back, we will do this again!

Visited August 2011
5 Thank travelinslacks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granger, Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fun Way to Spend A Day”
Reviewed August 25, 2011

We did the tour of 3 wineries near Galena. Dennis was a fantastic host! He was so friendly and shared alot of history about the area. Our tour was on a Saturday 11-3. It was my husband & I and another couple we didn't know. We quickly became friends & greatly enjoyed the day. We had a delicious lunch at Prochenos (sp?) pizza in Galena. Dennis was very patient as the wineries may have been a bit crowded because it was Saturday. Our tour ran a bit longer than the scheduled time, but Dennis never made us feel rushed. Great tour!

Visited August 2011
6 Thank Kirstin29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Plenty of wine, a friendly guide and a scenic ride”
Reviewed July 25, 2011

In four hours we hit three wineries and sampled 25 different wines in total. We had lunch in Galena, some very tasty Pizza (and a pitcher of beer to chase down all that wine). It was me and my wife together with a group of very nice and social people from Indiana.
The tour itself took about 5 hours including hotel pickups and lunch. The drive was scenic, the wine was good and varied and the owner and tour guide, Dennis, was very friendly and professional. We would definitely consider doing a tour with this company again when we are in the area.

Visited July 2011
5 Thank SuneMangs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“We had a fantastic time on our tour!”
Reviewed July 24, 2011

Dave picked us up in Galena last week for a tour of the area wineries. We had a great day sampling and learning not only about wine, but some of Galena's history as well. Dave's repor with the local business owners is outstanding, we felt welcomed and 'at home' everywhere we went. Lunch was amazing! We highly recommend this tour!

Visited July 2011
4 Thank CandR_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Iowa Wine Tours also viewed


Been to Iowa Wine Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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

Claim Your Listing