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“The Unexpected”
Review of Iowa Wine Tours

Iowa Wine Tours
Ranked #2 of 8 Food & Drink in Dubuque
Attraction details
Reviewed August 15, 2012

What a great wine tour we had on Tuesday, August 14. We had 4 couples and all agreed this ranked among the best! The beautiful Mississippi Valley scenery, neat wineries with interesting and attentive staffing, great wine, great fun. Our bus was clean and our leader, Dennis, kept everything on time and kept us informed about each winery, as well as some of the history of wineries in the Mid-West.

5  Thank JonTehven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 61 of 68 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2012

My wife and I took the Blackhawk Wine Tour on Saturday August 4, 2012. There were nine other people on this tour with us. We were picked up in front of our hotel just before 11am. We were told the bus was having trouble with the air conditioning and quickly switched to another tour bus.

The first stop was at Galena Cellars. Dennis provided a little bit of information about what to expect from the local area wines (type of wines, grapes grown, bottle produced) as well as a little history about the area. Each person got to choose seven different wines to sample. The wines were good. We purchased three of our favorites, then walked around the vineyard for a little bit.

We went back to Galena for lunch a Procento's (good pizza). We then boarded the bus and went on to Rocky Waters Winery, We were able to try each of their wines. Some were very good. We bought a couple more bottles, then it started to rain very heavily so we got a tour of the owners house. It is beautiful and they offer it for weddings and parties.

We then headed to Massbach Winery for our final stop. We were able to try 7-8 of their wines. We purchased three more bottles. Since this was our last stop, we asked for plastic cups and to uncork one of our bottles for the bus ride back. They happily provided them.

At each stop, Dennis provided some information about the wineries and kept asking to make sure our ride was comfortable. He also kept track of all of our purchases and carried them to the back of the bus for us. I would recommend this trip to anyone looking for a comfortable, relaxing tour of the wineries.

Next time we will look into the beer tour.

6  Thank steveg944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

Two friends and I spent the day with Dennis and his Iowa Wine Tour on Saturday, October 15, 2011. We had a great time and found that this tour included everything his advertising promised. Dennis picked us up at a hotel in Galena at 11 a.m., drove us to 3 wineries throughout the day, picked up pizza from a local Pizzeria and we ate in the barrel room of the first winery. We got to see the beautiful scenery of the Galena, IL area, taste some good wines, socialize with the other fun couples on the bus, get a great history of the area from Dennis, and have some great laughs, all without the worry of driving. Thanks Dennis for a great day. We'll be back with a larger group next time!

Pat from St. Charles, IL

4  Thank Patricia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2011

I "highly" recommend Iowa Wine Tours Inc. We had called the night before to see if they were available and had told them there were 4 people going. We weren't sure if we might have needed more to go on the tour. It turns out that they give tours from 2 to 12 people and the bus was available to take us to 3 different wineries. Galena Cellars, Rocky Waters Vineyard/Winery and Massbach Ridge Winery.

Included in the tour was a nice "pizza" lunch of your choice at Procento's Pizzeria..BTW it was great pizza!

The BEST part of the TOUR was OUR driver "DENNIS" he was "FUN" and very "EDUCATIONAL"....He told us the history of Galena and the surrounding area's and he picked us up and dropped us off and we didn't have to drive and the BUS was "EMACULATE"

3  Thank Theresa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

25  Thank Krista W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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