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Frequently Asked Questions
Why should we use a wine tour service?

Wine Country Chauffeur believes whether you use our tour service or someone else's tour service that by having a wine tour driver and guide you are assuring yourself and your guests a safe and enjoyable wine country experience.

By securing Wine Country Chauffeur to tour you, you have guaranteed a safe way to enjoy driving the beautiful, and many times, narrow and poorly marked roadways of the Northern California wine country in search of the hard to find destinations where meticulous wine makers and growers have chosen to perfect their craft.

Wine tasting and touring should be a relaxed and enjoyable experience without the distractions of road maps or the stressful concern of not arriving at appointments on time because of losing your way.

"Another recommendation for Philip Petersen, the Wine Country Chauffeur... his prices are beyond fair, he displays great professionalism, and he is very knowledgeable. He did an AMAZING job of picking the wineries for our tour... a diverse blend and exactly what we were looking for (without even telling him!). He was also very flexible which you definitely don't get with the larger tour companies.

Bottom line: if you go to Sonoma, hire Philip! I can't wait to go back again! "

San Francisco, California

"I also highly recommend Philip Petersen, the Wine Country Chauffeur. He was a complete asset to our trip. He was a very professional and a complete gentleman, as well as very knowledgeable about the area wineries and vineyards. He really was the best thing about our trip to Winter Wineland in Sonoma. Hire Philip, you will not be disappointed. "

Dallas, Texas

Why should we chose Wine Country Chauffeur and not a transport company?

We at Wine Country Chauffeur believe that when you hire a driver and vehicle from a transport company you run the risk of just getting a driver and a vehicle. When you contract with Wine Country Chauffeur to tour you through the Northern California wine country you are transported in a Lincoln Navigator specifically chosen for your comfort; and your tour is planned and conducted by a wine knowledgeable enthusiast who has over twenty years studying the wines and the areas. In addition to knowledge of area and wines, our driver's specialty is conversing about and translating wine industry jargon into easy to understand concepts. You will also be getting someone who understands that each tour is a unique adventure for the guests and that schedules and winery stops can sometimes change because of a recommendation by another guest at tasting stop or just a last moment change in mind. It is our experience with most transport companies that the itineraries do not offer alternatives. We believe that spontaneity is a big part of hospitality, therefore we strive to meet our guests requests to visit wineries they may decide to visit during their tour.

Why does Wine Country Chauffeur use a Lincoln Navigator SUV and not a stretch limousine?

There are few reasons we use this comfortable SUV. Many of the smaller wineries that we visit are located in destinations that cannot accommodate large vehicles such as stretch limousines. Unlike a stretch limousine with their slide in, slide out bench seating arrangements, our vehicle is easy to enter and exit, which is important when you have numerous stops. Also, in consideration of our colleagues in the tasting rooms, we understand that it is not easy, and sometimes stressful, to efficiently taste 8 to 12 people entering at once.

How many hours does it take to tour wine country?

The majority of winery tasting rooms are open from 10am to 6pm. There are some exceptions where wineries open as late as 11am and stay open until between 5pm or 6pm. We recommend that planning for six hours of tasting is best, starting at 10am, and if you wish, visits can be made at those wineries which stay open later.

What is the cost of a tour?

Wine Country Chauffeur believes that wine touring should not be prohibitively expensive. Wine Country Chauffeur strives to make each tour a customized and personal experience. Therefore, to fit our client's wine tastes and personal criteria, the pricing can vary depending on specific wishes of our guests.

Will I incur additional costs during the day?

Our Sonoma and Napa county tours will deliver you to the wineries which fit your personal tour criteria. When there are tasting fees charged, they are the client's responsibility. Most, but not all wineries, will refund tasting fees towards purchase of their wines.

How many wineries can I expect to visit?

The average time for tasting without a winery tour is 45 minutes. During a six hour tour you can expect to stop at between 6 and 8 wineries depending on length of visit at each winery and the proximity of the wineries visited.

May I reserve a “personal” tasting and tour?

Yes, with proper notice we can arrange for tours and tastings with a winery representative from selected wineries, which may include meeting with a winery representative for flavor pairings with selected wines, and barrel tastings and sampling wines not available in their tasting room.

May I choose the wineries I wish to visit?

Yes, our goal is to customize a tour to your personal choices. Together Wine Country Chauffeur and you will choreograph a tour with your personal winery choices.

May I arrange a tour which fits my wine interests to a certain varietal or theme such as Zinfandel or wineries with art displayed?

Yes, it is our intention to provide a tour which meets your tastes, and we will make every effort to match your varietal, special interest, and location choices with available winery locations.

What about lunch?

It is our experience that a six hour day of wine touring and tasting go by much too quickly for our clients. Therefore we do not typically schedule stops at restaurants for lengthy sit down luncheon. We are happy to provide you with choices of local quality delicatessens for your lunch to expedite your nutrition requirements, and then get you to the next winery.

I would like to learn more about how grapes become wines. Is it possible to actually talk to a wine maker, and have a wine production and barrel room tour?

Yes with sufficient notice we can deliver you to a winery which will give a tour focused on wine making information.

Please Note: these types of tours and tastings require more than the usual 45 minute stop, therefore lowering the number of wineries visited.

Will my tour include small family owned wineries in additional to well known national brand wineries?

Each tour is planned around our client's wishes and we can make itineraries which include only family or national brands or both.

Can I visit wineries to buy wines I can’t buy at home?

Distribution varies from state to state, but most wineries offer wines only available for purchase at the winery.

Do you offer stops at wineries with “caves”.

Yes, we will be happy to take you to wineries that use caves as part of their wine making program.

Do you pick up at Airports?

Yes, if you wish us to pick you up at a Northern California airport, we can make arrangements to deliver you to your lodging or rental car agency in the area.

Are you insured & fully licensed?

Yes. Wine Country Chauffeur is licensed with the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC has strict guidelines for insurance and safe driving practices. Wine Country Chauffeur's license is TCP 18657.


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