We continue our “Driver Spotlight” Q&A series where we introduce you to some of our top-notch Napa and Sonoma wine tour guides, provide some insights as to why they love working for Platypus and what makes their tours so special.
Today we would like you to meet Greg Cox, who is in his second year as a tour guide for Platypus Wine Tours.
Q. Where are you originally from? How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
A. Before moving to Wine Country, I spent the first half of my life in the Midwest (Cincinnati) and the second half in the South (Atlanta). I’ve been living in Sonoma for ten years now.
Q. What do you love best about the Wine Country?
A. The scenery and weather are hard to beat. And being involved in the wine industry is a real pleasure – it’s always lots of fun and is never boring!
Q. Why do you enjoy working for Platypus Wine Tours?
A. Having had a 40 year sales and marketing career in capital equipment, working and being with people is a natural for me – without the stress of quotas, budgets and personnel issues. It is truly enjoyable to take a tour group through the vineyards and picturesque wineries, while giving them enough background to appreciate what we have here, and make sure they all have a great time.
Q. What makes your tours so successful? What do you strive for to make your wine tours truly unique and special?
A. I believe my tours are successful because I want each group to have fun and learn something about viticulture, wine making and why it all comes together so well here. I want each guest to gain an appreciation of wines from Napa and Sonoma, why they are good, why they may be a little more costly than Central Valley mass-produced wines. I want them to see that we are not simply drivers, but guides. My philosophy is to make it fun and interesting for all.
Q. What are some of your favorite wineries to bring people to, and why?
A. I prefer the smaller wineries where meeting the owner, wine maker, grower, or other key people is possible. Wineries up in the hills and mountains are very scenic and I try to blend a variety of scenery into each day. Wineries with caves and tours can be good choices depending on group interests.
I love taking folks to Razi Winery in Napa where the owner Fred Razi personally pours the wines for us, and their wines are amazing. I also like Hopper Creek for its boutique wines, small, fun, funky, almost party-like atmosphere and personal attention, and also Hess with its great views of Mt. Veeder, discounted tasting fees for Platypus tour guests and good wines at reasonable prices.
Q. Do you have any particularly memorable wine tour experiences that stand out that you would like to share?
A. Any tour that ends with hugs and thank you’s are memorable. I had one honeymooning couple for a charter who spent a week in Maui and a week in California. They posted on TripAdvisor that the best day of their honeymoon was the day with me. Can’t beat that!
Here’s what a few of our customers have to say about Greg and his tours. Additional customer reviews/comments about our Platypus Wine Tours can also be found on Google+, our website, Yelp and TripAdvisor.
“The only way I can describe our experience in Napa Valley with Platypus tours is quite honestly “indescribable.” I began planning my birthday party weekend in Napa Valley months prior to the event – I researched three different tour companies and finally went with my gut on Platypus. I couldn’t be happier. I worked with our tour guide, Greg, prior to the trip and I put my trust in him for 7 of the 8 wineries we were planning to visit (I only insisted on one of my favorites). I mean this wholeheartedly when I say Greg nailed each one. He provided our group with the perfect blend of big name wineries, small family owned wineries, views that took our breath away, and unique tasting rooms that housed some of the most incredible wine, and more importantly, the most incredible people. We did a two-day event which gave us the opportunity to see both Napa Valley and Sonoma. Additionally, we utilized the picnic option and it was one of the most delicious meals we had all weekend! Platypus also prepares a cheese platter that we devoured each day. If you are going to Napa keep this in mind – you can go 100 times and still never see the same thing twice, you will hear other travelers insist you need to try this winery or that, but if you really want to enjoy Napa, do it with Platypus Tours and trust your guide and their knowledge of the region to custom fit the experience for you. There is truly no other way to do it! My warmest thanks to Platypus Tours and most importantly, Greg!”
“We had a small group of friends escaping the winter of Tahoe/Reno to enjoy the Wine Country. We chose Platypus Tours to show us around the first day there. Greg was our tour guide and he was perfect for our group! Charming, very funny with a quick wit, great timing and so knowledgeable about the area. We loved the wineries he chose for us – they were just perfect. We chose to have the picnic lunch and were happily surprised at how delicious the food was and beautiful the outdoor patio was at the winery we had lunch at. We cannot thank him enough for such a great day – and for hanging with 6 women whose conversations got more and more lively as the day progressed!”