Frequently Asked Questions – Private Wine Tours
How can I determine if you have a tour vehicle available on my preferred tour date?
How far in advance should I reserve my tour?
There is no set length of time. Saturdays and holiday weekends tend to fill up faster. Fall is our busiest season, followed closely by Summer. Get your tour price quote now, then book your tour as soon as you decide to go for it.
From where are you able to pick us up?
We’re happy to pick you up from your home or hotel, anywhere in the Napa or Sonoma wine country, in San Francisco, or any other accessible location within 50 or so miles of Napa or Sonoma.
How much will my tour cost?
Your tour will be quoted at an hourly rate. That rate determined by such factors as your number of guests and the day and season of your tour. Lunch is an additional expense, as are wine tasting fees. Gratuity is added on at a rate of 15%. Please use our quote form or price calculator for pricing.
How many guests can you accommodate?
Our vehicle fleet can handle all different sizes of groups; large and small. Groups larger than 40 guests require us to get a little creative since few of our local wineries are able to host groups that large. Give us a call if this is your need.
What if I am not sure about how many guests I will have?
Wine tour group sizes often fluctuate. Give us your best guess. We are happy to work with you as best we can to establish a range of likely attendees and price the tour with that range in mind.
Is the picnic lunch available for the hourly priced charters?
Yes! We are happy to discuss with you several lunch options for you tour.
What are wine tasting fees? How much are they?
These fees are charged by wineries to compensate them for the wines they pour. These fees can vary widely from one winery to another. The average tasting fee is currently about $25 to $45 per guest for anywhere from four to nine tastes (an ounce or two).
May I have the tasting fees included on my tour bill?
Yes. We charge a small fee to organize this.
How are our wineries selected?
If there are specific wineries you’d like to see, we’ll start there. We’re happy to schedule your tasting appointments into the wineries of your choice. Same thing if you have particular types of wine or particular experiences you’d like to try. We’ll help you select your wineries based on these preferences, and other factors, such as location considerations, appointment availability and our knowledge of great tasting experiences.
We like to visit very specific wineries. Is this possible?
Yes. We’ll do our best to accommodate any specific requests, providing those wineries will grant the appointments, and that the property is accessible to the vehicle and that the tour itinerary is logistically feasible. Please give us a call, or include your desired wineries in your Tour Quote Request on the Private Wine Tours page.
What are the best hours to plan for our tour?
The wineries tend to open at 10:00 am. Closing time ranges from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, with the majority of wineries closing at 5:00 pm. Since most wineries get busier and busier as the afternoon progresses, the most successful tours start early: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm is usually ideal, but you are welcome to extend your tour if you don’t want to wrap it up at the ending time you chose.
How many wineries should we expect to visit?
A typical wine tour lasts about six hours and visits three or four wineries, taking out time to eat lunch (optional). Groups who stay out longer, and/or get in and out of wineries faster can visit more wineries, but it has been our experience that longer visits to fewer, quality wineries usually make for a much more pleasing and memorable day.
May we drink alcohol on the bus?
Sorry, no. Here’s why: Combined with the wines you are tasting at the wineries, this extra drinking very often leads to some members of your group becoming inebriated, and possibly getting sick or passing out. Tasting rooms will refuse to serve intoxicated guests and your tour may have to end early. We want to help make yours a successful tour in which everyone in your party has a wonderful time.
May we eat on the bus?
Yes, by all means. Have at it! Please let us know in advance if you will need service utensils.
May we bring our kids along on our tour?
Yes! Your kids are welcome on the tour. Of course, if they are underage, they will not be able to taste any wine at all.
How can I make a reservation?
Start with our Tour Quote Request (Get a price quote button) on the Private Wine Tours page. We’ll confirm that your tour date is available, and then we’ll work up a price quote for you. If you like it, let us know and we’ll process your reservation.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellation procedure varies depending on the size of your group. Large groups may require a contract. Please call us for details.
What are your tour vehicles?
We conduct our tours in a range of different sized vehicles, depending on the size of your party: Lexus SUVs, custom vans, shuttle buses and motor coaches.
Do you have limousines?
Sorry, we do not operate any stretch limousines or sedans. We know people who give excellent tours in these kinds of vehicles. Please let us know if you’d like a referral!
Can you arrange airport transportation?
This is possible. Please contact us about it.
What make a Platypus Tour better than other tours?
We are known for the following:
- Friendly, personable, knowledgeable tour guide/drivers who are truly invested in delivering the best tour experiences possible
- Meticulously well-maintained vehicles and safety-focused staff
- Long-cultivated close relationships with a vast number of wineries, helping us to provide rich, value-added tasting experiences and superb wines for our guests