Click any of the items below for the answers to the most common questions about Washington Wine Tours.
Be sure to contact us if you have additional questions.
How Much Does the Wine Tour Cost?
Scheduled local Seattle area day tours cost $89.00 per person (plus tax). Longer distance scheduled day tours from Seattle (to Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth for instance) are $135.00 per person (plus tax). Our guests typically spend $30 to $50 throughout a wine touring day on tasting fees and lunches. Should you enjoy the tour, and especially the tour guide, gratuities are gratefully accepted. As for private group charters, pricing varies considerably depending on what you have in mind. Fill out the tour request form or call us at 206-524-8687 for details.
How Many Wineries or Tasting Rooms Will We Visit?
A normal day of wine touring will include 4-6 winery or vineyard stops and lunch. It is not our goal to push our guests along in able to visit as many wineries as possible, rather our goal is to provide a delightful wine tasting experience with a bit of Wine 101 thrown in by the tour guides. If the group is chatty, having fun and enjoying themselves, we may just hit 4 stops. If the group is oriented around moving along, we may hit six stops. Either way, the tour will revolve around creating an enhanced wine tasting experience for that particular group.
How Many Wines Will We Taste?
Typically, you will taste 4-7 wines at each tasting stop. Sometimes more. As we will visit 4-6 wineries, these 1 ounce tastings can add up to several glasses of wine. To keep your taste buds fresh, we encourage you to drink the bottled water we provide, between each stop. And don’t hesitate to use the dump buckets, to pour out any tastes you don’t care for.
What About Tasting Fees?
Most wineries charge a tasting fee, generally $10 to $15 per winery. That said, some wineries do waive their fees for Bon Vivant Wine Tour guests. Note that some wineries offer special reserve wine tastings for an additional fee. Typically (but not always), the tasting fee is refunded with the purchase of a bottle of wine.
To answer a related question, “Why doesn’t Bon Vivant include wine tasting fees in the cost of the tour”? Since most wineries waive part or all of the fees with wine purchases, it doesn’t seem fair to charge you for something that would get waived with a wine purchase. Also, we want to dispel any thought that we might try to keep our costs down by only choosing to visit wineries that charge little or nothing as a tasting fee. We pride ourselves in providing tours customized to customer’s tasting preferences, to create that perfect Washington Wine Tasting Experience.
What Will We Do For Lunch on Day Tours?
When touring Seattle and Woodinville wineries, we will make reservations at leading locally owned, winery district restaurant or wine bar, where you will select and purchase your own meal. On Yakima or Leavenworth/ Wenatchee day tours, we may do the same. On warm days, we will visit a delicatessen or other provider of fine to-go food so that you may purchase your own picnic choices. We will then eat lunch at a winery or other scenic location with picnic facilities.
How Long Will the Bon Vivant Wine Tour Take?
Local day tours take about 7-8 hours. Longer distance full day tours are about 8-11 hours, depending on the distance traveled. On overnight and three-day tours, we average 7-8 hours of touring per day.
Why Should We Pay For A Tour When We Can Drive To The Wineries Ourselves?
By selecting Bon Vivant Wine Tours as your “Designated Driver”, you can do your wine touring safely and responsibly, with everyone in your group participating in tasting Washington’s wonderful wines. There are nearly 125 wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville, plus over 1000 wineries and tasting rooms in the Columbia Valley and environs. With Bon Vivant Tours you can take advantage of our collective knowledge of the very best choices for each desired experience. We have arrangements with wineries of special distinction for our tours, and you can count on your knowledgeable Bon Vivant guide to provide interesting and entertaining information on wine and the local Washington wine industry.
Do We Also Tour Winery Facilities - or Do We Just Taste?
Each Bon Vivant scheduled excursion includes opportunities for a guided tour of a winemaking facility or vineyard. While we cannot promise, very often the winemakers make themselves available to meet Bon Vivant Wine Tour groups.
Are All of Your Stops at Wineries?
On all of our day tours, you will visit wineries and wine tasting rooms, and enjoy lunch at a renown locally owned café. You can also take advantage of our Art and Wine Tour which starts off with a morning stop at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, then lunch in Woodinville, and 3-4 winery visits in the afternoon. Of course for custom tours, the options are up to you, and pretty much endless.
What Types of Wines Will We Encounter?
Although Washington first gained a high reputation with white wines like Riesling in the 1960s, current Washington wine production is about 57 percent red to 43 percent white wine. Wikipedia tells us: “Today there are over 80 grape varieties grown in Washington State. The main grapes used in wine production in Washington are Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah. There are also plantings of Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Malbec, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Tempranillo, Viognier, Barbera, Chenin blanc, Gewürztraminer, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Pinot noir, Sangiovese, and Zinfandel.“ Fine varietal wines are indeed made from these grapes. Even so, don’t overlook blends, many premium or “flagship” wines at Washington wineries are high-quality blends.
Where Do We Start and Finish Our Bon Vivant Wine Tour?
Bon Vivant Tours will pick up and drop off visitors at most downtown Seattle and Eastside hotels. To accommodate our locally based guests, we also pick up and drop off at selected locations with parking.
What Will Be Our Lodging Arrangements for a Multi-day Tour?
For lodging on multi-day tours, we can recommend excellent and conveniently located bed and breakfast inns or hotels in the wine region being toured. Although you are responsible for obtaining your own lodging, we are sometimes able to arrange group tour discounts on lodging. Be sure to make your reservations for lodging at the same time as your multi-day tour reservations — and well in advance. Summertime especially, can book up early.
What Do We Do for Breakfast & Dinner on Multi-day Tours?
All lodgings recommended by Bon Vivant Tours either provide an appetizing breakfast or have a good breakfast restaurant nearby, within walking distance. You will also find excellent dining restaurants nearby, for your evening meal. If tour guests agree on a restaurant and a common time for dinner together, there is the option of arranging Bon Vivant transportation to and from. We are happy to provide restaurant recommendations.
How Far Ahead Do We Need to Make Reservations?
Please make your reservations well ahead, particularly for the busy summer season. That said, we always try to accommodate our visitors, even at the last minute, so don’t hesitate to call. Clearly, multi-day private group tours require reservations for lodging, which should be made well in advance of the tour dates at the same time as your tour reservations. Ask for our recommendations, information on room availability, and possible tour group discounts.
How Do We Make Our Reservation & How Do We Pay for Our Tour?
You can conveniently and securely make your reservation and pay for your tour right on our website, just click here. If you have additional questions or simply prefer to reserve on the phone, call us at 206-524-8687 between 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Pacific Time. You can use your Visa, American Express or MasterCard credit card. Regardless of which option you pick, please do NOT send your credit card information to us in an e-mail; email is not secure enough for financial information. With both reservation options, you will promptly receive a confirmation email.
What if We Have to Cancel or Reschedule?
Note: For the duration of the Covid pandemic, all cancellation fees are waived. This gives you the ability to plan ahead and book with confidence, knowing your money is not at risk, should the situation turn bad before you get to your tour date.
CANCELLATION POLICY FOR SCHEDULED TOURS: Customer cancellation of a confirmed reservation for a scheduled tour within 2 days before the tour date will be charged 50% of the quoted tour price. Bon Vivant Wine Tours will refund any payment taken, less this 50% cancellation charge. CANCELLATION POLICY FOR PRIVATE GROUP TOURS: Customer cancellation of a confirmed group tour within 14 days before the tour date will be charged 20% of the quoted tour price. Cancellation earlier than 30 days before the tour date will be charged a 10% cancellation fee only; for such an early cancellation, Bon Vivant Wine Tours will refund any payment taken, less this 10% cancellation charge. As group tour pricing is by time and mileage and not per person, a reduction in the number of guests does not affect the total price for a private group tour. Such a reduction in number of guests will, of course, affect the group’s expenses for lodging, meals, and winery fees.