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?
Each Scheduled tour is priced a little differently, depending on what’s included, and that pricing can be found on the Wine Tours and Scheduled Tours tabs. Additionally, our guests typically spend $25 to $35 per person and per winery throughout a wine touring day, for tasting fees and lunches. Should you enjoy the tour, and especially the tour guide, gratuities are gratefully accepted. (Note, any monies designated by guests as gratuities for the guide, are 100% theirs.) 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 wineries or tasting rooms, with lunch available at 1 or more of them. It is not our practice 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. In particular, the tour will revolve around creating an enhanced wine tasting experience for your group.
How Many Wines Will We Taste?
Typically, you will taste 4-7 wines at each tasting stop. Sometimes more. As we will visit 4wineries, these 1 ounce tastings can add up to several glasses of wine, very nearly a full bottle over the day long tour. PRO TIP: Don’t hesitate to use the dump buckets, pouring out any tastes you don’t care for, it’s common practice and won’t hurt the winemaker’s feelings. Also, take advantage of the water provided on our coach, to keep your taste buds fresh.
What About Tasting Fees?
Most wineries charge a tasting fee, generally $15-$40 per winery, and some wineries offer special reserve wine tastings for an additional fee. Typically (but not always), all or part of 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 own costs down by choosing only wineries that charge very low tasting fees. 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 Banbridge wineries, we will make a reservations at a leading locally owned, winery district restaurant, where you will select and purchase your own meal. For our Woodinville tours, we choose a boutique winery that also offers lunch, so that you purchase lunch or sharables to enjoy while tasting.
How Long Will the Bon Vivant Wine Tour Take?
You and your fellow guests will generally be picked up between 10:00 and 10:30, and will be returned to your starting point before 5:00, about 7-8 hours. On overnight and multi-day tours, we also 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 alone, plus hundreds of 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?
Where possible, Bon Vivant scheduled excursions include opportunities for a guided tour of a winemaking facility or vineyard. While we cannot promise, very often winemakers from the boutique make themselves available to meet Bon Vivant Wine Tour groups.
Are All of Your Stops at Wineries?
It’s important to understand the geography of Washington State, as it relates to vineyards. Virtually all vineyards are in Eastern Washington some 3-5 hours across the Cascade Mountains from Seattle. Here in Western Washington, you will find mostly tasting rooms, with winery operations in some of the back rooms of the facility. On all of our day tours, you will visit wineries and wine tasting rooms, enjoying lunch along the way. 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, enjoying lunch during 2-3 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 1960’s, 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.“ Indeed, many fine varietal wines are made from these grapes. And with so many grapes in cultivation, 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?
For our travelers, Bon Vivant Tours will pick up and drop off visitors at most downtown Seattle and Eastside hotels, Airbnbs, and the like. To accommodate our locally based guests, we may be able to make special arrangements. Please call our tour directors at 206-524-8687 to work out any details
What Will Be Our Lodging Arrangements for a Multi-day Tour?
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. 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?
In short, ASAP, especially for Saturdays and the busy summer season. That said, we always try to accommodate our guests, even at the last minute, so don’t hesitate to call a tour director at 206-524-8687. 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 Scheduled Day Tour reservation and pay for that 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. With both reservation options, you will promptly receive a confirmation email. As for the multi-day tours and private tours, you will want to speak to a tour director at that same number, 206-524-8687. Visa, American Express and MasterCard credit card are accepted. Please do NOT send your credit card information to us in an e-mail or text; neither is secure enough for financial transactions.
What if We Have to Cancel or Reschedule?
Note: For the time being, all cancellation fees described below are waived. This gives you the ability to plan ahead and book with confidence, knowing your money is not at risk. And please, if you or a touring companion are not feeling well when your tour day arrives, just call us at 206-524-8687. We can refund or reschedule, whichever you prefer.
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.