How are the wineries chosen on the small group tour? The small group tour is designed as an overview to showcase what Santa Barbara wine country has to offer in terms of local wine grapes. We select our wineries to include varietals from Burgundy, Rhone and Bordeaux because these are the most popular wine styles grown in Santa Barbara county. You will enjoy wines such as pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, grenache, mourvedre, viogner, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, petit verdot and some unique blends. You will sample over twenty different wines from four different wineries! Generally, our visits to each winery are about fifty minutes with the lunch approximately forty five minutes.
Can we bring our own food or wine on the tour? Yes and no. You may bring your own snacks or food to eat at the winery, but you cannot bring your own wine or other alcoholic beverages to the wineries. This would violate the ABC license which the wineries operate under. On the tour itself, we do allow lite snacks and water in the van, but we can't allow alcohol consumption on board our vehicles.
What time will you pick us up? Generally from the Santa Barbara area, our pickup window is between 09:40 and 10:00 am. If you are in Carpinteria, Summerland or Montecito the pick up time will be earlier depending on location (we will contact you with the earlier pick up time). The time will depend on how many other guests we are also picking up that morning. If you are staying in the Santa Ynez/Solvang area, the pickup time may vary from 10:30 to 11:00 am. The tour usually ends between 4:00 and 4:30 pm.
Do you charge a mandatory gratuity or other fees with the tour? On groups under seven we do not charge a mandatory gratuity. The normal Santa Ynez Tour is a flat rate of $129 on weekdays and $138 on weekends, that includes the four winery visits plus the artisan picnic lunch. There are no other fees, taxes, or gratuity added. However, it is customary to tip your guide as we do work very hard to ensure your day is unique and memorable. If you really enjoyed the experience, there is no better way to show your appreciation than to offer a tip to the guide. We do accept all major credit cards for any gratuity added for your convenience.
Do you still operate tours if it is raining? Yes, the wineries for the most part are all indoors. We will issue umbrellas to our guests so that they can walk from the vehicle to the winery in comfort. Please dress appropriately as sometimes it can be cold or windy when it is raining. We may have to substitute the picnic lunch depending on adequate availability for a covered environment to picnic at. If we do this, you will enjoy a nice indoor lunch at a local restaurant.
Do you pick up at AirBnB or private residences? We pick up at centrally located AirBnBs and private residences. However, some AirBnB or private rentals are simply too remote for a door to door pick up. Usually we can meet you at the Visitors Center in Santa Barbara at 1 Garden Street or an alternate location. Please call us at (805) 453-4063 before booking to confirm an AirBnB or private rental pick up location.
Do you allow children on the tour? Sorry, no guests under eighteen are allowed on the group tour (please note drinking age is 21 in California). However, we are happy to host children on a custom tour.
What is your cancellation policy? We will give a full refund minus a five percent credit card processing fee for all bookings cancelled within four days of the tour date. If you cancel the booking after the four day window, we offer a full credit towards a future booking only.