So, We are in the business of transportation. Our services is a Designated Driver model, which means we drive our clients' car whether it be a personal or rental vehicle. This model was developed because people who come to wine country typically need a car to get here. So why pay for a limo or a town car (and now app based transportation options like Uber and Lyft) when you are paying for a car already. In addition, there are great group tour options such as Platypus Wine Tours.
This BLOG post discusses the different options and why each one is good in certain scenarios
GROUP WINE TOURS
Let's start with a group wine tour such as Platypus Tours https://www.platypustours.com/
This tour company specializes in group tours and has tremendous relationships with all sizes of wineries. People love their experience as you can see with over 5K reviews on Yelp alone! If you are looking for a day of tasting that typically includes snacks and lunches and 3 winery tours, this is the company for you! Their drivers are friendly, knowledgeable and understand the nuances and history of the valley.
There are a slew of limo and town car companies in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. These are good for going tasting when you don't have a car and need one to drive you around to the different wineries. It allows you to keep your stuff with you all day and have a dedicated private transportation resource. Prices can vary as can hourly minimums. Most drivers are not from wine country and may not be able to add much to enhance your experience, but they are a good option when you want that dedicated higher end experience for transportation
APP BASED TRANSPORTATION
App based transportation have taken it's hold in the wine country. It is a good option if you are going to mainstream wineries, and typically only visiting one or two locations. Most drivers come in from out of the area, so are unable to truly provide the insiders/local perspective (keep in mind I said MOST). I also find it challenging for people when they go to a smaller producer, say on Spring Mountain where internet access is sometimes non-existent. You can find yourself stranded at the top of the mountain and may need to rely on the kindness of strangers to get you back in range so you can get transportation back to your lodging or next winery appointment. I always caution my guests about having a fixed itinerary when doing this type of transportation as you may miss an appointment and will still be on the hook for tasting fees.
DESIGNATED DRIVER SERVICE
This is a great solution for people coming to the valley who want a private tour, but with someone who really knows the valley, the wineries and the history. In these cases you are getting someone who is local and understands the nuances to pay attention to when creating your itinerary or doing your day of wine tasting. You must have your own car, or a rental vehicle.
The benefit is that you don't have to pay for 2 cars (your rental and a limo or town car - or even Uber for that matter).
The competition is fierce in this option, but don't always think that the low-price leader is the best option. Look for companies who have insurance (Non-Owner/Operator insurance) and for those that have a local staff.
Designated Driving services are a great way to see the valley through the eyes of a local and at times, go tasting as a local would. Wine Tasting Driver, a locally owned and operated business can help you with any and all of your transportation needs. Just click here to get more information on their Napa or Sonoma Designated Driver Services!