I just returned from a trip to San Francisco with two girlfriends and we booked our Napa tour with Gordon. Just as the previous poster stated there was a natural concern with hiring a personal driver instead of taking a larger organized tour. There were so many factors to consider; was it safe, would he show up, would we really get to see the winery’s he told us we’d see…..YES it was all that and more. I can say that taking a private tour is the only way I would ever see Napa and the only way I would suggest you see Napa if you plan to taste at the properties. There are only 2 ways in and 2 ways out, and the cops know it and they’ll be waiting……. so BE CAREFUL!!! Driving yourself is really not worth the risk if you are going to participate in wine tasting (which is why we go to Napa, Right???).
I would also like to state that I researched tour options for weeks; and most organized tours catered to large groups and went to the same winery’s….. standing in long lines waiting on the tasting's and fighting the crowds was not what I had in mind for my first trip to the Wine County. After all, this was going to be the highlight of our trip to San Fran; so it was a big deal for us and budget was a huge factor. I exchanged emails with probably every private tour provider and independent limo service in the valley and the city, and I almost gave up because it seemed as though our Napa tour was out of reach financially. It was a huge shock and great relief when I got Gordon’s reply and tour price…..the cost difference was substantial. So let me save you all the time and effort by telling you to start with Gordon first, and if he’s available BOOK HIM!!!! You will not be disappointed.
I exchanged emails with Gordon for weeks prior to our trip. He was professional, informative, and responded quickly to all my emails. Gordon offered his personal suggestion’s on the most suitable winery’s based on our wine preferences and tour interests. Ultimately, in the end the choice was ours and we set our tour destinations, and he made it all happen. The cost of his tours included him picking us up at our hotel in downtown San Francisco, all tour and wine tastings (which can be quite expensive when you do the math), and he required no deposit. Just as the other poster stated the only additional cost we incurred was our lunch and any wines we purchased.
Gordon arrived at the hotel early to pick us up, and we headed to Napa. We chatted the whole way and Gordon shared facts about the wine country and what we could expect when we got there. We visited Stags Leap Wine Cellars (private tasting), Franks Family Vineyard (special stop for me), Schramsberg (cave tour), Rubicon Estates (private tasting), Midsummer Cellars – one of the smallest winery’s in Napa (private tasting and best wine of the day. We sampled straight from the barrel as well as a bottled selection), lastly we visited Jessup Cellars (private room tasting).
This tour was everything we could have hoped for and more. We enjoyed ourselves so much that the two other ladies have arranged for Gordon to do there tour when they return this year. I have also given Gordon’s contact information to my boss who is going out in July and plans to book with him. It was truly a fantastic time, money well spent, and I can not recommend Gordon enough. If you are going to see Napa this is the only way to do it; Gordon is top notch.
Contact Gordon at http://www.eyeonwine.com/
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