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“Wonderful service & easy to work with!!!”
Review of Iowa Wine Tours

Iowa Wine Tours
Ranked #3 of 8 Food & Drink in Dubuque
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We have done 2 tours with Dennis over the years and he is truly a pleasure. I was recently at a Hawkeye game and he recognized us before I did him. On our first tour we just went with one of his advertised tours with other people we didn't know. Our second tour we worked with him to put together a tour that was just for our friends. He did exactly what we wanted picked us up at our home and set our lunch. I cannot say enough positive things about him. I am working on setting up another tour now.

1  Thank iowastateruds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 - 56 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2013

I recently was able to enjoy a wine tour with Iowa Wine Tours . Several friends and I decided to take a wine tour and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Dennis was very professional,curteous, and knoweldgeable of the area that we toured and the wine industry. It was nice to be able to go to several different wineries and sample various wines and also not to have to worry about driving. I'm looking forward to going on another tour with Iowa Wine tours.

2  Thank sharr47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2013

We signed up for a wine tour for my bachelorette party, starting out in Galena, IL. Not only was it not just my group, which we were under the understanding that it'd just be us 5, but it was not a wine tour, either.

It turned into a pub crawl with a small bus to take us around. I didn't entirely mind. The driver stopped at podunk, hole-in-the-wall bars. We went through 3 states: IL, WI, and IA. Not terrible!

The bars we stopped at were nice, but those will have their own reviews. Our bus driver also provided us with beaded necklaces as a fun little gimmick.

One thing to note: one person in my party was unable to attend, but ordered a bottle of wine from the tour company to give to us so that she could be there "in spirit". The bottle of wine was never given to us. She contested the charge and ultimately got her money back, thankfully.

Thank ipapyrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2013

Iowa Wine Tours is a true gem of a tour! From the beginning, Dennis was wonderful to deal with. We were able to book a tour for 7 girls on a Friday in September. Two other ladies were on the tour and we all had a great time. Dennis picked us up at our rental house and entertained us the entire trip with the history of the area, wine-making trivia, and an overall sense of friendliness. The BlackHawk Tour included 3 wineries that were lovely to view and great choices to visit too! Dennis kindly took care of our wine purchases and stowed them safely and labeled in the van. Procento's Pizza was delicious and Dennis was able to order a salad for two of the ladies who have gluten allergies. For myself and my other friends on our Girls Getaway Weekend, this was the highlight of our trip!

2  Thank Laura P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

I am disappointed to have to rate my experience with Iowa Wine Tours so poorly, but due to my recent experience, I feel I need to leave this review to give others warning. I do want to begin by saying I had a positive experience with Iowa Wine Tours about 3 years back when I booked a tour for approximately 12 girls for a bachelorette party. Because of this positive experience, I have recommended Iowa Wine Tours to many in the years following, and decided to book once again for a trip I was taking with my mother and sister. This is where things went downhill.

Here is a timeline of my experience:

August 18-I sent Dennis a private message through his facebook page inquiring about booking a tour for September 14th for 3 people. Dennis responded very quickly informing me that he had a bus already booked for that date but he should get enough for a second one. We then communicated back and forth with private messages and with that he took my cell number, hotel info, and credit card info to hold our reservation.

September 10-It was 3 days before we would be leaving for Galena, so I sent Dennis another private message requesting confirmation that we were all set, as well as finalizing pickup details. I did not hear back, despite the private message feature showing me he had viewed my message.

September 12 (morning)-Since I had not heard back from Dennis, I started to worry he was avoiding me and we may have a problem with our tour. Once again I sent a private message through facebook requesting confirmation that we were all set as well as finalizing pickup details. Did not hear back despite the message once again showing up as being viewed.

September 12 (afternoon)-Since it was obvious at this point he was avoiding me, I once again sent email requesting confirmation that we were all set as well as finalizing pickup details. Did not hear back.

September 12 (evening)-At this point it was clear that Dennis was seeing my messages but not replying. I figured if I placed my message on his Facebook wall that is public he would be more likely to respond. I was correct. At this point he informed me that the others who were supposed to go on the tour with us cancelled and since there was only 3 of us and there was a minimum of 4 that needed to go on the tour it was unlikely we would be going. I informed Dennis at this point that I was disappointed in his lack of communication and questioned when he planned on informing us of this, considering we were leaving for Galena the next day. He tried to tell me that he was looking for a 4th person, but at that point I informed him we needed to know one way or another since that tour was meant to be our main plans for Saturday. At this point he replied that 4 was the minimum and he didn't know that he could get anyone else for the tour.

I expressed both how this situation was so unexpected as well as my disappointment with this outcome. I told him it seemed unfair that since others had cancelled that our tour had to be cancelled, especially on such short notice. I also informed him that I would likely share my experience with trip advisor, which then led to a phone call from Dennis to myself. He left me a voicemail in which it seemed as if he was more upset about me leaving a review on trip advisor than the fact that he was unable to provide the service I put down a credit card for (from what I could hear of the voicemail, his service was poor and cutting in and out). He then went on about how he could take us but it would be a financial loss for him, etc., etc.

I did not want to call him back as I had already read on another review that he had yelled at another customer (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g37853-d2062916-r119430809-Iowa_Wine_Tours-Dubuque_Iowa.html) and I could tell he was irritated. So I sent him back a message explaining that my reason for leaving a review on trip advisor was due to the way our tour situation was handled and the lack of communication. I also told him that I believe it was poor business for me to have to track down him down to find out that our tour was cancelled and that we were not notified earlier. At this point I informed him that we needed to end things here, due to the fact that even if he was able to find a 4th person, things were heated and I preferred not to have our tour be an awkward situation (not to mention we didn’t want to wait around to find if he got a 4th or not, we needed to make alternative plans).

Dennis once again called and left another voicemail as well as sending a facebook message saying he can't control people cancelling a tour, how he turned others away and can't get them back etc. etc. He said the girls who were supposed to be on our tour had just cancelled today (yet still no explanation as to why he never responded to my early messages trying to get confirmation). Later Dennis denied seeing any of my facebook messages asking for confirmation. He was apparently unaware of the fact that facebook lets the sender see when private messages are read and denied reading them. He said no other customer had ever messaged him that way. However he of course responded almost instantly to those messages when I was booking and sending hotel and credit card info and had no problem seeing them then. He also stated that I didn't call by phone or email like all his other customers, basically implying it was my fault I hadn't heard from him.

So here’s my takeway from the situation:

1. Iowa Wine Tours should have a non-refundable cancellation policy and if they do indeed, it shouldn't have mattered if others cancelled or not. When Dennis called me he informed me he would be taking a loss for the tour by only taking the 3 of us. On other (negative) reviews, others have stated he claims the tours are non-refundable if you cancel. If that is the case, he should still be able to get his money for the tour from those who cancelled and take the others out, therefore it wouldn't be a loss to him and he wouldn’t be cancelling tours for those who had booked. I should also add that while he was concerned with losing money himself, he was evidently not concerned with losing a customer or future referrals, which he did by cancelling our tour.

2. If you are booking a tour with less than 4 people-be forewarned, your tour may be cancelled (and at the last minute!). The good news is we were able to get the last 3 seats on similar wine tour out of Galena with Amelia's Wine Tours (we visited Galena Cellars, Rocky Waters, and Masbach). They were wonderful (and fully booked with 15 people, they are obviously doing something right!) and the tour was great, with lunch at Chestnut Mountain being a highlight.

3. Don't communicate with Dennis via his facebook page as he will claim to not see your message. :) 

I am sure that Dennis will issue some sort of rebuttal to this review, which generally happens with negative reviews. I want to reiterate that this review is not out of spite, rather to prevent others from the unfortunate situation we faced of scrambling to come up with new plans after an all-day activity was cancelled. I had a previous experience that was great. But facts are facts and Dennis handled this situation poorly. I am happy to share more information or any screenshots of our communication (I put that out there so that Dennis cannot deny anything that took place in our conversation). Feel free to contact me for more information if you would like.

23  Thank Becky_Gras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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