Your decision about whether to choose a private wine tour or a mixed group tour may well come down to budget, which will of course also depend on the number of people in your group. Having a private vehicle and driver can appear expensive when there are only two of you – but when you consider that you will have a “white glove” experience with the undivided attention of an expert guide for five to six hours, lunch and pre-paid wine tastings at your choice of wineries, even a two person tour represents a great value.
At the other end of the spectrum, as soon as you have 7 or more people in your group the price for a private tour becomes basically the same as the price of a mixed tour. So gather some friends and tour like VIPs at an amazingly affordable price.
The three most obvious things you might see as advantages in having a private tour are:
1. You get to create your own ambience on the tour
No matter if you are a low-key group of seasoned wine tasters out to scout some fabulous new wines, or an all out, loud, bubbly, party-on-down type group of friends, having your own vehicle lets you set the tone. Music of your own choosing is a big one here – laid back road trip music and hip hop beats can both be a great accompaniment for a tour through wine country, but they will create a very different experience! A certain togetherness, a cozy vibe, is one of the lovely side effects of wine touring together and having your own space for that to happen in helps.
2. Choose your wineries and customize your itinerary
When your wine tasting tour is private, you can customize your day exactly as you want. If you want to focus on scenic vineyards, or to visit wineries in the Santa Rita Hills AVA, or to add stops and other points of interest to your tour, those options are in your hands. In a mixed group tour, though we will strive to include special requests and only work with the most wonderful vineyards, your itinerary will be pre-set and take into account the needs of all the different people on the wine tour.
3. Changes of plan, going at your own pace.
If you are on a private wine tour and you particularly love the winery you are in, or you suddenly decide you need to grab coffee, or perhaps even want to add an unscheduled stop, you have much more freedom than if you are in a mixed group. Set you own pace, but remember that if your group is larger than eight people it may be difficult to adjust the times of your tasting reservations.
Mixed Group Tours
The mixed group tour is the great melting pot of wine tasting! Jumping on a bus with a group of enthusiastic wine lovers can make for a great day out. You never know who you will meet, but traveling together and tasting together can lead to some easy banter and instant friendships. Its amazing how quickly our group tours create a group energy, and comparing notes with fellow travelers on wines tasted…and just about everything else…makes for a fun day. Apart from the social interaction, the main advantage to the mixed group tour is spreading the transportation costs across a bigger group means that your overall price will be less than if two or four of you tour in a private vehicle. At Eos our group excursions into wine country start at just $79 per person for a transportation only service, and you can enjoy the full VIP package with pre-paid tastings at the top wineries, lunch, and a custom pickup all included starting at $139 per person.