Don’t care for wine but find yourself in wine country with people who love wine? What do you do? You call Uncorked Wine Tours and book a sampler tour. Captain Katie Hayward will set you up with a tour to try “all things Paso.” Or if your whole group loves beer, forget the wine tasting and just go beer tasting.
The Sampler Tour starts with coffee at a local coffee shop, followed by a vineyard and winery tour and wine tasting, olive tasting and then beer tasting and brewery tour.
“That way you get a feel for all we have to offer – not just wine,” Hayward said.
Custom tours abound
Hayward likes to start the tours about 10 a.m., but all tours are customizable. While she has some tried and true stops, each tour depends on the guests’ preferences. She said that winery stops depend on what varietals they want to try or if they want to stop at boutique wineries or larger ones.
“My big thing overall for Uncorked is that it’s customizable,” Hayward said.
The tours are billed per hour, so while the average tour is four to six hours, depending on how many people and stops there are, the tours can go longer. While most of the wineries close by 5 p.m., the breweries are open later. Hayward often ends Sampler and Beer Tours at Barrelhouse Brewery because it is open until 9 p.m. and has live music and food.
Uncorked Wine Tours started with Hayward and a van in June 2010 and has grown to 10 drivers and four vehicles, the largest which holds 14 passengers. Tours can be booked any day of the week, though Saturdays often book up at least a month in advance.
Taste olive oil, coffee, cheese & more
What about for those people who don’t drink beer or wine, or don’t want to? There’s a tour for that too.
Hayward said that instead of going wine or beer tasting, guests can build their tour with any stop they’d like, including but not limited to: olive oil tasting, winery and vineyard tours, coffee, cheese tasting, ziplining, or even an organic farm. Of course there is always the option to do a customizable wine only tour. Hayward added on the beer and sampler tours because she saw a need in the market.
In addition to the hourly charge, guests also pay their own tasting fees, when not going to a winery that waives the fees for Uncorked. Food can be brought along or a box lunch can be purchased from Uncorked. Hayward said that the lunch menu – available on the website – serves meat lovers to vegans.
“We could not have been more thrilled with Captain Katie and Uncorked,” Chelsea Morse wrote in a testimonial. “Organizing a group of 15 ladies on a bachelorette party wine tasting, I was concerned about keeping the group moving and staying on time, but Katie made everything so smooth and simple.”
To book a tour, go to www.uncorkedwinetours.net or call (805) 459-4500.