What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing. Period. We don't usually do a lot of walking, but we typically go into the vines to sample the fruit and study the canopy management so closed-toe comfortable shoes are best. Many of the roads are unpaved and very dusty in the summertime. Shorts and sundresses are perfectly fine and you are not expected to "dress up"....however; business casual or "Sunday brunch" is perfect.
How much are tasting fees?
Tasting fees vary from $10 to $25 per flight. A flight is typically a sampling of five or six wines that the winery currently has available or that they feel best showcases their wines. Additional fees usually apply for barrel tastings, wines that are pulled from the catalog or vertical tastings. Please note, your tasting fees are FREE and included with your tour fee (up to $15 per flight, per person, up to three wineries).
Is tipping expected?
Tips are always appreciated but never expected. You will receive superior professional service and personal attention regardless of gratuity. Your satisfaction and positive feedback are the most important issues for us.
How long is the wine tour?
To visit three or four wineries in one day and enjoy a lovely lunch without rushing, your tour will last between five and six hours. Although we do not want to rush, we do want to give plenty of time for commuting between wineries and enjoying each flight.
How many wineries do you visit?
Our preference is to visit three wineries in one day. Although we could do four or five, we might have to rush to keep on schedule. That's okay if you're a collector and you can "sample and spit" quickly. Otherwise, we do not recommend more than four or five wineries in one day as “palate fatigue” will set in and the wines will begin to taste the same. Usually, we spend about one hour at each winery to complete one flight, and since the wineries are typically open from 11 am to 5 pm, three or four wineries in one day is a full day.
Are your tours kid friendly?
While most wineries are focused on showcasing their wines for you to sample and potentially purchase, young children, are always welcome. However, an older child who can be somewhat independent would probably create the most enjoyable day for everyone.
How do you choose the wineries?
What is unique about Triangle Wine Country Tours is that we have personally chosen the wineries we visit based on our personal experience. This experience includes a complete understanding of which wines are good and bad for each vintage and thus, where to go to find the best wines at a competitive price. We always hope to create more wine geeks like us on each tour, so we work hard to find the right wines to encourage the start or significant contribution to your wine cellar at the best price.
What is the difference between your tours and the competition?
Although most tour companies are friendly and professional, they may feel like an enlightened chauffeur rather than an industry professional. All of our tour guides are WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) certified. WSET is based in London and provides a true world view on wine and the wine industry. This education, along with our industry experience and over 20 years of sampling Willamette Valley wines, ensures that our tours are both personal and educational. Unlike other companies, we are in the tasting room with you talking and teaching you about the wines you're sampling and how they relate to your palate. It is a difference you have to experience for yourself. Moreover, Triangle Wine Country is an LLC and carries commercial insurance. Be aware, similar tour providers utilize their personal insurance which may not provide coverage in case of an accident.
Will food be provided?
Yes. Snacks and bottled water are included as well as a lovely gourmet lunch. Lunch is typically provided at your second winery visit.
Do I need to bring a bag or box for my wine if I buy wine?
Yes and no. If you live in the Portland metro area and you have a reusable wine bag, please bring it with you. If not, the wineries will provide bags or boxes for you to easily transport your purchases. And of course, most wineries will ship for you at a very nice discounted rate.
How much is wine at the vineyards?
Wine bottles in the Willamette Valley can range from $15 to $125 with most white wines costing around $20 per bottle. Red wines average about $35 to $40 per bottle. But don't forget, since you are touring with an industry professional we can help you make the best wine purchase decisions!
How often do you do tours?
Our tours are provided year round (depending on weather). Balloon flight packages are available from April to October. When should you visit? Early Spring and Fall wine tours are the most amazing, colorful, and interesting.....and the tasting rooms aren't so busy.
How large are the tour groups?
Small Group Wine Tours are limited to six guests. We also have arrangements with many limousine and bus services to provide our Private Large Group Wine Tours, so we can accommodate most group sizes with a little planning.
What other activities should I consider during my wine tour?
A balloon flight, of course. It really is the best way to see (and taste) the Willamette Valley. You know it's on your bucket list so just do it...you will not regret it.