What kind of tastings will I experience?
Chateau & Winery Visits
Visits vary depending on the region. In Bordeaux you will usually taste the most recent vintage(s) of the one or two wines the chateau produces. In Burgundy you’ll likely taste several different wines from each producer, as they make smaller quantities of many wines. In the Loire also you will see a variety of types of wine at each vineyard.
French winery visits are not like visits to American vineyards. In the States the vineyard is trying to sell directly, aiming to show you how their wine will age over the years. Since it’s usually assumed that you don’t already know their product, you’ll often get to taste older vintages. In Italy you will usually taste the most recent vintage(s) and you’ll likely taste several different wines from each producer. In France and Italy, for instance, it is only recently that producers have begun to receive large volumes of tourist visitors; they are more in the habit of receiving wine buyers who are familiar with the chateau, coming to taste the latest release to see if they want to purchase it.
Usually we visit with the manager, owner or cellar-master. At some of the more commercial chateaux (particularly Mouton and Pichon Baron) we will be hosted by a full-time guide, but if we have any technical questions they can’t answer we can normally meet with the winemaking staff.
What's the standard for gratuities abroad?
Italy: Usually up to 10% is normal or a little more if you feel you’ve received especially good service.
A tip for your guide is quite appropriate as they appreciate your recognition if they did a good job. So, base it on the service you feel you have received, or call us for guidance if you wish.
Can I or should I take wine with me on my trip?
We will advise you when and with whom to open them. Some people may want to open and taste with you, others may accept it as a gift for them to enjoy later. Either way it will be much appreciated, and if given at the start of a visit may lead to a more interesting tasting for you.
What's included, what's not in the price of my WineWorldTours.com experience?
You’ll notice that many meals are included as well as wine with some of the meals. However, any meals not included will be specifically mentioned on the itinerary. If you have any special wines you would like to drink with meals, let us know. We’ll tell you whether we must charge any supplement to accommodate your request.
Apéritifs, cocktails, after-dinner drinks etc. are not included, either in the hotel, restaurants or any other time. You can either pay cash for these or (as most people prefer) you may put them on our tab and we will collect at the end of the trip. Let us know which you prefer at the start of your trip.
Scheduled visits and specific artisan or gallery, tour, etc. side trips are included and listed. Optional activities arranged prior to or during the tour (golf, horseriding, river trips, balloon rides etc.) are at additional cost.
How should we dress?
Most restaurants allow open shirts and no jackets, though there are a few on each tour which prefer more formality. We’ll let you know what’s appropriate, but we advise the men to bring a jacket, and for the ladies a nice dress or two including your favorite “little black dress”.
Spring and fall can be fresh, and often showery, so suitable outer wear is recommended for this time of year. We have umbrellas, but bringing your own usually helps guarantee that it won’t rain! June through September can be hot and occasionally humid.
Pack light, layer and leave room for souvenirs and a bottle or two!
Can we bring or ship wine home?
There are several factors that need to be addressed. Call and talk to us about arranging for shipment, and remember that anyone who is willing to sell you wine and ship it to you will be just as happy to send it on after you’re back home – don’t panic-buy!. Our supplier has its own import company in California that can sometimes help in shipping to you.
What can I do to ensure that I will have an enjoyable experience?
How can I reach you if I have a problem or need to talk with us?
You can always get in touch with us through our office in California.
- Toll Free from anywhere in US – 800-980-8005
- Or call David – (213) 399-5999
- Barry – (310) 654-3872
- Peter – (949 ) 673-7376
Do we provide help for people who need help making a flight or gateway (arrival or departure) city reservations?
What kind of tickets can I buy?
We can purchase one of the following:
- International consolidation fare tickets. These are unpublished negotiated fares that are discounted and below published fare prices. We have millions of these city-pair combination fares.
- Published and domestic or international fares.
- Special sale fares when an airline offers, often without notice, a special fare to a select destination or for a specified period of time. We, of course, will pass these fares on to you as soon as they are loaded into our booking engine.
Can I have my tickets sent to a friend?
Can I use a third party's credit card?
Do discounted business and economy class tickets sold through WineWorldTours.com qualify for mileage programs?
Can I use mileage to purchase a ticket?
Do the tickets you sell have restrictions?
How do I change my flight reservation after I have purchased my ticket?
What is the penalty if I need to change a ticket?
Where do I send my cancelled ticket?
Do I have special check-in rules since 9/11?
What are the new baggage restrictions since 9/11?
Who will take care of my dietary and health concerns?
How do I know if I need a visa?It is your responsibility to complete all passport, visa, health, international drivers license and other requirements yourself.
What support systems and financial instruments protect my transactions with WineWorldTours.com?
Wine World Tours
425 Manitoba Street
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
The company is part of E-Travel Concepts Inc which operates under CST 2067170-40. The air fares it offers are provided and fulfilled by air travel consolidators operating under CST 1018924-40, CST 2026830-40, CST 1016644-40 and CST 2076446-40. Our hotel and vacation suppliers hold CST# 2076446-40, CST# 2006766-20, CST#2000180-10, CST# 2083914 and CST# 2016818.
For passengers located in California at the time of purchase, your transaction is covered by the participation of E-Travel Concepts Inc. and it’s consolidator suppliers in the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund (TCRF). Eligible passengers may file a claim with TCRF if the passenger is owed a refund of more than $50 for transportation or travel services which Top10TravelWorld.com or WineWorldTours.com failed to forward to one of its travel providers or such money was not refunded to passenger when required. The maximum amount that may be paid by the TCRF to any one passenger is the total amount paid on behalf of the passenger to the respective seller of travel, not to exceed $15,000.
A claim must be submitted to the TCRF within 6 months after the scheduled completion date of the travel. A claim must include sufficient documentation to prove your claim and a $35.00 processing fee. Claimants must agree to waive their right to other civil remedies against a registered participating seller of travel for matters arising out of a sale for which you file a TCRF claim. You may request a claim form by writing to: Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation, P.O. Box 6001, Larkspur, CA 94977-6001; or by faxing a request to: 415-927-7698.
Let’s start with the basics. You’ve got your passport, but have you checked to see the validity date? You don’t want to get caught abroad with an out-of-date passport! Need a visa? Won’t know until you check the countries you are visiting. Same goes for Health documentation. Our CEO, an experienced traveler, forgot to get a visa for Australia, but thanks to that government’s enlightened policy was able to get one at the very last minute at the airport! Remember, travel docs and visas are the responsibility of the traveler.
A good directive to follow when traveling in foreign lands is “don’t assume anything”. It’s not America! It’s their country and it’s their laws, rules, customs and traditions. So, please be respectful too. For lots of helpful information from the US Department of State, please go to: http://www.travel.state.gov
Worried about the political landscape where you heading? Then check out the our US Gov’t Travel advisories at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html
Please check out Public Announcements for specific terrorist threats, coups, etc. and the Consular Information Sheets which include specific info ranging from immigration to health to entry regulations to drug laws and penalties.
And, the weather too at http://www.weather.com or http://www.accuweather.com. It might end up saving you a bundle of money if you are prepared and bring your raincoat, gloves and scarf since they don’t not have a Wal-Mart in Bordeaux.
Get one of our “free” city or country guides (just ask us if we forget to provide one!) or splurge for a guidebook and study up on your destinations – even if you’ve been there before. The folks at Lonely Planet, for instance, really get into a destination and deliver the unbiased, up-to-date insights. Also, visit Mapquest.com or Maps.com for destination maps and directions abroad.
Assuming you’re truly a savvy traveler, you’ll also need the following critical items in addition to the documents we provide: Trip cancellation and medical insurance – chances are the country you’re visiting won’t accept your company health plan! Then order and purchase, in advance, your drugs (carry a few extra days supply) and over the counter meds (you might not find your favorite brand in Paris) including personal and female hygiene items, general antibiotics, pain killers, vitamins and cleaner for contact lens, a back-up pair of glasses (sun glasses?) and a copy of your prescription, a mini sewing kit and travel first-aid kit.
Don’t forget your digital travel alarm clock and your electrical adapter/converter. Or, you might end up looking like you had the worst hair day when you arrive late for your luncheon with the wine-master. Last but not least, your camera, a back-up battery and film if it’s not digital.
You’ve got a lot of necessary stuff. Where do you keep it? You’ll really need and appreciate a small, easy-to-access but secure travel bag and portfolio where you can carry your passport (keep a copy at home and take one with you), tickets, money and traveler checks, credit cards and personal ID, plus maps and guidebook, camera and film, jewelry and drugs, a good paperback, your cell phone and a small water bottle.
And, whatever you do, don’t let this bag out of your sight!