Frequently Asked Questions
What is your refund policy?
Tours canceled 30 days in advance get a 100% refund. Tours canceled less than 30 days in advance are moved to a rain check to be used in the future and never expire.
Do I have to pay for my tour in full when I book?
Depending on the tour. When booking a Join In tour you must always pay in full. For a private tour, our booking system requires you to pay in full, but if you call the office directly, you just need to put down a small deposit and then you can pay your balance the day of the tour!
Are wine tasting fees included in the cost of the tour?
No. Each winery sets its own price for tasting and some offer discounts if you purchase a bottle of wine or have other special offers. Typically tastings range from $5 to $10 per person. Driver gratuity is also not included in tour cost.
When is the best time to come for a wine tour?
We think anytime is a good time to enjoy the area but here are a few pointers. Most Saturdays from April to October are busy and in September and October, they are crazy busy at the wineries. If you can come any other day of the week you will probably enjoy it a little more. We offer discounts Sunday through Thursday year round. Morning tours are always a little easier to get in and out of the wineries also. Whenever possible consider booking a private tasting experience at the winery and for only a few dollars more you will save some time and have a more enjoyable time.
What can you tell me about your tour guides?
Our friendly tour guides at Traverse City Wine And Beer Tours are experienced and professional. In 2017 they drove more than 2000 wine tours. They have worked hard to establish and maintain relationships with the wineries on the peninsula.
How safe are your tour vehicles?
At Traverse City Wine And Beer Tours, we are as passionate about safety as we are about the wine industry near Traverse City. We offer the newest fleet of vehicles in the area. The average age of our vehicles is about 2.5 years old and several are 4 wheel drive. Our vehicles are fully insured and state licensed, plus we are fully compliant with all DOT regulations.
How many people can you accommodate on a tour?
We can accommodate up to 32 in one vehicle and over 200 at one time in multiple vehicles.
We’re visiting from out of town with our family. My wife and I want to go for a tasting tour but are we allowed to bring our children?
Yes, they are welcome on all private tours but not on our Join In Public tours. Most wineries do allow children but ask that children and teens stand away from the tasting counters. You may want to be prepared with quiet activities to keep your children happily occupied while you sample Northern Michigan wines.
How long is each stop at a winery usually?
It varies, of course, depending on how busy it is and how many questions tasters have but generally, you can expect to spend around half an hour to 45 minutes at a winery for a tasting. Of course, there is no set time limit on private tours. With the unbelievable views and patios at several of the wineries, a glass of wine and a small plate are a great way to spend an hour in the sunshine.
Where can we go on a private tour?
On a private tour you can pretty much visit anywhere you would like during your tour time. We help in making all those arrangements when needed. Trips can include stops for wine, beer and or spirits. You may also include lunch, dinner, sightseeing, shopping etc. It’s your time and where we go is up to you.
What is included in the tour prices?
All tours include free pick up from most local Traverse City locations and transportation during your allowed tour time. We also provide water & small snacks on the vehicles during your tour. Tasting fees, alcohol cost and a gratuity for the driver is not included.
What is a Join In Tour?
This is a tour that lets smaller groups join in with others that also want to go on one of our tours. @ $49.50 per person for transportation, this is cheaper than a private tour for groups of 8 or smaller. Any cost for alcohol and a tip for the driver is not included.
When should we make our reservation?
The best answer is as soon as you can. Some vehicles and tours book 2 months or more in advance. Larger vehicles with 20+ passenger can book for weddings 6 months or more in advance. In most cases, we always have room for a few more people at the last minute. However most Saturdays during June – October are sold out in advance.
Can we play our own music?
Yes, all of our vehicles have bluetooth so you can play your music.
Can we book private tours longer than 4 hours?
Yes, at checkout you have the option of adding hours to your reservation.
How many places can we get to on a 4-hour tour?
For a private tour, depending on the group size and how busy a day it is at the wineries and breweries, the most common is 4 stops. With groups of 15 or more 3 places in 4 hours is a more relaxed option. This takes into account travel time to and from and also in between places. Smaller groups and weekday events can sometimes get to more than 4. Please keep in mind on busy days there will be many others at the winery.
Do you pick up outside of Traverse City?
Yes we do. For Join In tours you have to be in Traverse City for the most part (We pick up at all local hotels). For private tours there is no limit to where we will go to pick you up. There is a cost incurred depending on how far away you are. Most of the time this just covers time for the driver and fuel for the extra miles. Keep in mind your private tour time starts when we pick you up and ends when we drop you off.
When does our tour time start and end?
For private tours the time that you have booked starts when we pick you up and ends when we drop you off. For Join In tours, we start picking up people up to 45 min ahead of the start time depending on the hotels where people are located. The tour will also typically end up to 30 min after the posted end time. We attempt to run the tour from the last pick up to the first drop off at the posted tour time which in most cases is a 4 hour tour.
Do wineries need to know we are coming to visit?
With groups of 6 or more most wineries insist that we let them know we are coming and at what time. However, if the wineries are busy and backed up they are not moving you to the front of any line in most cases. The best we can do it to try to meet the time they have given us and hope for the best. Saturdays are very busy at the wineries and sometimes a wait of 20 minutes for tastings can happen.
Are private tasting tables available?
Yes, some wineries have private tasting tables. We will make these arrangements for you in most instances when requested. Keep in mind that some of these wineries will charge more for a private server and it is also very important to be on time for a private tasting. (Customers must pay for private tastings at Chateau Chantal in advance) we highly suggest if going there to get a private tasting due to the large crowd size.
What happens if we are late for our private tour?
We try to be as flexible as possible. However please keep in mind that the vehicle you are riding on is probably booked on another tour after yours and for larger groups, wineries are expecting us at a certain time. Being late can mean that we will get to the wineries at the same time other buses arrive and this will not make for the best experience. In the end, we might be able to make up 15 min but after that, an extra fee may apply or your tour may be shorter than you originally booked.
What can we bring with us?
Feel free to bring almost anything with you. Coolers, Cameras, Umbrellas, Jacket or Sweatshirt etc. Alcohol is also allowed on the vehicles. Wineries will require picture I.D. for age verification.
Can we smoke in the limo?
No. All of our autos are nonsmoking.
TCWB Tours also has zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol. If any passenger reasonably suspects a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a trip please phone the office (231-499-2656) and ask for Jody.
Do you have any other questions about our Traverse City Wine And Beer Tours? Contact us at Traverse City Wine And Beer Tours or call us at (231) 499-2656.