WINE TOURS FAQ
Fine Vintage Wine Tours
Overview of Fine Vintage Wine Tours
Who is Fine Vintage?
Fine Vintage is a leading provider of wine education in North America and offers luxury wine tours to the world’s classic wine regions. James Cluer MW is the owner and operator of Fine Vintage. He is one of only 400 people in the world to have obtained the prestigious Master of Wine title. James has personally designed all of our wine tour itineraries, each of which is hosted by a Master of Wine.
Why take a Wine Tour with Fine Vintage?
Fine Vintage has long-established connections with the estates and hotels on our itineraries – they roll out the red carpet when we visit! Some of the estates we visit are not typically open to visitors, and for those that are, we are given privileged access that general visitors do not have access to. We have a team of 7 Masters of Wine that host our tours. Because of these connections, our visits are usually hosted by owners, winemakers, managing directors, or leading members of the estate team. Most importantly, we taste wines that are often hard to obtain and lots of them! Our accommodations are always the best a region can offer, and meals are carefully designed to provide you with a diverse menu paired with the best wines.
Are these tours only for people in the industry?
Do I need to take a wine course before joining a wine tour?
Before the tour
Who participates in a Fine Vintage wine tour?
How often are tours held?
What does the cost of the tour include?
The cost includes accommodation for the duration of the tour, breakfasts, winery visits, tastings, all lunches and dinners specified in the tour itinerary, local transportation for the duration of the tour itinerary, and all local taxes and gratuities. The cost does not include local transportation to/from the meeting/drop-off point, insurance, items of a personal nature, and meals not included in the itinerary (each destination will vary).
I am having problems registering. What should I do?
Please ensure you are using a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express as these are the only three credit cards we accept. Also, please close and re-open your browser and try registering again as your computer may be storing history. If you are still having a problem, please contact us and we will get you registered right away.
How will I know if a tour I wish to register for is full?
When you identify the tour you wish to take, if it is full the tour will state: “This tour is full – please contact us to be added to the waiting list.”
I only wish to register for a couple of days of the tour (e.g. the first two days). Is that possible?
My travel companion is booking and paying separately than me but we are sharing a room. How do we register without paying the single supplement?
The person making the booking will be charged the booking administration fee and the tour fee for both travelers. Our system unfortunately does not enable separate bookings and payments for guests sharing a room.
I am traveling solo at this time, but a friend may join me later. How do I register?
You will need to register as a solo traveler. Should a companion wish to join the tour at a later date, please have them mention in their online registration form that they will be traveling and sharing a room with you. In order to avoid the single supplement travel fee, you will also need to contact us that such-and-such a person will be traveling with you in the same room. In the event the companion joins the tour after you have been charged the single supplement fee, we will refund this supplementary fee to the credit card you used to book your tour.
I am traveling solo but want to share a room with someone. Does Fine Vintage arrange this?
We are a group of 2 to 4 looking to organize a private wine tour to one of your destinations. Does Fine Vintage organize private tours of this nature?
When will I be charged for the tour?
You are charged a US$100 non-refundable booking administration fee immediately upon registration and you are sent an automated tour receipt. The remaining price – including the single supplement where applicable – is automatically charged at 120-days prior to the tour start date by our ecommerce system to the same credit card provided at the time of booking. Should you book within less than 120 days of the start of the tour, you will be charged the full price of the tour, including the $100 booking administration fee. Please note that we accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express and all registrations must be done online.
Are payment plans available?
Payment plans are not available. Fine Vintage charges a non-refundable US$100 per person booking administration fee upon registration. The remaining payment is automatically charged at 120-days prior to the start date of the tour to the same credit card used at the time of registration. If the tour is less than 120 days away, the full balance per person is due.
I would like to cancel or change my registration. Can I get back all or part of my money?
The US$100 booking administration fee is non-refundable. If cancelling a tour at less than 120 days before the start of the tour, the following Cancellation Policy will be applied:
- 60-119 days before departure: -50% of tour price is refundable
- 30-59 days before departure: -25% of tour price is refundable
- 1-29 days before departure: – no refund
I have booked for a tour with Fine Vintage. When will I know the tour is confirmed?
Fine Vintage will confirm a tour 120-days prior to the start date of a tour, if not sooner. Fine Vintage reserves the right to cancel a tour due to extenuating circumstances such as minimum numbers are not met, political instability, natural disaster, pandemic, or government-imposed travel restrictions. In the event Fine Vintage cancels a tour, you are entitled to a full refund to the credit card used to register for the tour. Alternatively, you can transfer your deposit to a future tour.
Do I need to purchase medical and trip cancellation insurance from an insurance agent?
We strongly recommend that you investigate and purchase extended medical and trip cancellation insurance for all wine tours.
Can I transfer from one tour to another?
Please carefully select the tour you are interested in as we do not transfer people from one tour to another once they have registered. There are no transfers allowed.
How old do I have to be to join in a Fine Vintage tour?
Do I need a visa to participate in the tour?
Travel to the Destination
Do I require travel insurance for my tour?
Do I need to book a flight for the tour?
What hotels are included in the tour?
What hotels do you recommend?
What To Expect On The Tour
What is the dress code?
For gentlemen, collared shirts and pants is recommended. Jackets are not necessary but are often worn by some owners, and you will want one for the smart dinners, even if it’s just to walk in with it on. Ties are definitely not required.
For ladies, designer jeans are fine. Generally, dresses, long pants, skirts, and a variety of shoes and boots. Flatter shoes are recommended as you will go from a vineyard to a cellar to a lovely meal in succession.
What to Bring?
What do I need to bring on my tour?
What language(s) are your tours offered in?
How many people are on a tour?
Where do most people come from?
Who will host my tour?
Tasting of Wines
How many wines will I taste?
Can I participate in the tours without tasting the wine?
Will perfume/cologne affect my wine tasting experience?
Can I purchase wines at any of the wineries we visit?
What arrangements can be made to ship my purchased wine back home?
Visitors Joining the Tour
I have a friend/relative who lives in the region we are visiting. Can they join the tour for a day or two?
I have food allergies. What do I need to do?
Missing Out of Winery Visits
What if I am unable to attend a tour visit for personal reasons?
If I miss a visit to an estate, can I make up for it at another time?
What happens to guests who display disruptive behavior on a bus or winery visit?
After The Tour
Do I need to tip anyone at the end of the tour?
Where does my tour end?
Does Fine Vintage arrange onward travel?
For those who have booked hotel nights in the region after a tour has ended, please communicate to your local host if you need to return to the same hotel. In most cases our bus will drop you off but in some (Champagne-Burgundy, Spain, Tuscany) this is not possible due to distances traveled on the last day of the tour.