Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’m confused, is it a trolley or a cable car?
A: Good question, and the answer is both! While all motorized vehicles made to “look” like a streetcar are classified as “trolleys,” this is only for the simplistic DMV description. Our Wine Trolley is in fact, a hand-built replica of a California Street Cable Car; used in San Francisco from the late 1890s to the early 1930s. Every detail, from the all-wooden carriage to the solid brass bell, is an authentic feature right off the original blueprints!
Q: Which wineries do you visit on the Wine Trolley?
A: These will vary with the season—some of our winery partners include: Buena Vista, Sebastiani, Bartholomew Park, B.R. Cohn, Mayo Family, Valley of the Moon, Benziger, Ravenswood, and many others.
Q: Are tasting fees included?
A: No they are not, because the wineries we have selected are pouring their best wines for our guests; usually 4-5 different wines at each stop. The tasting fees are optional, and you do not have to taste wine at every location. Couples can also share a glass if they wish. The tastings are a great value, as Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley has pre-negotiated a private setting at each winery, and not in the general public area. We will always have our own dedicated winery representative pouring the wines, explaining the varietals and winemaking techniques, as well as the history of the winery. Further, most of the wineries will waive the fee, or apply it as a credit, when you purchase a bottle of wine. The wine tasting fees will be collected at each stop (for those who wish to taste). We encourage you to bring enough cash for tasting fees and buying wine (credit cards are also accepted).
Q: How much are the tasting fees?
A: The tasting fees range from $5.00 – $10.00 per person.
Q: What is included in the lunch?
A: Our delicious catered picnic lunches include the freshest ingredients available; this is Wine Country after all! Served “family style” on platters and linen tables, the girl & the fig restaurant creates a wide variety of artisan sandwiches for us, including a vegetarian Portabella Mushroom option. Orzo pasta and Provencal potato salads accompany the sandwiches, along with plenty of bottled water and soft drinks. Finally, the dessert platter is a decadent array of rich chocolate brownie wedges, lavender lemon bars, fig crisps, and mini blueberry pies with walnut streusel topping! Our tour has the best picnic lunch in Sonoma or Napa!
Q: What is the minimum age for this tour?
A: You must be at least 21 years or older to take this tour. Guests who are found to be under age at the time of boarding will be turned away, and No Refunds will be made. Valid ID will be required.
Q: Where do we park to ride the Wine Trolley?
A: If you are not staying at one of our Hotel Partners, please meet us at the Sonoma Plaza in front of City Hall (center of the park). Free public parking is one block away at the Barracks (behind Sonoma Cheese Factory).
Q: Is a gratuity included in the price?
A: No, we prefer to leave it up to our guests to decide how much to tip our tour guides. As a guide, 15-20% tips are typical for most satisfied guests.
Q: What kind of clothing is appropriate for this tour?
A: This is an open-air cable car, so we recommend dressing in layers, as the mornings can be chilly and late afternoons breezy. Casual dress is best, with comfortable shoes. Sandals and flip flops are NOT recommended.
Q: Can we privately rent the Wine Trolley for our own group?
A: Yes! Please see our Private Charter page for corporate events, weddings, and other special occasions.