Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are tasting fees included?
A: No, tasting fee’s are different at each winery. The wineries we have selected in most cases offer a special discounted tasting fee. They provide a dedicated staff to host us and offer some of their best wines for our guests. They will explain the varietals and winemaking techniques and give us some history of the winery. We usually taste 3 to 5 different wines at each stop. Most of our partner wineries also accept credit cards but paying the tasting fees in cash is preferred and quicker when you want to check out. Tasting fees will be collected at each stop.
Q: How much are the tasting fees?
A: The tasting fees range from $15 to $30 per person.
Q: Which wineries do you visit on the Wine Trolley?
A: Winery stops on our tours may vary, but some of our partners include Benziger Winery, Imagery Winery, BR Cohen, VJB Vineyards, Ravenswood, Buena Vista, Mayo Family and many others. We are continuously rotating or winery partners.
Q: I’m confused, is it a trolley or a cable car?
A: Well, it’s actually both! Our Wine Trolley is a hand-built replica of a California Street Cable Car, the ones 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. However, the simplistic DMV description classifies motorized vehicles made to “look” like a streetcar as “trolleys.”
Q: What is included in the lunch?
A: Our gourmet picnic style lunch is from the famous Girl and the Fig restaurant. The delicious catered lunch is made from the freshest ingredients available and include sandwiches piled high on fresh baked breads, fresh garden salads featuring the flavors of the season, and freshly baked desserts. We dine at one of the winery stop on an outdoor vineyard patio or in a winery cave.
Q: What kind of clothing is appropriate for this tour?
A: The Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley is an open-air cable car, so we recommend dressing in layers! Mornings and evenings can be chilly, and at times, breezy. Casual dress is best, with comfortable shoes. Sandals and flip flops are NOT recommended.
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. A valid ID will be required when you board.
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: 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.