bsevern wrote:Just curious what kind of ballpark $$$ we're looking at for the tour basics ?
Very tentatively, based on prior experience:
Tour itself - ~$650.00 +/- $50
That should cover lunches and dinners (although last time one dinner wasn't covered because of last minute drop outs) during the Tour, and the pre-Tour gathering (heavy hors d'oeuvres + wine).
Hotel rooms (if we stay in same place) ran $135-$180. If you stay 4 nights, you'll pay all or part of the 4x whichever rate you get.
Transportation to Sonoma (or wherever we stay) from the Bay Area airports) is not included.
Air/rail/car transportation to the Tour vicinity is not included.
I would note that even though the economy is still down, there have been increases in the cost of many things over the past 2 years, so use these estimates as only a rough guess and don't be shocked if it's a little more.
Wine you purchase is additional.
I urge everyone to start budgeting for wine purchases now. My policy has always been to buy at least something at every stop, unless you really don't like anything. (I think on two tours, there were only two places I bought nothing at all....). More is always better from the wineries' perspective - after all they do want to sell wine.
A thought for the Veteran Tourists especially: we're going to work hard to make this special at serious wineries where the wines are not cheap, though we think they're an excellent value. Most of you know the kind of places I'm talking about. Think about being able to make fairly significant purchases of things you really like as a way of supporting their work and so they will know that the efforts they put out for the group, as well as their sales on woot, are worthwhile. We'll work with them to negotiate some discounts, but think of it as a chance to get wines that are unlikely to come up on woot, because they're scarce or better years or whatever (e.g. Corison wines from 2005 and 2007).
I think a wine budget of $500 for the New Tourists (which works out to an average of $21 a bottle for 2 cases total) and something more, perhaps $700 or more, for Returning Tourists, might be considered realistic. If you bought 4-6 bottles ranging from $30-75 at 6 or 7 wineries, you could easily spend $2,000 on wine, and I think there are Tourists who spent that much, or something close to it.
We got some shipping help from WineDavid39 and wine.woot, so don't worry about having to carry our purchases home. Many people bought 2-3 cases or more in total.
I would appreciate some of the Returning Tourists sharing how much they spent on wine on each of the Tours at the wineries we stopped at.