March 22, 2021 / 

NW Wine Shuttle Launches New Services for 2021

We’re excited to announce that we’ve recently transitioned from the first Hop-On, Hop-Off experience to the Wine Shuttle. While it’s still unique to the region, we’ve refined and improved many of the services we provide.

Shuttle Moving from Dundee to Carlton

The shuttle is moving from Dundee to Carlton. While Dundee was a glorious route, it’s time for a change, and the wineries in Carlton are every bit as wonderful! From farmhouse charm to breathtaking valley views and coastal mountain views, you’re going to have all of the things you loved from Dundee in a different AVA.

Many of the wineries on this route in the Cartlon AVA also produce wine in Dundee. This makes the experience incredibly unique because you’ll be able to taste the difference between the wine in Carlton and the wine in Dundee.

Choosing the Wineries

Through the Wine Shuttle experience, we’re still curating the same high-quality selection of wineries. You’ll always have a selection, but we’ve improved the tour significantly. Instead of the tour being the same spontaneous Hop-On, Hop-Off experience, we’re providing a more curated and controlled environment to keep the experience carefree and pleasurable.

You’ll get to choose the wineries, but we’ve found a little planning goes a long way. Now, you’ll preselect three wineries, and we’ll make reservations on your behalf. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll have reservations at all three of these wineries, there’s a high probability that we’ll be able to reserve your tables.

During the checkout process, you’ll get to look over the wineries we offer. After you make your choices, we’ll make the reservations. Then, we’ll provide you with a pre-planned itinerary. This planning ensures you know when you’ll be dropped off, when it’s time to wrap up your tasting, when it’s time to buy your wine, and when you’ll be picked up by the shuttle again.

What Else Can We Expect?

We always had a great host. You can call or text at any time to get recommendations or address any concerns. We’re still offering the same quality hosts, but they’re going to be your driver for the day. You’ll have one host who will be there throughout the day, and you’ll get to know them. 

In the past, we had three drivers, and you’d have any one of them at any given time. Now you’ll have one host who will be there throughout the day. 

Still doing bottle check, store things on the shuttle. Initially, we’ll only have up to 8 people on the shuttle at a time due to COVID. We’re aligning our services with the wineries and the state to offer a controlled and refined experience, providing a ‘win-win’ situation we’re excited to facilitate.

 

Reservations Essential for Wine Tastings in the Willamette Valley

The wineries are relying on this common knowledge that customers should make reservations in advance. Now, we’re supporting that expectation by also having our customers have reservations. In the past, having reservations usually meant having a higher-end or elevated experience, which in this case, you are. But it doesn’t have to feel that way. It’s still a relaxed environment, and since everyone is in a reservation format, you’re still getting all of the same things that everyone else gets.

Now, the experience is more relaxing and informative, with the option for one-on-one moments with the people serving you. Whether you’re tasting with your significant other or friends, you’ll also have the opportunity to spend more time speaking and enjoying your time with them at your reserved tables.

Positive Shuttle Changes with the Pandemic

We’ll initially have only eight people in the shuttle, with inner sanitization cleanings throughout the day. While the shuttle can hold up to 12, COVID policy permits just eight at this point. But we’ve found this actually elevates the experience.

The shuttle will also have a four-person minimum. This means either one group of four or two groups of two will have to book; if less than four books on any given date, we may have to cancel or offer a reduced private tour rate for the group.

As you’re moving between the wineries, you’ll likely be on the shuttle on your own. This means you’re getting some of the benefits of a private tour for around half of the price.

The shuttles are running on Friday and Saturday. Friday, we believe, is an interesting opportunity for people who want to start a staycation or play hookey. Some wine tasters may be interested in kicking off the weekend early, too.

You’ll never have more than two groups at any winery at any given time, and you’ll always sit as your own group at your own reserved table. This means that when you’re riding on the shuttle, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only group on the shuttle.

Is This Really a Better Experience?

Yes. The most significant comment in the past was that our customers loved being able to select the wineries. But they didn’t like not having a set schedule with the shuttle. This is why we removed that question mark and solved these problems with the reservation model.

Now, we reduced the number of wineries we offer from 15 to six. We’re controlling the experience to provide three winery experiences in one day, ensuring you never feel rushed. And with your itinerary in hand, you always know exactly where you’re going.

The biggest issue with the Hop-On, Hop-Off experience was that people had high hopes; many thought they’d be able to fit five wineries in a day. The issue here was that, as you get towards the end of winery 4 and 5, the experience quality goes down a bit. It’s easy to become more intoxicated, start tasting less wine, and become distracted by the need to go through a flight when a glass of wine would suffice. 

In this new experience, you have three wineries and the day is a little shorter. Rather than running 7 hours, we’re offering five hours to curate a higher-quality experience. You then have time to enjoy Carlton. Since you’ll get off the shuttle at 3:30 PM, you’ll be back with plenty of time to experience the restaurants, coffee shops, and other tastings in this wine town.

We’ve found that this gives people the opportunity to get to know the area and, hopefully, keep coming back for other wine experiences. Knowing where you’ll get coffee and where you’ll get lunch the next time you visit is always a pleasure.

 

NW Wine Shuttle’s Wine Club is Officially Launching

NW Wine Club Membership Banner

We’re also preparing to launch a wine club that’s aligned with the shuttle routes. Not only will you be able to experience wineries from a particular area, but you’ll be able to tie on the actual experience in the valley.

You’ll have the bottles coming to your house, and you’ll be able to taste, experience, and fall in love with these wineries. Then, you’ll get perks to come into the tasting rooms and ride the shuttle for a fabulous day of wine tasting. Click here to sign up for more details.

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