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Welcoming Blue Star Wine Tours to Sonoma

Blue Star Wine Tours Pup in the Vineyards

Among the many ways to explore Sonoma County Wine Country, guided, chauffeured drives are one of the most popular. So welcome Blue Star Wine Tours, a new, luxury company based in the city of Sonoma.

Owned by Sonoma resident John Cowles, each trip is customized to guests’ preferences, including what type and what price range of wine they are interested in. But the signature is emphasizing places that are off the beaten path, with VIP extras like cave tours, meeting winemakers, and private reserve or barrel tasting. Often, guests don’t even know their destinations until arrival.

“Surprise is good,” said Cowles, who usually leads the tour personally. “Instead of researching in advance what’s to come, you’ll enjoy what is truly a wine discovery adventure.”

It’s special treatment all the way, as each tour includes pick-up and drop-off in Sonoma, six hours of wine tasting across three to five wineries and/or tasting rooms in a Mercedes SUV or shuttle, and complimentary bottled water.

Some stops can include closed-to-the-public destinations like Williams Selyem, or by-appointment only A. Rafanelli. For an additional fee, guests can enjoy sipping wine en-route between tasting rooms, and lunch.

This is one of the more creative tour companies, too. Beyond the more traditional Sonoma and Russian River area tours, there is an exclusive Women of Wine Country excursion, showcasing Sonoma County’s top women in wine. The all-day event includes goodies like one bottle of wine from each property visited, signed by the winemaker.

Blue Star offers several different transportation options, including Mercedes GL450 SUVs for up to six guests, and Mercedes 1500 Sprinter vans for up to 11 guests. Younger guests also like the party van, said Cowles, with excursions celebrating hip, budget minded wineries.

Details: 680 Andrieux Street, Sonoma, 415-608-9065, bluestarwinetours.com

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