As you gaze down at the Sonoma Valley streched out below you like a majestic landscape quilt, the pilot dips the wings on the 1926 Travelair biplane. It's your signal to check the map you were given showing your tour destination. Using the map, you identify the remote hilltop winery below, and know you'll be tasting wine there soon.
You're on the one-of-a-kind "Over the Moon Tour" (for couples only) offered by Vin de Luxe Tours. After your biplane ride over the Sonoma Valley, you'll visit the shops, gardens, and tasting rooms of Cornerstone Sonoma, enjoy a gourmet al fresco picnic lunch or casual luncheon, and then go wine tasting with incredible views at the exclusive winery the pilot showed you at the top of Moon Mountain.
This tour is just one of the ways Vin de Luxe Tours goes over and above the typical tourist experience, offering an innovative approach combined with insider connections and extensive knowledge of the area and the wine industry.
After a career first as an engineer and then in winery hospitality, Bruce McKay founded Vin de Luxe Tours in 2013 with a goal of creating customized private tours for wine aficionados, couples celebrating special events, and "explorers who appreciate being guided by true wine country insiders." Commercial photographer and winemaker Rick Bolen joined the company in mid-2014.
Vin de Luxe Tours crafts specialized itineraries for groups of two to six guests seeking unique and memorable Wine Country experiences. In addition to the Over the Moon biplane tour, they offer Meet The Winemakers, a Wine History tour, the NextGen tour (introducing the passionate young men and women who are continuing their family winemaking traditions), and Spectacular Sonoma Valley. They can also create a custom itinerary just for your group.
Of course, there are a variety of options that can be added, such as meals at outstanding restaurants, visits to local gardens or parks, shopping at unique stores, massages, chocolate tastings, cheese tastings, guided walks, talks by a local historian, a private meeting with an acclaimed winemaker, or the services of a professional photographer or videographer to capture your day perfectly.
Think of what you would like to do or have, and then tell McKay and Bolen. With their insider knowledge and connections, they'll figure out how to make it happen.
Vin de Luxe Tours, 707-799-9148
For other unique ways to discover Sonoma County, read 12 Tours Ideas for Exploring Sonoma County.
Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.