Wine Tours solve the problem of designated driver |

Wine Tours solve the problem of designated driver

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily TribuneJohn and Vicki Bain started up Wine Tours From Tahoe, which takes small groups on personalized tours of El Dorado wineries.

Wine-lovers will no longer have to draw straws when designating a driver for El Dorado wine tastings.

South Shore couple John and Vicki Bain started up Wine Tours from Tahoe for visitors and residents of the basin.

“Tahoe needs to keep offering more opportunities to guests,” John Bain said.

The Bains both enjoy wine and visiting wineries, and thought how nice it would be if someone else was driving. That’s when they decided to start their business.

Many people aren’t aware of the wineries down the hill in El Dorado County, Bain said. By offering tours, Tahoe visitors can enjoy the wines without having to worry about driving back.

The tours will be limited to four to six people to offer a more personal experience, Bain said.

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Larger groups make it harder to talk with the winery staff and the winemaker, he added.

The tours are crafted around the varietals patrons would like to taste. The Bains are working with about seven wineries, such as Narrow Gate Vineyards and Miraflores Winery to create these personal trips.

“We don’t want to drive down and just dump them off,” Bain said. “We want to take folks to places where they enjoy the wine enough to buy a bottle.”

Participants will visit four wineries over about 61⁄2 hours, and a light lunch is also included with the tour.

Because the groups are small, the tour can be flexible. For example, if the group wants to stop and check out some of the scenic sites along Highway 50, the schedule is flexible enough to fit that in, Bain said.

When planning a tour, patrons also have the option to visit Boa Vista Orchards, which sells fresh fruit along with pies, turnovers, fritters and strudels.

To set up a wine tour, or for more information, go to, e-mail, or call (530) 573-1066.

The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce will hold a brunch at Apres Wine Co. on Thursday.

Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Reservations are required.

The brunch is at 11 a.m. Thursday at Apres, in the Ski Run Shopping Center. For more information or reservations, call (775) 588-1728 or go to

– Have information on your business you’d like to share? Contact reporter Sara Thompson at (530) 542-8009 or