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503-969-4370

TOUR FAQ'S

  1. What is a general description of your tours?

  2. What are your vehicles like?

  3. What are the wineries expectations for large groups (8+ ppl)?

  4. How do I book one of your tours?

  5. What exactly does the per person price cover?  Are tasting fees included or separate?

  6. Why do you have a potential pick-up location charge?

  7. Are the vineyards open year-round?

  8. Is your service different than other companies?

  9. We're not sure, can you choose the best wineries for us?  Do you plan the tour or do we?

  10. Do you offer other tours besides wine tours?

  11. How far in advance do I need to make the reservation?

  12. Can I buy wine during the tour?  Will the winery ship it home for me?

  13. What if I have more than one pick-up location?

  14. Do I have to give you my personal information each time I book a reservation?

  15. What is your cancellation/change in reservation policy?

  16. What are the Terms & Conditions?

  17. Should we tip our driver?

  18. Do you offer private service for groups of 1, 2 or 3 people?

  19. Do you have a No-Show policy?

  20. Does the tour have snacks/food included?

  21. We went on a tour of yours before, can we do something different on our next wine tour?

  22. Do you choose the wineries, or can we pick them, and how many wineries do you typically go to?

  23. Do you provide service on holidays? If so, are there any additional charges?

  24. What method of payment do you accept?

  25. Do you offer billable accounts?

  26. Can you accommodate large groups of 15-passengers or more?

  27. What are your rates?

  28. What areas do you serve?

  29. What are your office hours?

  30. Do you offer credit card accounts?

  31. What types of discounts do you offer?

  32. Can we bring children on the tour?

  33. We are going to enjoy a family outing with children, do you have any options for this?

  34. Do you offer mixed-group, or only private tours?

  35. What are the Seat Belt Usage/Child Restraint Laws?

  36. Do you charge our card right away after the reservation is made?

  37. Do you have 'overtime' fees?

  38. What if I have other questions?

 

1. What is a general description of your tours?

My Chauffeur is a small boutique wine tour company offering the highest level of luxury service and quality in wine and culinary travel. As wine educators, we try to make our programs educational while keeping the atmosphere light and fun. Our primary goal is to make the world of Oregon wine and cuisine accessible, understandable and enjoyable for our guests, while providing a private, relaxing, luxurious, and authentic experience of traveling in Oregon.  And we mean REAL luxury.  Only the finest cuisine and the best estates we will visit if you wish.  And a roomy, deluxe, air conditioned limousine stocked with refreshments (not a 9 passenger van or minibus for 8 guests and a driver - that's not our idea of luxury or comfort). At all the estates we visit, you'll receive a warm welcome and a personalized tasting.  In some cases, you will tour the technical facilities (vat room and aging cellars) in addition to your tasting.  Many times, we go out into the vineyard and the estate representative will discuss vineyard management and harvesting.  Whenever possible, the tour is led by the cellarmaster, enologist, or owner of the estate.  Our guests often marvel at how unique each estate visit is.  At one estate, you might see an ancient wine brotherhood display; at another, there will be beautiful gardens; at a third, possibly a special art exhibit. The tasting can be extensive and can include barrel samples* of the latest vintage and/or bottles of recent or older vintages. We sometimes taste in the aging cellar, sometimes in the winery itself, and other times outdoors.  The estate representative will lead you through the tasting, helping you identify aromas, tastes and overall quality. We will pick you up and drop you off at your residence or hotel.  We'll include 3-6 wineries depending on the length of tour you choose, a lovely lunch if desired, and a visit to a local sight of interest if you wish - your day will be customized to include exactly what you want. 

* usually reserved for the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

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2. What are your vehicles like?

All of our vehicles (except the standard full size tour bus) are top-of-the-line luxury limousines designed for your groups comfort, plain as that.  The best way to get an idea of our vehicles is to visit our vehicles page.

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3. What are the wineries expectations (i.e. rules) for large groups (8+ ppl)?

  1. In general for groups of 8-10+, reservations ahead of time need to be made, and is required.  Each winery has distinct rules regarding this.

  2. Wineries prefer, but not require, that the tasting fees are paid on a single tab.  This can be cash, check, or credit; the idea is to get the group in as quickly and easily as possible, so that they can start tasting wine and enjoying themselves.  Otherwise, they see a lot of milling around trying to figure out who is paying what, and then lining up to pay individually.  As you might imagine, it can get pretty crowded in the busy season, and nobody likes to wait in line for wine.  My Chauffeur can also often take care of the tasting fees for the group during the tour and add it to the final bill, just ask.

  3. The wineries reserve the right (and in fact it is the law) to refuse service to any group or individual that appears intoxicated, via OLCC regulations.  This applies to any sized group.  If your group has had one too many, they will refuse you service.  Your chauffeur also will advise the tasting room staff if they feel any individual appears too intoxicated.  If the group in general appears too intoxicated, he or she will end the reservation.   We want everyone to be safe, legal, and happy in wine country, and we appreciate your help in meeting that goal.  I can’t tell you how much wineries appreciate that. 

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4. How do I book one of your tours?

It's easy!  Take a look at reservations for options, or simply call us at 503-969-4370 or toll-free 877-692-4283. Very quick & easy.  We'll send you confirmation of your reservation within 24 hours of receiving your request, along with information about the tour.  A Deposit (usually $50-$100) is usually required; and your balance payment is due on your tour date.  If your tour request is within the next 48 hours, please call us at the # above.

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5. What exactly does the per person price cover? Are tasting fees included or separate?

The cost covers the tour, the vehicle, chauffeur/tour guide and all other tour/planning related services.  It does not cover your driver's gratuity, lunches, winery tasting fees unless you choose the all-inclusive package option.  Winery facility tours, if requested, are also at additional cost.

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6. Why do you have a potential pick-up location charge?

Even though your pick-up location may be closer to the wine country, because of the extra expenses for our Company associated with the travel time to your pick-up location, we must institute this hourly rate charge.  But because you may not have a significant amount of time traveling to your destination, you can usually choose a shorter length tour (ex. 4 hours instead of 6 hours), which would be less costly, and which mostly negates this pick-up location charge.

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7. Are the vineyards open year-round?

Almost all of them are, but many are only open during special holidays or by appointment.

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8. Is your service different than other companies?

Yes, our service is an escorted service, with someone in the position of chauffeur, pilot, answerer of questions and general guide/ translator of the oddities of Oregon life and all-round wine country seer. On this escorted tour, you will reach unknown corners and secret locations which only someone with local knowledge and extensive wine country experience could find.  Besides that, we offer private limousine travel and complete concierge service for any size group. See 'Why Us?'.

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9. We're not sure, can you choose the best wineries for us.  Do you plan the tour or do we?

You may plan your tour, or you may leave that up to us.  Most of the wine tours our staff does are ones which we completely design, from start to finish, the entire tour plan.  Our tours are individually tailored for your group.  We are very highly qualified to choose the best wineries for you, as well as making any additional arrangements with the wineries, for example, individual winery facility tours, special tasting, event recommendations and lunches.  We make sure nothing is forgotten and no event missed in the planning to ensure your tour is completely successful.

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10. Do you offer other tours besides wine tours?

Wine tours remain our specialty, but we do offer several other very interesting tours.  Examples include the Portland City Tour, Portland Brewery/Distillery tours, Mt. Hood Tour, Oregon Coast tours, the Columbia River Gorge Tour & others.  For a complete tour list, go to http://www.tourportland.com/tour_directory.htm (site re-direct).

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11. How far in advance do I need to make the reservation?

There is not set requirement.  But, for Saturday tours during summer, we would recommend as much advance notice as possible.


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12. Can I buy wine during the tour?  Will the winery ship it home for me?

You are welcome to purchase wine during the tour.  All estates sell at the estate.  Also keep in mind, many of the estates we visit only sell at their winery, available nowhere else.  Whether the estate can ship it to your home state depends on the state which you live, see below.  You may check with the specific winery, or check the shipping laws.  For clients from other countries, it is sometimes possible for the estate to ship your wine to your home with an additional shipping charge.  In any case, you always have the option of bringing wine home with you in the airplane.  You may have to pay some amount of duty on your wine when you go through customs, if applicable.

As of Dec 2016, the wineries can ship to: AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, ID, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, NH, NY, ND, OR, OK, RI, SD, TX, VA, WA, WI

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13. What if I have more than one pick-up location?

We can easily arrange multiple pick-up locations. But we recommend only 1 pick-up location, which would allow you more time in the wine country.

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14. Do I have to give you my personal information each time I book a reservation?

We have a computerized network reservation system that is ONLY accessed by authorized My Chauffeur representatives. We automatically set-up a personal profile whether you live in Oregon or are a frequent Out-of-Town traveler.  Personal Profiles include your address, special instructions, important contact phone numbers etc. We do not keep your credit card information on-file. To keep your credit card on file with us, you would need to go to Personal and Corporate Credit Card Accounts, to set up an account.  Setting up a personal profile or Credit Card Account saves you time when you book your next reservation.  We, of course, never share any information with any other party.

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15. What is your cancellation/change in reservation policy?

CANCELLATION/CHANGE AGREEMENT: For the Memorial & Thanksgiving Day weekends, see below. A $100.00 -$200.00 deposit is required. My Chauffeur reserves the right to cancel any tour at any time (full refund applies).   My Chauffeur reserves the right to change any tour schedule and to substitute or cancel stops or other features on any tour without notice with no refund.   For a customer cancellation, you must obtain a cancellation confirmation in writing from the company staff.  Cancellations without a written confirmation will not be accepted. 

If the agreed service is cancelled by the customer, the company HAS THE OPTION TO IMPOSE the applicable cancellation charges as follows: {see REFUNDS below}

  1. All tours can be cancelled by customer within 24 hours of confirmation with ‘no penalty’. 

  2. If customer cancellation occurs after 24 hours of confirmation and up to 2 hours prior to ‘reservation’; up to 100% of the applicable deposit may be charged to your reservation agreement. 

  3. If customer cancellation occurs less than 2 hours prior to the ‘reservation’, up to 100% of the SUB NET TOTAL may be charged to your reservation agreement.

  4. REFUNDS

Any cancellation of the said reservation must be confirmed in writing and received by My Chauffeur no later than the time line described above. Total # of people changes may require a re-confirmation of your tour date. 

CANCELLATION/CHANGE AGREEMENT (HOLIDAY WEEKENDS): Applies on the Memorial & Thanksgiving Day weekends only.  All other holidays have the standard cancellation agreement above.  A $200.00 deposit is required. My Chauffeur reserves the right to cancel any tour (with full refund).   My Chauffeur reserves the right to change any tour schedule and to substitute or cancel stops or other features on any tour without notice with no refund.   For a customer cancellation, you must obtain a cancellation confirmation from the company staff.  Cancellations without a written confirmation will not be accepted. 

If the agreed service is cancelled by the customer, the company HAS THE OPTION TO IMPOSE the applicable cancellation charges as follows: {see REFUNDS below}

  1. All tours can be cancelled by customer within 24 hours of confirmation with ‘no penalty’.

  2. If customer cancellation occurs after 24 hours of confirmation and up to 30 days prior to ‘reservation’; up to 100% of the applicable deposit will be charged to your reservation agreement. 

  3. If customer cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to ‘reservation’, up to 100% of the ‘MINIMUM TRIP CHARGE’ may be charged to your reservation agreement.  All deposits are forfeited.

  4. If customer cancellation occurs less than 2 hours prior to ‘reservation’, up to 100% of the SUB NET TOTAL may be charged to your reservation agreement.

  5. REFUNDS

    Any cancellation of the said reservation must be confirmed in writing and received by My Chauffeur no later than the time line described above; or the customer’s credit card may be charged. Total # of people changes may require a re-confirmation of your tour date. 

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16. What are the Terms & Conditions?

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17. Should we tip our driver?

If you feel the chauffeur/tour guide has done an exceptionally great job ("a job well done") during your tour, they would, of course, appreciate any gratuity you would wish to extend to them. Recommended gratuity is 20%.

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18. Do you offer private service for groups of 1, 2 or 3 people?

Your tour will always be private for 1, 2, or 50 people.

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19. Do you have a No-Show policy?

A no-show is defined by us as not canceling your tour at least 2 hours of the start time.  Our driver will wait at the designated pickup location for 30 minutes after the scheduled pickup time before departure when it is considered a no-show if we have not had contact with the party.  Late start times are taken away from the scheduled tour s duration. A "no-show" fee will be charged the full trip cost, plus 20% service fee plus applicable wait time fee when the passenger fails to arrive at the designated location without a documented excuse.  For what is a valid excuse is determined by My chauffeur on a case-by-case basis and is at the sole discretion of My Chauffeur.  A minimum fee still usually applies even with valid excuses equal the vehicles hourly rate, standard minimum time requirements and/or any pickup/drop-off location charges.

If the passenger cannot locate the vehicle, they must call 1-877-692-4283 to avoid a "no show" fee.

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20. Does your tour have snacks/food included?  If so, what kind and is there an extra charge?  If not, can food be brought or bought?

You may include a catered picnic lunch on your tour, ordered from one of our on-line menus, or your may bring your own picnic lunch.  It is at additional cost, usually about $15 per person.  This would be enjoyed at one of the wineries picnic grounds.  You may bring along snacks if you desire, we do not supply them unless specifically ordered.  Other options are a cafe or restaurant for either to-go or sit-down service. 

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21. We went on one of your tours before, can we do something different on our next wine tour?

The North Willamette Valley has over 300 wineries, and the addition of the new Columbia River Gorge region, there are infinite choices and possibilities.  Ever-changing special events are also something to consider.  But don't let this overwhelm you, for we are here to make it simple and ensure your next trip is not only entirely different, but better than the last.  As you become more familiar with the wine country, your knowledge and appreciation for this country goes up, adding, each time, to the wine tour experience. For a complete tour list, go to http://www.tourportland.com/tour_directory.htm (site re-direct).

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22. Do you choose the wineries, or can we pick them, and how many wineries do you typically go to?

Our service is very flexible, and your group may pick your wineries if you choose to, but only if you choose to.  Your private tour has infinite possibilities and is yours to do with it as you wish.  In this circumstance, we will be on-hand to give advice about the wine country, individual wineries, their wines, their availability etc., if  you desire.  We can supply any needed information to make your tour a success.  If you're not sure of which wineries to go to, My Chauffeur will be happy to assist.  Note - some wineries are only open by appointment.  For a standard 6-hour tour, you will probably go to 3-5 wineries.

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23. Do you provide service on holidays? If so, are there any additional charges?

  • Yes, and there are no additional charges.  However, the minimum person charge requirement may be higher, instituted on the following holiday weekends:

    • Memorial Day weekend

    • Thanksgiving Day weekend

    On other holidays, the wineries may be closed.  20% surcharge may apply on all other major holidays. 

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24. What methods of payment do you accept?

We welcome Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, Diners Club and cash.  If you prefer to pay with cash, we request your credit card information to secure the reservation.

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25. Do you offer billable accounts?

We do not offer billable accounts.   We offer credit card accounts only for companies and individuals.. For additional information, please call us at 503-969-4370, or go to credit card accounts.

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26. Can you accommodate large groups of 15-passengers or more?

We can accommodate up to 14-16 in a single limousine, or 50-100 in a tour bus.  We also offer multiple limousines which can accommodate up to about 40-50 persons.  Call 1-877-692-4282 or 503-969-4370 for a rate quote and availability.

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27. What are your rates?

Click here for wine tour rates.

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28. What areas do you serve?

We offer wine tour transportation from the Greater Portland/Vancouver area and the wine country. In addition, we travel to Salem, areas in-between, and the Columbia River Gorge. Other outlining areas are on request.  Please call 1-877-692-4283 or 503-969-4370 for cost and information about pick-up/drop-off location costs from these and other outlining areas.

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29. What are your office hours?

Our service is available 7-days per week, 365 days per year.  Our office hours are Monday - Friday from 7am-8pm, and Saturday  from 8am-6pm.  A reservation agent is available during office hours.

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30. Do you offer credit card accounts?

We offer Corporate and Personal Credit Card Accounts for ease in payment and to limit the exchange of sensitive information.  For additional information, please call us toll-free at 1-877-692-4283 or from Portland at 503-969-4370. 

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31. What types of discounts do you offer?

Besides our standard Senior (20%) and non-adult discount (up to 100% off), we also offer large group tour bus discounts and 'RED HOT WEBSITE DEALS'

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32. Can we bring children on the tour?

According the the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission), you may bring children of any age on a wine tour.  You may even consume alcohol in the vehicle when children are present.  The winery tasting rooms also welcome children.

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33. We are going to enjoy a family outing with children, do you have any options for this?

We can recommend the Evergreen Aviation Museum, a family-fun park located in McMinnville to supplement the wineries; it is fun for the whole family and a convenient wine country stop.  Or, you may view our wine country activities page or our Portland city focused Kid's Tour. The Columbia R. Gorge wine tour also has many kid related options.

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34. Do you offer mixed group tours, or only private tours?

With 1 or 2 people many people ask if a mixed group tour is possible for companionship or to save costs.  We normally only book our tours as private.  Although, if you leave us your name and phone # we will contact you if a mixed group tour is possible.

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35. What are the Seat Belt Usage/Child Restraint Laws?

My Chauffeur complies with Oregon State Law regarding the use of seat belts and child restraints. For your convenience; My Chauffeur will NOT supply child restraints/booster seats.

The following are general descriptions of Oregon's safety belt and child restraint laws. Specific wording of statutory requirements can be found HERE.

ADULT BELT LAW

Oregon law requires that all motor vehicle operators and passengers be properly secured with a safety belt or safety harness, unless all safety-belt equipped seating positions are occupied by other persons. This applies to passenger cars, pick up trucks, motorhomes, and fee-based people transport carrying fifteen or fewer persons. Limited exemptions are allowed under ORS 811.215. Vehicle owners are required to maintain belt systems in working order.

CHILD RESTRAINT LAW

Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh forty pounds or reach the upper weight limit for the carseat in use. Infants must ride rear-facing until they reach both one year of age AND twenty pounds.

BOOSTER SEAT LAW

Children over forty pounds or who have reached the upper weight limit for their forward-facing car seat must use boosters to 4'9" tall or age eight and the adult belt fits correctly.

CHANGE TO CHILD SEAT LAW effective January 2012:  Current law requires children to move from a child seat to a booster after forty pounds. House Bill 3590 signed by Governor 6/9/2011 will allow continued use of child seats up to the highest weight limit allowed by the seat manufacturer, as an alternative to boosters, for children over forty pounds but under age eight or less than 4'9" tall.

NATIONAL "BEST PRACTICE" RECOMMENDATIONS

Click for the latest national best practices recommendations from USDOT National Highway Traffic Safety.

BELT OR BOOSTER?

Belt fit can vary greatly from one vehicle to another and one child to another. If your child meets Oregon's legal requirements for moving from a booster seat to safety belt but you still have doubts about whether your child fits in the belt in your particular vehicle, then the following simple test can help. Place your child in the vehicle without a booster seat and then ask these questions. Until you can answer YES to all of the questions, your child should stay in a booster seat.

1. Can the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
3. Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay comfortably seated like this for the whole trip?  

MOTOR HOMES

Motor homes are considered passenger vehicles under Oregon law and as such, adult belt and child seat requirements apply also to motor homes --- but only to forward-facing vehicle seating positions (those meeting federal safety standards for seat belt anchorages).   Therefore, occupants should utilize all forward-facing belted positions before using side or rear-facing positions.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

Oregon's safety belt law requires occupants of privately-owned commercial vehicles transporting 15 or fewer persons to use safety restraints including occupants of shuttles, taxis, limousines and vans.  Among these types of vehicles, taxi cab drivers and vehicles originally manufactured without seatbelts are the only occupants excepted from this rule.

The law specifies that drivers of these vehicles are not responsible for ensuring that any of the passengers buckle up. Passengers over 16 years of age are responsible for securing their own safety belt and also for ensuring that any child accompanying them is properly restrained.

ATVS

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is the implementing agency for laws and rules relating to use of restraints on ATVs.  Please visit their website at: www.oregon.gov/OPRD/ATV

MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS

ORS 811.220 The Director of Transportation shall issue a certificate of exemption under ORS 811.215 for any person on whose behalf a statement signed by a physician is presented to the Department of Transportation. For a physician's statement to qualify under this section, the physician giving the statement must set forth reasons in the statement why the use of a child safety seat system, or safety belt or safety harness by the person would be impractical or harmful to the person by reason of physician condition, medical problem or body size.

A safety restraint exemption cannot be issued for commercial drivers per Federal Code 392-16.

Faxes can not be accepted. Please send in ORIGINAL copies only.

For more information, please contact Melody McGee, Seatbelt Medical Exemption Coordinator:

(503) 986-3590

Child Passenger Safety Training, Information & Referral, Seat Distribution Programs:

ACTS Oregon Child Safety Seat Resource Center

(503) 643-5620 (Portland Area)

(877) 793-2608

 

 

36. Do you charge our credit card right away after the reservation is made?

If you choose to use a credit card for payment, we do not charge your credit card until after the tour is completed.  However, we do authorize (not a charge; puts a hold on the fees for a designated amount of time) your card on file for the full tour $ amount shortly before the tour to ensure the card is in good standing.

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37. Do you have 'overtime' fees?

Any reservation that extends beyond the scheduled drop-off time will be billed additional fees based on our next tour level pricing, or regular hourly rates, whichever is less. Ultimately, it is always the responsibility of the group to return by their desired drop-off time.  Overtime fees may be billed up to 14 days following drop-off.

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38. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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