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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Monticello Wine Tour and Coach Co. wants you to have an incredible experience with us. Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions, which may help in your wine tour day planning! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that are not answered here.

Q: We're booked! What are your general rules and policies for tour day?

There are a few important points we want to share with you as you start thinking about your day. We provide bottled water for each guest, however bringing extra water is recommended. Due to state law we are unable to serve alcoholic beverages in our vehicles, however, you are welcome to bring your own. If you choose to provide your own bottled beverages, we kindly ask that you choose non-glass cups for safety while on board our vehicles, but please remember to bring an opener. We are happy to suggest some options for lunch during the day. Some of the tasting rooms provide cafe options and, depending upon the area, there are a few quaint country markets whose provisions can be pre-ordered and picked up along the way. We also have plenty of storage in our vehicles, if you would like to bring your own picnic lunch. While we ask that you please kindly refrain from eating while in our vehicles, scheduling time for snacking, dining or picnicking at the venues will definitely be included in your day.

Once we have your day planned, we can instruct you on the next steps. Again, because of state laws, we are unable to pay tasting fees on your behalf. So. prepaying is often required by some of the tasting rooms in order to hold your tasting time.

Q: Can we choose the vineyards we want to visit?

Yes, if chose a custom/private tour, you may customize your tour and choose any winery that is open to the public. Keep in mind, some wineries require appointments several weeks in advance, and we can not guarantee their availability. Most wineries allow “drop-in” tastings without an appointment as long as your group size is six or less. If you have a larger group, or plan on visiting more exclusive wineries, then we must make arrangements with the wineries well in advance.

Q: Whats the difference between a Public and Private Tour?

A: Our private tours are only your group! You simply book the vehicle for the time that you request and we help you arrange an itinerary that best serves your groups interest.

Our public tours, we pick you up in a specific location and take you out to destinations at prearranged times. These tours are open to the public and booked based on seat openings on one of our luxury buses.

Q: Are tasting fees included?

A: Most of the time no. Some wineries and breweries offer discounts if you purchase bottles or growlers and we don’t want to get in the way of that!

Q: I purchased a private tour, how do I select my route?

A: Once your tour is booked, we have a specialist in our office that will contact you to discuss the itinerary. Group size and availability will affect timing and destinations, our specialist will walk you through the process to see how we can best serve your groups needs!

Q: How do we tip?

A: Private tours, you have the choice of choosing a 15%, 18%, or 20% tip.

Public tour guests have the choice of adding a fixed amount as a driver gratuity.

Everyone you meet, your guide, your tasting room attendee, etc are in the service industry. Tip as you would at a restaurant.

Q: Why MWTCC vs those other guys?

A: Simply, our favorite question and its too long to answer here, we encourage you to call us and ask! However, the short version is Monticello Wine Tour and Coach Co is so much more than just a transportation company, its inside access. We are able to take you to the places you want to see as we operate in conjunction with the various destinations. We help you arrange your trip that guarantees you access to those tastings. A lot of companies are banned for not following the rules, which limits the vineyards you are able to see.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: Client understands that cancellations made within 30 day of their reservation date will be subject to a fee of $250.00 or 25% of total reservation price, whichever is greater. If cancellation is made within 15 days prior to the booking date, a 100% cancellation fee will apply.

Itineraries for tours should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance prior to tour. Changes made within two weeks are subject to availability at the tour locations and may be subject to a $50.00 change fee. Itineraries established inside two weeks, are subject to these same terms immediately upon booking.

No Shows without prior notice of cancellation will be billed at 100% of quoted trip cost and will be processed on the credit card on file. Passengers or groups that do not appear or make contact with Guide/Driver for pick-up within 30 minutes after departure time are classified as No Shows. Driver/Guide will make concerted effort to get in touch via personal phone or concierges if available, until the 30-minute window has passed.

Q: What are the terms and conditions?

A: Monticello Wine Tour & Coach Co strives to provide excellent, efficient, and enjoyable service to all our passengers and groups. It is our goal to make your experience as much about the journey as the destinations we are taking you to. Our Driver/Guide will arrive at the pick-up location at least 15 minutes before scheduled departure. If you wish to have your Driver/Guide’s name and number feel free to call our office. If he or she is assigned we are happy to provide this to you. Upon arrival, he or she will give you a call to let you know where you can meet them. Please be mindful of the departure time and the Itinerary we’ve prepared for you. Also, we ask that you abide by the following conditions for your own personal safety and pleasure along with that of your fellow passengers and service staff.

No Smoking – All of our vehicles are Non-Smoking vehicles. Please retain from smoking in or in close proximity to the vehicles. Driver/Guide at his or her sole discretion may terminate the trip with no refunds if smoking is occurring inside the vehicle. A minimum $300 cleanup fee will apply if smoking occurs in one of our vehicles. Any additional costs for removing the smell that exceed this amount will also be charged to the client. We are happy to stop for smoke breaks as deemed necessary by the client.
No Illegal Drugs – No illegal drugs are to be carried or used in the vehicle at anytime. Do not place fellow passengers or us in a compromising or illicit position. The Driver/Guide at his or her sole discretion may terminate the trip with no refunds if illegal activity is occurring inside the vehicle. Police may also be notified.
Please Drink Responsibly – We hope that you and your group have a good time while out with us but also ask that you be mindful of your own personal limits with regards to the consumption of alcohol. Be safe, drink in moderation, and stay hydrated. All wineries, breweries, and cideries reserve the right to refuse service on the grounds of physical intoxication. The Driver/Guide at his or her sole discretion may terminate the trip with no refunds if excessive drinking is occurring on the tour.
No Underage Drinking: No underage drinking or underage possession of alcohol in the vehicle at anytime. Consider the interior of the vehicle a public space with in use. Driver/Guide at his sole discretion may terminate the trip with no refunds if underage drinking is occurring inside the vehicle.
No Weapons or Fighting – No weapons or objects that could be construed or used as weapons are permitted on board any vehicles. Client agrees that if anyone in the party is found with illegal weapons, fighting, or any other conduct, considered inappropriate by the Driver/Guide, he or she is under strict order to terminate the trip immediately without refund. If deemed necessary the Police may also be notified.
No Dogs or Animals – We ask that guests refrain from bringing their pets and animals onboard the vehicles, unless the animal is classified as a working assistance animal.
Lost Items – Client assumes sole responsibility for any and all lost, stolen or missing personal items during the duration of the trip. Please be sure to gather all your belongings when you exit the vehicle at the end of the rental. Give us a call in the event you do leave something behind 434-260-7143. Lost items can be returned at cost of shipping + $35.00 service charge.
Emergency Vehicle Substitution – In the unlikely event that a last minute mechanical breakdown or accident puts a vehicle temporarily out of service Monticello Wine Tour & Coach Co reserves the right to substitute an alternate vehicle (or vehicles) from our fleet or from our affiliates’ fleet. Alternate vehicle (or vehicles) may possibly be different in size or description than originally booked vehicle depending on availability. No refunds or discounts will be given if an alternate vehicle is provided at the agreed upon pickup time.
Liability Policy for delay – Monticello Wine Tour & Coach Co shall not be held liable for delays caused by an Act of God, authority of law, quarantine, perils of navigation, riots, strikes, hazards of danger due to a state of war (declared or undeclared), accidents, breakdown, hazardous weather conditions, and other conditions beyond the control of the company. In the event of these acts we cannot guarantee to uphold the scheduled route or duration of the trip. The company is not to be held liable in any way for a failure to maintain the schedule.

COVID-19 – Per the directive from our Governor and state health department guidelines during Virginia’s phased reopening, we are being required to have all passengers wear face coverings while on board our vehicles at all times. We have been asked to follow the same guidelines as airlines. This is both for your safety and the safety of your driver, who will adhere to the same requirement. Our drivers will keep windows cracked at minimum to provide fresh air flow.  All venues are requiring guests to have face masks, but only until you get to your table or space. We will provide hand sanitizer on board the vans for you and your guests to use throughout the day.

Q: How long will we spend at each destination?

A: Time at each location will vary but for most tours be around one hour and fifteen minutes per vineyard. For custom wine tours we can modify this timing however you would like.

Q: May I bring a child on private/public tour?

A: Childern are allowed on private tours as the vehicle is yours. On public tours, no childern are allowed and all passengers must be over the age of 21.

Q: May I bring a dog?

A: Service animals are welcome on the tour. We restrict non-service animals because some of our guests are allergic to animals and because many of the wineries and breweries restrict access to pets.

Q: What is your pickup area?

A: We pickup in Charlottesville and Albemarle County without any additional fees. We also pickup at any of Stay Charlottesville’s properties in neighboring counties free of charge. Any pickups outside of the area are subject to an additional charge for drive time. Please call for a quote.

Q: What is Stay Charlottesville?

A: Monticello Wine Tour and Coach Co is owned and operated by Stay Charlottesville. Stay Charlottesville provides the ability to stay in the area’s finest carriage houses, apartments, historic homes and estates whether it be for two nights or two months. When staying at a Stay home, you have access to private chefs, private dining rooms on the downtown mall exclusive to stay, access to Common House (private club on the downtown mall) and many more other options. Call for more details!