With 20+ years of wine-geeking and Sommelier training, I have had the unique opportunity to connect with some of the greatest wine producers in Northern California and beyond. I have coupled that experience by Consulting with the Kimpton Group's Prescott Hotel in San Francisco California, which has welcomed me into the hospitality side of the wine industry. Throughout my travels, I have noticed that experts in the industry create an exclusive environment, making it difficult for consumers to feel encouraged to learn more about what they are drinking. We at VinUnderground wish to create an inclusive access point for all your wine oriented needs and interests by giving space for that dialogue to exist.
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Mike went above and beyond our expectations. He organize an amazing days for a large group. He helped to manage a delay for some people and he had adapted all the agenda without affecting the experience. We went to two small and beautiful wineries in Napa and Sonoma, he handles so many contacts in the area. He organized a great buffet lunch under a patio with a great view over the vineyards. Amazing !!! Thanks Mike
My fiance and I booked this tour with Mike, and it was one of the best things we've ever done! The vineyards he took us to were so interesting, unique, and down-to-earth. We learned so much about the wine-making process and about wine in general. Mike knew the best places around to eat and visit, and he was very personable and easygoing (and also punctual)! I can't imagine being a first-time wine country visitor and not going through Mike. He made everything so easy and fun. I'd recommend his tour to anyone.
Mike was great! He put together an amazing day for my family and me for my mom's special birthday. He did an excellent job understanding what we were looking for and customizing the day to be unique. The wine-tasting day in Napa Valley was the highlight of our trip! Thanks Mike!! Also, our driver was wonderful too. Highly recommended.
It's hard to say anything new about Mike. It all comes down to: he is amazing and so is this tour. From the start, he answered my messages right away, taking no more than a day to respond to a complex question. Next, he is incredibly flexible about pickup; he drove my family's rental car and agreed to make 2 stops to pick up everyone in the group before whisking us off to the vineyards. Mike made reservations at 3 amazing, unique, beautiful vineyards for us. My group of 6, ranging from total amateur to self-taught experts, agreed that each vineyard was special with truly amazing wines. Mike never had a single sip, so no worries about drinking & driving (and no worries, you can be assured that he has had all the wines you will be tasting many, many times). And finally, he is just a totally lovely and interesting person, and it's easy to talk to him about anything from food to wine to rock climbing. This tour is 1000% worth it.
Mike is very knowledgeable and a very nice guy. It was obvious he had connections to those in the wine community in the "know". We went to a couple of small batch wineries with beautiful views and great wines that I'm certain we would have been unable to find without Mike. In fact, those tastings were in people's homes, without signs or "tasting rooms", so it would have been really strange if we showed up without Mike. A couple of the winemakers asked Mike his opinion and recommendation about their wine, which made us feel like we were with a real expert. The owner of one of the wineries was out of town, so we were given tastings by her house guests, which was not bad but also not a highlight. These things happen, though, and the rest of the tour was a real treat. If I'm back in the area, I would definitely book again. Mike seems to have enough connections to create a bunch of totally different tours. One thing of note, if you have a big group (we had 7), you will have to rent a larger car for Mike to drive. It is something that may be obvious to some, but I didn't think through it and wished I had known when I told all the participants a price and reserved the tour. We found a van, and it was $140 with insurance, which wasn't bad for a group of 7. All in all - I recommend this tour highly!
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Excellent tour that we would recommend to anyone! Mike took us to very local places with individual time with each winemaker. He was very knowledgable, answered all of our questions and had great food spots as well! All of the places he had lined up were different for a unique experience at each. Plus he drove!
Three of us had a fantastic day in Napa with Mike! Two in our group were first time visitors to the area and one had moved to the Bay area a couple of years ago. Mike showed all of us a great time as we visited small wineries, met lovely people, and chatted about all things wine and music! Thanks for a wonderful day - we made some great memories. I highly recommend Mike's tour.
I echo everything in the reviews before me. Mike is a great guide and planned for every detail. He picked up and dropped off our rental van and picked my group up in the city. He was also very accommodating and picked up a late arriving member of my group at the Bart Station. My group went to Livermore Valley and it was wonderful. He knew the vineyard owners and we could tell they have the utmost respect for Mike. He even made us a great slideshow of our tour! I would definitely take this tour again.
While the trip only lasted half a day, its hard to summarize the experience in a few words. One thing is guaranteed, Mike knows his stuff and he'll provide you with unforgettable personalized tour. In a time of commercialized tourism, his style of showing you around is a rare occasion. Besides being extremely easy to coordinate with, Mike made the effort to pick me up downtown. With the traffic in San Francisco, I guarantee, not everyone will do that. His extravagant outfit for our tour matched his character very well: funny yet caring, out-going and yet still very grounded. Mike and I toured four vineyards, each of them in very distinct locations. Of all the vineyard owners that we met along our tour, everyone took their time to explain their unique wine making processes and the history of the vineyards. Despite travelling alone and obviously not looking like I own a platinum credit card, I felt humbled that these owners shared their knowledge with me. Without Mike's personal relationships with everyone, I wouldn't have otherwise gotten this type of royal treatment. My money felt well spent. Needless to say, I left the tour with some wonderful additions to my (yet insignificant) wine collection, great memories and some really cool pictures :)
Mike is quite an exception in that he has a masterful sommeilier's knowledge and expertise without the usual accompanying snobbiness. He's a truly down-to-earth guy who's doing what he loves. He knows the wine from the soil to vine, grape to bottle to table and will offer you a unique, unforgettable experience. He easily adapts, be you the casual wine drinker or a world-travelled wine expert. you'll be treated to a private tour experience away from the hustle and bustle of the parched vineyard tourists and instead get to experience the best the vineyards have to offer, in both wines and tasting locations. Mike tailors the tour to your requests and will happily entertain all your questions and requests. What else could you ask for?
Mike isn't just knowledgeable about wines; he's very knowledgeable about the people behind the wines. He's a great guy to hang out with and has all the local hookups.
Mike knows wine country and the people in it which means what you're getting is the insider's look into wine country. He's been close friends with winery owners for years and they're willing to go out of their way to make his tour guest feel special. So much better an experience than just randomly driving around and checking out wineries by yourself.
If you want to explore wine country with a fun guy who knows everything there is to know about wine, Mike is your dude! From picking up a rental van from the airport to driving all 14 of us around, he was a great sport and handled all the planning curveballs with enthusiasm and ease. He took us to some of the best wineries in Sonoma and Russian River full of fun surprises like pulled pork sandwiches, bocci ball, and even chocolate port. He's really chill, knowledgeable without being overly pretentious, and even made a slideshow video for us of our trip! Ten stars!
Mike was a really cool tour guide - I've lived in the Bay Area for about 7 years and have been to Napa/Sonoma many times. Yet Mike was able to take us to some really great hidden wineries. He knew all the wine-makers, and 'hooked us up' - whether you're wine n00b or a wine snob, it's still a lovely experience. All the wineries were ran by small families and were such lovely people. This was a treat - Thanks Mike :)
He showed us places I've never seen before and I must have gone up to Napa 10-15 times over the past 5 years. All the wineries were family owned and the owners treated us like we've known them for years.
Mike was the ultimate wine expert, guide, and host. He unflinchingly drove 6 of us loud gals around on a 6 hour wine tasting experience (in a not so appropriately decorated mini van). We almost didn't leave the first place because we were having so much fun drinking and snacking on a complimentary cheese and cracker platter. We sampled wine from barrels, stopped for lunch at a local deli, and even had an impromptu hide-and-seek session in a private barrel room. I had an amazing time with my girlfriends and Mike didn't seem out of place at all. By the end of the day, he turned into a friend. I highly recommend booking this experience.
I would highly recommend Mike as a "must" in your next wine tasting/touring extravaganza. Mike was professional, prompt, extremely educated in terms of wine making and mad sommelier skills, an excellent driver in the midst of some rambunctious bachelorette playlists in addition to a gentlemen. I would recommend Mike to anyone as he is well versed and adaptive- creating pleasant insight into the wine making process displaying his love and enjoyment for wine. Mike's amiable and adaptable nature made the trip more enjoyable in addition to his awesome hook ups allowing us girls to enjoy a sneak peek behind-the-scenes wine making and barrel tasting tips in a few wineries. Overall I rate him Excellent!
If there is any 'stranger' to experience wine country with, it is Mike. He knows his wine and he knows his places and you will get all the special treatment you would not normally get with a normal wine tasting tour. If you are looking for something special to do during your day in wine country, look no further- this is it.
I recently enjoyed Mike's wine tasting experience with five of my girlfriends. Mike completely exceeded my expectations and went above and beyond to create the perfect day for us. He took us behind the scenes at wineries that were off the beaten path, where the proprietors treated us like VIP. They took us to the bottling rooms, surprised us with snacks and even let us barrel taste. We got to skip all the lines and didn't have to worry about bringing cash for tastings like at most places. We even got discounts some wineries because Mike is so well connected. Mike took such great care of us throughout the whole trip, always making sure we were having a great time. He was so much fun to hang out with! Next time I'm heading to wine country I will definitely plan another trip with Mike!