Being a tour guide in the Willamette Valley is very rewarding for me. I think what I enjoy the most is being able to use my knowledge and best judgement to craft a personalized route for each tour. I get my best opportunity to do that on a “Driver’s Choice” day.
Once I meet my group and we’re properly acquainted, it’s fun to start making a game plan based on what I have learned about my new friends. Oh they’ll be drinking great wine all throughout the day, of course, but all tours are different. Once I know what kind of experience they’re looking to have, different wineries and routes start coming into my mind.
Groups who are newer to enjoying wine are fun because I think they have more preferences than they realize. Once a person understands why they enjoyed a certain Pinot over another, that really opens things up for them in the world of wine tasting. I also love the challenge of driving around the wine aficionados of the world. I know wine is subjective, but I feel like trying to match what they’re looking for in a wine really puts my knowledge and palate to the test.
Now that I’ve done a full season of tours I know for sure that next year will be even better. I know way more about everything in the Willamette Valley and my knowledge continues to grow. I really look forward to seeing some familiar faces next year and bringing them to new spots that I’ve come to learn about and feel are worth visiting. My plan in the off-season is drink my way through dozens wineries that I’ve yet to visit. Yep, I love my job.
Until next time!