If you are a wine lover like me, then this Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting deal is definitely for you! My friends and I decided to spend the long Memorial Day Weekend out in Sonoma to do some wine tasting. Sonoma is just west of the famous Napa Valley and has become one of my favorite places to visit in the past few years. Even though I love Napa Valley, it’s just gotten more and more expensive to do a tasting there. I remember the days when wine tastings used to be only $20. Nowadays, tastings could start anywhere between $40-$50 per person! I mean at that point, you might as well buy a couple of bottles and make your own tasting with your friends.
So, you can imagine how excited I was to find out that over 50 wineries in Sonoma have a partnership with Visa to offer a Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting deal. Not a lot of people know about this deal and to be honest, no one really promotes it either. Even if you are planning a wine tasting trip soon to Sonoma, hopefully, this blog post will help you get a head start on what wineries to visit. Also, if you are interested in wine tasting in Oregon, they have an even more amazing deal where over 300 wineries will give you a free wine tasting if you fly Alaska Airlines.
The best part of this deal is that I didn’t have to do anything extra. I didn’t have to purchase a wine pass or be part of a membership. The only requirement is that you need to have a credit card that says Visa Signature or Visa Infinite on it. Most Visa cards either have the Signature or Infinite right underneath the Visa logo on the bottom right corner. A few examples are the Chase Sapphire Reserve (Infinite), Chase Freedom Unlimited (Signature), and World of Hyatt (Signature).
The benefits* are:
- Purchase 1 standard tasting using a Visa Signature or Visa Infinite card and receive 1 complimentary tasting of equal or lesser value
- Preferred pricing on non-wine purchases over $50, where applicable
- Savings on wine purchased same day in the Tasting Room
- Savings on Reserve tasting or special wine and food pairings
*Tasting details and benefits vary by winery; cardholders may wish to call ahead to confirm winery benefitsCredit: https://sonomawine.com/visa-signature/
In my experience, I’ve noticed that not all wineries give you the same deal. A couple of years ago, we went to Gloria Ferrer (not on the list anymore) and we had a party of four. We wanted to buy two tastings and get the other two free, but they actually said we could only have one deal per party. We didn’t really care since I’m okay with sharing tastings, but I was just surprised that they had a rule that would apply the same to a party of two, four, six, or eight.
Another time, on our most recent trip, one of the wineries informed us the day before that their deal with Visa is not the Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting. Instead, it was a 10% discount on bottle purchase and the tasting was comped with a bottle purchase. Again, we didn’t mind since we ended up all buying a bottle anyways. I just want to make everyone aware that there are some wineries that have their own specific benefit, and is best to call the winery ahead of time to double-check. Overall, most of the wineries had the Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting benefit and we never experienced anything different except those two instances.
Visa Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting Map
If you are a Type A planner like I am, this map will definitely help you figure out what wineries to visit in a timely manner. Sonoma Valley is not a small place and sometimes can take 30-45 minutes to get to your next winery. So, to help with efficiency, I’ve mapped out all the Buy One Get One Free Wine Tastings so you can see what wineries are in the immediate vicinity of each other. That way you’re not planning a wine tasting somewhere that’s going to take you over an hour to get to. If you rather see the list version, you can find it here.
I would say on the weekends and holidays, reservations are a must. For our Memorial Day Weekend trip, I started making reservations for a party of four about two weeks in advance and certain reservation times were already taken up. My strategy is usually to fit in three wineries in a day and to share at least one of the tastings with someone so you don’t blow out your palette. If you don’t like to share, I definitely encourage you to use that spit bucket. I know it’s not the classiest, but I usually use it to pour out the rest of my wine if I’m trying to save myself for the next winery.
Making Pre-Payments for Online Bookings
A lot of wineries are now taking a pre-payment for the wine tastings. If you are planning on doing the Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting, and you want to book online, make sure you call the winery first to ask what to do. Some wineries told me to just book online for my group and they will charge me once I get here. Other wineries said that to just pay for the two tastings and put in the notes that we are a party of four and are planning on using the Visa benefit. Another winery made the reservation for me so I didn’t have to deal with the online pre-payment. My point is that every winery is different in how they handle the pre-payment for online reservations. So, make sure you call them and ask them how to proceed. The last thing you want is to be charged for four tastings when you only needed to pay for two.
How To Get to Sonoma
If you don’t know about Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) located near Santa Rosa, then you are missing out on the easiest way to get to Sonoma County. We live in Los Angeles and used to fly into San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK) a lot since flights are relatively cheap. Since I’ve found out that Sonoma has its own airport, I’ve been flying directly to STS ever since. From Los Angeles, Alaska Airlines has a non-stop flight to Santa Rosa and for not much more than the cost of flying into SFO or OAK. You can literally be drinking at a winery within 10 minutes of the airport! Also, if you fly Alaska, your wine flies free so you don’t have to worry about extra baggage fees.
Can I Get to Napa Valley From STS Airport?
The quick answer is yes, but unfortunately, there’s no direct way to get to Napa. It will probably take you at least an hour of driving from STS Airport to the City of Napa. At that point, you might as well fly into SFO or OAK if it’s cheaper because it’ll take the same amount of time driving. I would say STS Airport is the better choice if you are planning on wine tasting in Sonoma and sticking around there.
For the next couple of posts, I’ll be writing about the different Sonoma wineries we visited and our overall experience there so be sure to be on the lookout. I highly recommend visiting Sonoma and it is a great alternative to Napa if you want to drink fantastic wine but at a reasonable price. Let me know if you have questions down below in the comments. I read all of them and that’s the best way to contact me. Happy Tasting!