Green Dream Tours celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2018 and has now helped more than 45,000 guests experience Napa and Sonoma. We are a small, locally owned San Francisco-based company that is a member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame. Our guides are a key reason we are ranked among the elite tours in the Bay Area.
Wine Country Tour Guides/Minibus Drivers
Guiding tours in Wine Country is fun and rewarding. We often say that it’s easy to run a good wine tour–who doesn’t love spending a day sipping wine in a beautiful sunny location? That also means that it is extremely important to exceed guests’ expectations by going the extra mile. Our guides stand apart from the rest by providing personalized attention, plenty of information, and keeping the tour fun! We offer to snap photos of guests in iconic locations and pristine landscapes. We take time on every tour to chat with each guest, getting to know them and connecting on a personal level. We continually check in with the group and individuals to make sure they’re enjoying the day, that the temperature in the vehicle is comfortable, that the music volume is at an appropriate level, etc. We make recommendations on things to do and places to go while they’re in the area.
Here’s an example of a typical day:
7:30am – Arrive at our lot to perform a pre-trip inspection on the vehicle and ensure everything is stocked for the day
8:00-9:00 – Pick ups at hotels (we offer pick ups from most hotels in San Francisco)
9:15 – Stop at the Golden Gate Bridge for photos and restrooms; introduce yourself and the group to each other, and describe the outline of the day
10:15-11:15 – 1st Winery – Tasting, photos, purchases, restrooms
11:30-12:30 – 2nd Winery – Tasting, possible tour or explanation of the winemaking process, etc. (picnic lunch at winery on Sonoma tour)
12:45-2:00 – Lunch at Oxbow Public Market in Napa (for Napa and Combo tour); fuel or wash exterior of vehicle if needed, and always keep interior of vehicle clean throughout the day
2:15-3:30 – 3rd Winery – Tasting, etc. End of tour wrap-up with group
4:30-5:30 +/- Hotel drop offs
6-6:30pm +/- Return to lot, clean vehicle, and restock for the next tour
We have high expectations of our guides and provide thorough training. Drivers are much more than “drivers.” They are experienced and fun Wine Country tour guides. All tours are fully narrated. Commentary is provided while driving through San Francisco and en route to Wine Country. Our guides delve into topics such as history and interesting facts about neighborhoods in San Francisco, and Northern California, geology, and climate. Commentary will also highlight Wine Country history, and what makes Napa and Sonoma and the wine produced there some of the best wine on the planet. On the way back to San Francisco, most guests are happy with the info provided and content to relax and listen to music, and talk amongst themselves.
We’re looking for outgoing, fun, friendly, and personable guides, who are also professional. You must be willing to go out of your way for guests, be enthusiastic, and always do the best job possible. Guides must be flexible and willing to fill in for a sick coworker. You must be self-motivated, organized, systematic, and detail-oriented. We think this is one of the greatest and most enjoyable jobs in the world, and we want you to think the same! We want you to LOVE this dream position! Your “office” will be the beautiful landscape of Wine Country!
Most tours are run in 14-passenger 2013-2018 Ford E450 mini-buses. The fleet also includes an 11-passenger Nissan van, a 14-passenger Ford Transit, and a 26-passenger bus. Experience with the larger bus is preferred but not mandatory.
Challenges of the Job
- Long days, early starts
- Managing group dynamics, especially when there is a diverse group from different cultural backgrounds and generations
- Breaking the ice for groups, getting them chatting with each other, setting the tone of the day and tour
- Language barriers
- Staying on schedule without making the group feel rushed
- Maintaining a balance between fun and educational tours
- Reading groups and adjusting guiding style to fit different needs, desires, and expectations
Work Commitment & Hours
- Positions start in spring (March-May, somewhat flexible start date) and require commitment through the end of October. The schedule will be cut back after October, but continued part-time work through the winter and beyond is possible
- Full-time and part-time positions available
- Guides work 1-5 days per week
- Shifts run 10 to 11 hours per day, approximately 7:30am to 5:30-6:30pm
- Must be available on weekends (some exceptions can be made)
- Must be available to be on-call some days
- Only one weekend can be guaranteed off during peak season from 4/1 to 10/31, by prior request only
- Tour guide experience and/or driving experience is mandatory
- Wine and Wine Country experience and knowledge is preferred but not mandatory
- Ultimately, you will be required to narrate 1 hour from SF to Wine Country and give a 15-20 minute talk on winemaking
- Must have current California Commercial Class B license, with a passenger endorsement Or, must be able to obtain one. We may be able to help you in this process
- Must be able to pass a drug test
- Must have a relatively clean driving record
- Salary is $200 per day for full day tours + tips. Tips are typically $50 to $150+ per day
- Salary is $100-150 for half-day tours + tips
- Training wage is $150 per day/tour (training is typically around 10 days)
Please send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about being a Green Dream Tours Wine Country guide, please see our FAQ.