Tag Archives | private wine tour

Green Dream Tours Excited About Moscone Center Expansion

With the recent grand reopening of Moscone Center in San Francisco, the entire Bay Area is gearing up for what promises to be an upsurge in convention business. This fact is not lost on Green Dream Tours, which specializes in wine tours from San Francisco to Napa and Sonoma

“It’s always a good idea to take a day off from a convention and enjoy yourself,” says Elie Sasson, owner of Green Dream Tours. “Every trip to San Francisco should include a trip to the Wine Country.”

Green Dream Tours, a member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame, has been helping convention attendees experience Wine Country for more than 10 years. Small-group tours feature pickups at most hotels near the convention center, and throughout San Francisco’s downtown and Fisherman’s Wharf areas. Public tours also include tasting fees, water, mints, planned stops for lunch, and knowlegable and fun guides.

Most convention attendees spend a few extra days in San Francisco before and after their events. Wine Country tours are a great way to explore beyond the city limits to take advantage of all the Bay Area has to offer. For those traveling with spouses, significant others or family members, wine tours from San Francisco provide those not attending conventions something to look forward to. (Convention attendees pressed for time may even be able to sneak away when sessions are light!)

Groups meeting in San Francisco often seek smaller venues to host private events during major conventions. A private group tour to Wine Country can fill this need, combining local immersion with ready-made entertainment.

Besides an anticipated increase in visitors coming to San Francisco for conventions, the Moscone expansion reflects a renewed commitment to sustainability. Moscone, which is seeking LEED Platinum certification, boasts the largest array of rooftop solor panels in San Francisco. The convention center also harvests water from fog and below the building, and has its own water treatment plant.

Green Dream Tours has been committed to sustainable tourism since its first tour to Sonoma Valley in 2008. Each year, Green Dream Tours purchases carbon offsets that go toward projects such as reforestation, which works to eliminate carbon from the environment. The company also visits many green wineries. In Sonoma, for example, Nicholson Ranch is committed to sustainable farming practices. Starmont Winery and Vineyard is a certified Napa Green Winery, generating electricity from solar panels.

Green Dream Tours is a partner of San Francisco Travel, the city’s convention and visitors bureau. As a locally-owned, small business, Green Dream Tours provides behind-the-scene experiences designed to showcase the vibrant wine regions beyond San Francisco. Among the new features at Moscone Center is a dedicated tourism center where conference attendees can learn about and book tours like those offered by Green Dream Tours.Green Dream Tours

Wine Country tours may be booked online or by calling 415-692-1644. An experienced tour consultant will provide advice on public or private tours, including winery selections, lunch, and visits to landmarks such as Napa’s Oxbow Market and Sonoma Plaza.

“You are guaranteed to have a great time on our wine tour, while escaping the convention routine for a day,” says Elie. “We are the best in the business.”

7 Reasons to Book a San Francisco Wine Tour During the Holidays

San Francisco wine tours are awesome all year long, but the ambience becomes especially celebratory amid the holiday seasons.

Green Dream Tours runs small-group tours from San Francisco to Napa and Sonoma year round. Consider booking a Wine Country tour as a gift to yourself, or better yet, bring along your friends or office mates for a stress-free holiday party.

Here are 7 reasons to book a Wine Country tour over the holidays. 

1. Instant Holiday Party: Whether you’re looking for a girls-day-out activity or a year-end office celebration, a Wine Country Tour is a stress-free way to get the gang together.

2. Great Weather: For those living in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States, you’ll find Wine Country weather very enjoyable. Temperatures often range in the high ’50s and ’60s even in the winter.

3. Wine Country Gifts: Get your holiday shopping out of the way. Our tours visit either Napa’s Oxbow Market or Sonoma Plaza, where a variety of shops feature unique Wine Country gifts for your friends and family.

4. Wine For You & Friends: Speaking of gifts, wine makes a great present during the holidays. Who doesn’t love getting a bottle of wine as a present? And if you have an extra special bottle of wine on hand, it will no doubt be put to good use during planned or impromptu holiday gatherings.

5. Make the Most of Vacation Time: Lots of people have extra days off from work in November and December. A Wine Country tour makes for an easy, fun getaway, whether you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or visiting from afar.       

6. Stress Management: A Wine Country tour will help you cope better with annoying house guests over the holidays. Wine has a way of making every situation better and provides a great excuse to indulge in guilt-free day-drinking.

High-end Wine Tasting7. Festive Cheer: Many wineries decorate for the holidays, so a Wine Country tour will boost your holiday spirit, even if your name is Ebenezer Scrooge. 

Green Dream Tours has taken more than 40,000 guests to Wine Country over the past 10 years. With a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, Green Dream Tours is a member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame and regarded as the top San Francisco wine tour.

Green Dream Tours Earns Prestigious Spot in TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame

Trip AdvisorGreen Dream Tours has qualified for the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame after earning the Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in June 2018, San Francisco-based Green Dream Tours has guided more than 30,000 guests to Wine Country. The Certificate of Excellence is based on TripAdvisor’s guest reviews.

“We are very proud to have achieved Hall of Fame status with TripAdvisor,” said Elie Sasson, owner of Green Dream Tours. “We feel that we have worked very hard to achieve this, and that we deserve this recognition.  We also feel that prospective clients will recognize this achievement and want to book with us.”

Green Dream Tours specializes in small-group tours to Napa and Sonoma. All public tours are limited to 14 guests on new luxury buses. The company also offers private tours throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from one to 25 people. (Larger groups can be accommodated upon request.)Green Dream Tours Vineyard

“We got here because of all of the hard work put in by our team over our 10 years in service,” said Sasson. “We have listened to what our customers want and expect from a wine tour, and have made many improvements over the years.”

According to veteran guide Dylan Haas, the Green Dream Tours ownership allows each guide’s unique personality to flourish and enhance tours, rather than force guides to fit into a specific mold.

“We each have a unique passion for service, guiding and wine that is rooted in our unique personalities,” said Haas. “So each guide and each tour is different, but each has the common theme of passion for quality and service.

Tour group, Green Dream Tours, inside the bus“We love and strive to give our guests the best tour of their lives,” said Haas.

Green Dream Tours relies on close relationships with Napa and Sonoma wineries to deliver amazing tours. Wineries range from family-owned estates to organic vineyards to boutique tasting rooms.


Here are a few examples of recent guest reviews:

The day was beautiful. The tour guide Robin was knowledgeable and friendly. My husband and I learned a lot about wine. We visited small wineries not the bigger more commercial ones, which I really enjoyed because I felt you had more of a one-on-one service. I would highly recommend this tour!
It was a superb tour where we visit 3 different wineries with diverse perspectives. Skip (our guide) was always helpful, funny, and taught us a lot about Napa, its history, people, etc. We strongly recommend.
This tour exceeded our expectations! Dylan, our tour leader and driver not only made us laugh for 5 hours but he was kind, helpful, and made sure each of us had what we needed. We have been raving about the tour since we got back! Larson Family winery was our favorite spot and the weather was absolutely perfect! Thank you!!!!


A custom Sonoma wine tour that went “above and beyond”

When six friends from Alberta, Canada called on Green Dream Tours to help them plan a bachelorette outing, they got more than they anticipated.

Three of them, including the bride, had toured Sonoma before and looked forward to sharing the experience with the rest of the group. They’d liked the Viansa setting and the wine on their last visit and wanted to return. And, because a few of the women had watched The Bachelor together, they requested a stop at Envolve Winery (co-founded by the reality show’s recent star, Ben Flajnik).

They left the choice of the third winery to Elie, owner of Green Dream. He recommended B.R. Cohn, which ended up being their favorite.

Planning the trip

Bachelorettes at B.R. Cohn Winery in Sonoma

Bachelorettes get a tour of B.R. Cohn with the winemaker

Erin, who had been on the 2010 wine country tour, was in charge of planning the bachelorette getaway. After searching Google and TripAdvisor, she contacted Green Dream. “I decided to go with them because they ranked at the top of the reviews,” says Erin.

Everyone agreed the stop at the B. R. Cohn winery was the highlight of the day. “We got a private tour with Tom, the winemaker, and the tasting room host was fabulous,” she adds.

“Then Tom surprised us with wine for the bride to take home and little gifts for all of us. It was above and beyond what we expected.”

The bride meets the Bachelor

Sonoma wine tasting with Ben the Bachelor

Bachelorettes stop for wine tasting with
reality TV star Ben Flajnik

After lunch in Sonoma, they had another surprise for the bride. In planning their itinerary, Elie had arranged for a private wine tasting with Ben at Envolve. “He spent an hour pouring and describing his wines,” says Erin, “and then was gracious enough to take photos with us.”

For others planning a bachelorette tour, Erin highly recommends Green Dream Tours. “It was fabulous. There’s nothing I would change about the day. The girls loved it and still talk about it.”


Learn more
Green Dream custom wine tours

Fall in the wine country — a special time to visit

Erin Troy, Green Dream tour guide, toasts fall in the vineyard.

Green Dream tour guide Erin Troy toasts fall in the vineyard.

Erin Troy has been leading wine country tours for Green Dream since May of 2012. We spoke to her about what’s going on in the vineyards now.

Can you give us a preview of fall in the wine country?

Harvest is my favorite time of year to be up there. They call it the crush and it’s when Napa and Sonoma are buzzing.

You get to see production going on – from workers hand-picking grapes to truckloads of fruit being delivered to the wineries. It’s one of the most beautiful times in California wine country. The leaves on the vines are turning gold, orange and rust. The angle of the sun produces that golden glow and the air smells like wine.

What questions do your groups ask about the crush?

People want to know when grapes are harvested. It’s an ongoing process starting in late summer and continuing into early fall. The wineries measure the sugar levels of the grapes to decide when they’re ready to pick. In warmer seasons they harvest earlier and when it’s been cooler, they harvest later.

Are there advantages to visiting at this time of year?

The vines turn beautiful oranges and rusts in the fall in California's wine country.

Wine country vineyard wears brilliant fall colors.

It’s a little past the peak summer tourist season, so tasting room visitors get more personal attention. And because it’s harvest time, you’ll see more of the winemaking process. There’s a sense of change in the air as the grapes come to the end of life on the vine and begin the transformation into wine.

What do you like most about leading wine country tours?

I love taking daily tours up to wine country because it’s beautiful and consistently better weather than San Francisco. And, it’s fun meeting visitors from all over the world who are on vacation and in a good mood.

When people have a special request, Green Dream arranges a private tour, so I often get to visit wineries that are not on our usual itinerary.

I’ve always been interested in wine, but being a tour guide has given me more appreciation of what goes into each bottle. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with my tour groups.

Learn more
Private winery tours
About Green Dream Tours

Bachelorettes party on a private wine tour in Sonoma

A bachelorette party takes a private wine tour of Sonoma, and poses in the vineyard.

Sorority sisters reunite for a memorable tour
of Sonoma wine country.

Ten sorority sisters take a private wine country tour and at the end of the
day . . . leave their lingerie on the bus. Nope, it’s not a joke.

They gathered in San Francisco in June for a reunion and bachelorette party. Stephanie McCay of Denver, who organized the trip, told us they wanted:

  • time to hang out and catch up
  • a memorable day in the wine country
  • and a private tour tailored just for their group

After calling several tour companies, she talked to Elie at Green Dream. “I was excited because he said we’d have our own bus and be visiting boutique wineries where we’d probably be the only the guests,” says Stephanie.

The women loved the more personalized and intimate Green Dream tour. At the smaller wineries they actually met the winemakers and heard their stories. In fact, at Peter Cellars in Sonoma, when the winemaker found out several in the group were pregnant or new moms, he introduced them to his three-week-old baby.

“The best possible tour guide”

“Our tour guide, Adam, knew when to let us do our own thing and when to chime in,” Stephanie says. And the friends were really glad not to be on a large bus with other groups, especially at the end of the day when their party got livelier and louder.

Everyone had a great time. The bride loved it, even though she doesn’t exactly remember all the details . . . like leaving her lingerie on the bus.

Now don’t jump to conclusions. The fancy undies were gifts from her friends and she had tucked the package under her seat while they were touring.

Adam to the rescue

That night Adam met the group at a restaurant to return the gifts. Not wanting to carry the pink Victoria’s Secret bag, he disguised it in a brown paper bag. Stephanie says, “He really went above and beyond, and he ended up joining us for the rest of the evening.”

Let us help you create memories in the wine country. Learn more about our private wine tours here.