An in-depth knowledge of wine can enliven humdrum dinner parties, just as an in-depth knowledge of dynamite fishing can enliven flagging job interviews. Give palates an executive education with today’s Groupon: for $179, you get a Wine & Horse Estate Tour for two from Wine Country Tour Central (a $360 value). The tour includes:
- Pickup from Santa Barbara coastal cities in a luxury vehicle
- A guided tour of two world-class horse facilities
- A guided tour and tasting at two wineries
- A gourmet picnic-style lunch
Created by wine enthusiast Bob Sweeney and recently featured in the Santa Barbara News-Press, Wine Country Tour Central whisks vine enthusiasts away on tours of California's rich winemaking tradition. The four- to five-hour afternoon tour begins with pickup at the tour-goers' home in a luxury vehicle, possibly a Lincoln Town Car, a luxury SUV, or a retired Batmobile. A local wine-and-horse aficionado shares knowledge of the passing countryside as the tour spirits guests toward the first of four destinations. Two of the regularly visited destinations give visitors up-close views of training and breeding facilities—arabian horses, quarter-horse reigners, peruvian pasos, and thoroughbreds may gallop into view. Tour-goers can glimpse grape stomping at two of four participating wineries as guides impart information about the winery and its products. Grape gazing or horse watching continues through the supplied gourmet picnic lunch, chosen to complement the libations offered by the estates, pairing wines with fruits and cheeses.
Tours typically whisk four to six people away at a time, though up to 13 vine devotees can be accommodated at once. This Groupon may also be used to upgrade to one of the other guided-tour options, including the Wine & Food Pairing Tour or Private Wine Maker’s Tour, for an additional fee.