As per the voucher instructions, I emailed The Wines Guys requesting a booking for a certain date. After two and half weeks passed and I still had not received a response, I emailed again and asked for my booking to be confirmed. Three days later, I received a one line response "Go to our website and book online." The online booking system requires a $1 booking fee per person, which was not stated in the Terms and Conditions of the deal.
At this point in looking at the availability on the website, the date I had requested was no longer available, along with all weekends during the valid period of booking. In a panic that all other dates would be shortly booked out I booked in a Friday that I thought would be suitable for my group of friends, but alas it was not the case.
From their website, I got their contact number and after listening to a message about how busy they were with the success of a number of deals they had running, I left a message in the hope that they would return my call as promised within 72 hours. Five days passed so I left another message with some urgency this time.
The following day I received a call back from a member of the Wines Guys team, who was abrupt and told me I had left my booking too late. I attempted to explain about the email and the no replies, but he argued with me, insisting it was my fault. He told me he would cancel my previous booking and I would have to book another date. I queried the booking fee and he said I would need to pay it again but it would be refunded on the day of the tour by the bus driver. This was not the case so I said goodbye to my $6.
The day of the tour arrived and we met the mini bus at Federation Square and were ready to roll. We meet the other 7 on the tour and our comedian wine tour guide and I use the term "comedian" lightly. Our tour guide was nice enough and somewhat informative but not funny. Rather than a bit of a stand up routine that I was expecting there was some silly accents put on and that was about it.
Onward bound to the Yarra Valley.
Photo by Janis P - Pretty view at Coombe Farm Winery
The first winery visited was Coombe Farm which had a decent range of wines from sparkling to whites to reds. The winery estate has links back to Dame Nellie Melba, is still run by her descendants to this day and is set on a stunning piece of land. We had the pleasure of being looked after by a passionate and bubbly lady who knew what she was talking about when it came to wine.
Next onto Punt Rd winery which was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of experience. On one hand it was refreshing they had their own cider available for something different and on the other hand they only provided tastings of their everyday table wines and not complete range of sparkling and reserves. The staff were new and didn't seem to know a lot about their wine.
The third winery was Killara Estate and also our lunch stop. Lunch consisted of antipasto platters and gourmet pizzas to share between the group of strangers, which was a little unusual, although funnily enough we were getting to know each other the more wine we tried. Lunch was tasty and good to get something in the tummy before trying more wines. The owner at Killara not only made sure we were happy with the wines but also checked on us to ensure we were enjoying lunch. There's a good spread of whites, reds, sparkling, every day wine and premium wine. Thumbs up for Killara.
Finally onto the last winery, Seville Hill. We were greeted by the lush colourful garden and resident wine guru who was engaging in both providing us with information about the wine and in getting our feedback on the wine. There are a large number of wines on offer including something a little different in a cherry liqueur to finish off the tasting. I couldn't help but notice the flyer for Jazz on every second Sunday during summer with a small selection of food available for grazing between 12 and 4:30. Check out their website for more information.
In conclusion the wine tour was good, three of the wineries visited were excellent, with knowledgeable staff and a variety of good tasting wines. One winery didn't live up to the standards of the other three, the food was appetising, the booking process was very poor and the comedy was nowhere to be found.
Do not use this company.We used spreets/groupon and they have had a misunderstanding so the wine guys will not refund us and also the tour has been cancelled!! They do not return any calls or emails and are very unhelpful.
DO NOT USE THE WINEGUYS!!!!