©C.Deschamps

Useful Tips for Travellers

Dress Code:

  • Châteaux, Wineries, Quintas and Port Lodges – There is no strict dress code at the wineries, although we do recommend bringing a sweater, as the temperature in the cellars tends to be between 10 – 12 degrees Celsius all year round. With regards to foot wear, care should be taken as the ground is frequently uneven in the cellars, and there are often many steps. Lipstick wearers may like to take note that the oils in lipstick can react with the bubbles in Champagne and other sparkling wines and flatten the Champagne or wine.
  • Restaurants – There is no formal dress code for most of the restaurants, although we do suggest no sportswear. Michelin-starred and other gastronomic restaurants generally prefer no jeans, t-shirts, shorts, sports-wear or trainers to be worn.
  • Footwear – the older towns tend to have cobbled streets, so you may like to bring walking shoes. Saint Emilion in particular also has some very steep slopes, so non-slip soles are recommended,

Disabled access:

  • Wineries – The access varies with different wineries. Many have lots of steps and uneven ground which can make disabled access difficult. For more specific information please contact us.
Credits Pape Clement
Grape Escapes

Transport:

  • If transport details have not been included, visits will generally be within walking distance of your accommodation, unless advised during the sales process. Your hotel will be able to book taxis for you if you do not wish to walk. Where a taxi has been pre-booked by Grape Escapes, please note that a waiting fee will be payable by you directly to your taxi driver if you are late for your pickup.
  • If you are travelling by train and your destination is not within walking distance, there are usually taxis waiting outside the station. In the event that there are no drivers waiting when you arrive, you may wish to call your hotel and ask them to arrange a taxi for you. However, this would usually only apply to small train stations in rural locations and when we have not already included pre-booked and pre-paid transfers for you.

Duty Manager Number:

  • The duty manager number is given to you for any problems that occur outside of office hours (Monday to Friday 9:00 – 17:00). This includes personal emergencies whilst on a Grape Escape (e.g. illness) and any difficulties related to a component of your booked tour with us (e.g. missed train or difficulties finding your guide). If you need to contact us during office hours, the office number is +44 1920 46 86 66
Bodegas Bilbainas
Vendanges

Does everyone speak English?

  • We ensure that all our tours are conducted in English. This includes visits to the wineries, chauffeur/guides, and minibus guided tours with our local tour partners. If you have booked just a chauffeur, we cannot guarantee that they will speak English. For that reason, we have supplied them with a transport itinerary in the local language, to ensure that there is no need for you to communicate with the driver. Similarly, taxi-drivers may not speak much English, but all the details of your journey are included on the voucher that you give to your driver.

Specific wineries on full day tours or half day tours:

  • Your tour may be organised by a local tour partner, in which case visits may be booked directly by them. They may not always know until much nearer the time which houses you will be visiting. However, they are all trusted partners, and will always book wineries that will offer you a wonderful experience and enjoyable tastings. Please do ask us if you would particularly like to know the details in advance.
Tourisme Colmar
© JF. Mallet

Tipping:

  • Tipping is welcomed for very good service. If you wish to leave a tip, around 5-10% will be gratefully received.
  • If you are ordering and paying for your meal directly, there is often a 15% service charge added to your bill, which will be specified on the menu, along with tax. The words ‘service compris’ in French or ‘servizio compreso’ in Italian indicate that a tip has been included. The word ‘couvert’ in French or ‘coperto’ in Italian is the cover charge for the meal

Tipping Suggestions:

Hotels

Tips are welcomed for good service:

  • Porters: €0.50 (£0.42)- €1.00 (£0.84) per bag
  • Housekeepers: €1.00 (£0.84) – €1.50 (£1.26)
  • Concierge €8.00 (£6.65)  – €20.00 (£16.63)

Restaurants

Tipping the waiter an additional 10% on top of the mandatory service charge is welcome in return for very good service in a restaurant.

Taxis

10%

Bars

€1.00 (£0.84) – €2.00 (£1.66) for very good service at a bar or cafe leave as a tip

Other

Tour Guides: €2.00 (£1.66) – €5.00 (£4.16)

Bus Drivers: € 1.00 (£0.84) – €2.00 (£1.66)

25. Jardin . Château d'Amboise L. De Serres
amarone trail tour-2

Driving requirements:

  • As European driving requirements are subject to periodical change, we advise that you refer to a reputed authority, such as:

www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe

Pickpockets:

  • Please be aware that pickpocketing is something of a national sport in tourist areas, and especially in Italy. It is strongly recommended that you keep your valuable belongings (money and other important papers) in inside pockets, closed bags or in money belts. Try to leave what you do not need on the day in a safe at your hotel. In any case, never leave your bag unattended and never display any valuables. Be careful when you withdraw money and avoid doing so in very crowded areas.

Cash:

  • Some places in Italy, particularly in the countryside, won’t accept credit cards, therefore we recommend that you take cash when you visit wineries and countryside restaurants or boutiques. We also advise that you carry cash to pay taxi drivers in more rural areas.

Visit times:

  • The times given on your itinerary are the official start time of your tour and the approximate end time. For all visits please endeavour to arrive 5 minutes before your start time to ensure a prompt start; for larger wineries and estates please arrive 10 minutes before this time. If you are going directly onto another visit or meal, please ensure that you leave promptly in order to arrive in time for your next visit.