Frequently Asked Questions
We are the destination specialists for more than 8 years of wine regions of Spain and Portugal. Enjoying everyday life in this region of the world would not be complete without the growing dedication we've put into wine and food culture.
Slowwines is a long time contributor to the local economy. We pay all the local fees and taxes locally. Being locals has made us keenly aware of the traditions as well as the evolution in the culinary offers and wine production. We often discover still little gems scattered across the Iberian regions, and we are eager to introduce them to the world.
We at slowwines have an experience that is the sum of all bits of life chunks: friendship, networking, sharing and sometimes contributing to the work of talented, often unknown people. From these early days to who we are today in the inbound and experience travel, a long way has gone: so far, the wine tour activity is totalling more than 400 multi-day tour packages and over 2700 enthusiastic travelers.
Shorter, one-day experiences involving cellar doors visit, life music gigs themed with wine trail have received great acclaim too, and we are continuing our effort in this direction. A new generation of Spanish and Portuguese super chefs has been rejuvenating, reinventing a promising cuisine, and this is only the beginning;
We will have an opportunity to meet them. We have a strong commitment to quality in our wine holidays. Many of our guests are returning visitors.
ABOUT THE TOURS
Why hire Slowwines?
We ensure every detail covered in our wine tour package because we understadn your time is valuable. We cover all the aspects of the tour bookings, ensuring a full package with no extra booking needed. We're here to make every experience count as unique.
Our team speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese, as do our guides and chauffeurs.
We customize every tour to meet your interests, dietary needs and level of activity.
Throughout your experience we will provide exclusive personalized customer service from the first day.
Sommeliers / educators with knowledge about specific regions can be part of our tours and even accompany your group.
We provide 100% back office support, this includes emergency support if needed. We are here for any question you may have or want to get in touch: always available for you!
We have personally done the legwork and hand-selected all of our suppliers including wineries, quality boutique hotels, private chefs, private drivers, dinner restaurants, etc. We have nurtured lifelong friendships and relationship throughout the regions of Iberia that will show extremely useful in your experience of our destinations.
Can I have an overview of all your wine tours?
Yes! This can be found right here. Go catch it.
Can you offer me a bespoke wine holiday?
Naturalmente! If you'd like to tailor an offer that caught your attention, please use the "Get a Quote" form and specify your intentions in your message. You can submit your booking form online. We commit to get back to you within 48 hours on week days. We will contact you by email with the tour proposal, program and price quote based on your interests and expectations.
Alternatively, you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a preference for a more diversified experience around winery visits. Slowwines team promises to prepare a customized program that will suit you.
What should I expect a custom trip to cost?
We design tours to fit your requirements and work tirelessly to refine the budgets or to meet other needs.
Below, we've put together a general breakdown of Slowwines custom trips to help you budget accordingly. This should serve as a guideline and in the end it is dependent on where you travel and the time of year you are traveling pricing may vary.
Price per person, per day: €280-480
Includes: 3-4 Star Lodging, airport transfers, mix of small group & private tours, breakfast daily, special amenities, taxes, emergency travel assistance. Excludes: International air, tips, meals & personal expenses
Price per person, per day: €480-670
Includes: 4-5 Star Lodging, private airport transfers, mix of small group & private tours, breakfast daily, some meals (normally based on a half-board programme), special amenities, taxes, emergency travel assistance. Excludes: International air, tips & personal expenses
Price per person, per day: €670-1,200+
Includes: Hotel boutique lodging, VIP airport services, private transfers, private tours, breakfast daily, some meals (normally based on a half-board programme), special amenities, taxes and emergency travel assistance. Excludes: International air, tips & personal expenses
How much does a Slowwines' tour cost? Cause of variation for the prices?
Our prices are based on several factors including: the number people in our group, that we also call the party size; the destination; the type of hotel and amenities; the meals and restaurant style; the type and number of cellardoors visits and tastings; the number of chauffeur services included and additional activities (cooking course, guided nature walks, etc). For events or large groups, costs may also include conference rooms, conference materials, and entertainment (specially contracted entertainer, singer etc).
Prices for tour packages vary for obvious reason due to factors such as party size, vehicule used for ground transportation, type of accommodation, duration of the tour, if rooms are shared or not. Prices also vary slightly with regards to time of the year and airport where pick up is arranged. A constituted group of 5 or 10 travelers and more will receive a different price per person than 2 travelers, even if these people join a pair of 2 other travelers on a specific tour.
Should you have any doubt, remember to check our terms & booking conditions, everything is explained here with regards to payment and cancellation policies. At Slowwines, the entire team is commited to an open and clear handling of all our processes. As much as you do, we dislike hidden costs and commit to zero hidden costs when booking with us. Remember we can also help to clear doubts wherever they arise.
Do I need to know a lot about wines to embark on a wine-tour?
No! There’s absolutely no need to be an expert on wine. All wine lovers and wine enthusiasts will enjoy a wine tour because the nature and the size of the tours guarantees an agreeable and learning experience. The wine novice will learn a lot about winemaking, and how different factors like the geological characteristics, grape varieties, and the ageing methods are reflected in the wine. If you are more experienced, you will enhance all aspects of your knowledge. You come here for different purposes, such as discovering outstanding wines, and engaging in exchanges with passionate winemakers.
Visits can be adapted to the general expertise of the group. If you work in the wine sector, or you have been on many wine tours around the world, we take you to a different level as you are already quite knowledgeable about wines. Vertical tasting can be arranged. We also arrange visits for importers who are looking for new wines from lesser known areas or cellar doors.
Can I extend my trip?
Yes! You can always extend your holidays with one or more extra nights, before or after the tour. Upon booking, please indicate your plans in writing or by calling us. Be as specific as possible, e.g. how many extra nights and on which dates they need to be booked.
Can I shorten my trip?
It very much depends on the individual tour you are booking. A tour director leads a group on a guided group package. When an individual leaves early or joins late the group is likely to lose its unique dynamic. Our policy is that guided tours cannot be shortened. Contact us if you need to shorten a trip, explain your situation. We listen to you and discuss your options.
What type of food is served?
In Spain and Portugal, you can expect a cuisine that features local products. There are always reasons to celebrate excellent cuisine; surprisingly it can be found at the most unexpected places. There is not just one cuisine style; our guests have a choice ranging from simple Mediterranean cuisine to a more contemporary approach. Gastronomy can be enjoyed in small exceptional details. The roasted lamb (lechazo) is one of the delicious specialties you should try at least once, in central and northern Castile & Leon.
Lunches and dinners usually comprise a three-course menu. The cuisine is based on seasonal ingredients which come fresh from the local market. In Spain, you will have to wait until 8.30 -9:00 pm to have dinner, which sometimes takes hours to complete. Use this unique wine tour as an opportunity to combine the local cuisine with local wines.
If you have dietary restrictions, we ask you to inform us in advance.
For travelers with food allergies, or with special dietary needs, we will always accommodate you with suitable menus.
Can cooking classes be arranged?
Of course! We arrange cooking classes for guests interested in learning more about traditional cuisine. We can ask a chef to lead an exceptional gourmet preparation.
How should I dress?
Think practical. We would recommend dressing casually during the day. Bear in mind that visits may take us to cellars with work in process where hoses are likely to lie on a somewhat slippery floor. During the hot summer, we recommend wearing a hat.
The general style is relaxed, especially in the countryside where the cellars are found. There is no requirement for formal dressing, unless the group is planning to visit a restaurant with a dress code.
Can I buy wine at the wineries we visit?
Many of our visitors like to buy the wines they have tried during the trip, and the producers are happy to sell directly to the consumers at the cellar. Many cellars can also arrange shipping to your country of residence. The most cost efficient option is if the group agrees on one destination, and arranges for local distribution. Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information regarding shipping options.
What forms of payment are accepted?
You can pay via PayPal or wire bank transfer. Currently, payments are not made directly to providers, this means that payments made directly to us are used to book the services and accommodation of the providers. The Company acts only as a booking agent for the various service providers.
What’s included in the price?
It is important that you check the program for what is included and what is not. All the price-inclusive features are listed with each individual tour. We normally don’t divert from one tour to another. Guided tours and Self drive have differences in this regard, since features and/or services included in the price are a bit more substantial for the guided tours. In the booking confirmation stage, everything will be listed and price exclusions clearly stated.
How much money should I bring?
The decision is yours. ATMs are to be found virtually everywhere, small villages included. In Spain, small amounts (under € 30) are typically paid in cash. In some bars and restaurants, it is not possible to pay by card, so it is always advisable to bring a bit of cash on you. Paying by debit/credit card is possible in shops and should not be a concern when traveling in Spain and Portugal.
Is there time for sightseeing or shopping?
The answer is yes! Some of us have more expertise than others; however, we are always happy to assist you with recommendations on high profile fashionable streets. Spain has a wealth of wonderful fashion shops and boutiques, as many people like to dress in style. This is particularly true in large cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Santander, Cordoba, Seville, etc… The Slowwines team agrees that wines and food programs are well complemented with cultural visits, shopping activities, outdoor hiking or sightseeing ventures.
Can you give me a summary of the cost of my trip before I order?
The booking sheet provides a comprehensive overview of the tour. There are no hidden costs. Everything is clear on the invoice. Once you receive the tour quote there is nothing extra you need to pay – all taxes and fees are included. There are no hidden fees! You will not experience any surprises in the total price.
Can you book flights for my individual trip?
No. We normally do not book flights for anyone. We leave it to you, as we trust you know best regarding when and where you prefer to go, from which airport, to which destination airport. We have no control over the combined transportation before the airport. Should you ask us for help, your Slowwines agent will be happy to help you to select the best airline. We can assist you; however, we will limit ourselves to guiding you in your research.
Why should I pay the retainer?
150€ Retainer Benefits
(non-refundable, but applicable to any services booked - groups smaller than 6 people)
- Personal Consulting with one of our expert travel team
- Direct access to our extensive network of travel suppliers and guides
- Initial itinerary laying out our recommended routing, hotels and tours
- Revisions to the itinerary so that you are satisfied with your final itinerary
- Informational PDF’s about: what to bring, how to order, simple language tips, banking, health questions and more
- We offer three options when we finish planning your trip:
OPTIONS FOR PURCHASE BUY THE ITINERARY WITH LINKS/EMAILS
150€ Retainer is applied to the first 3 days of your tour;
Additional days are 45€/day with a maximum fee of 450€ (10days) + IVA; Receive a PDF with all links to suppliers, maps for driving, and suggested timings. You can book the full itinerary by yourself; If you choose to go ahead with us, we will discount the above costs from the tour price.
BOOK THE TOUR
150€ Retainer is discounted from tour price;
We book all hotels, activities and provides maps, and full color PDF document; Slowwines is very meticulous with the booking of your activities to ensure every bits is covered; Slowwines provides welcome pack at your hotel with printed itinerary, plus various extras to make sure your trip is memorable; During your time in country, our on-call service is available 24 hours a day (outside of office hours), to solve any problems you encounter during your trip.
DON’T BOOK A TOUR
We retain the Retainer should you choose not to book a tour at the end of the planning process.
What happens when you book a full itinerary
After we receive payment for the deposit, we'll send you the detailled itinerary with all the information you need. Then, just prior to your arrival date, we'll send you a comprehensive travel packet that includes: the itinerary, all necessary travel documents and any additional information that may help you on your journey.
Can I buy the full intinerary and book everything myself?
Yes! After you've paid the retainer (covering the first 3 days of your tour) and we've exchanged about the experience you want us to craft, you'll have your final itinerary sent to you. The itinerary will list the suggested route with the contact information for hotels, restaurants and activities.
Additional days are 45€/day with a maximum fee of 450€ (10days) + IVA. If you then decide to have us manage your tour from beginning to end, we'll discount the cost of the itinerary from the final price of the tour.
What is a deposit?
After you've paid the retainer and have agreed to your ideal itinerary, Catavino will request a deposit. The amount of the deposit will depend on the time of arrival, date (high or low season) and the number of people. To give you an idea, it is approximately 25% of the full tour price
It is always a safe choice to travel fully insured. Before traveling, check the details of your insurance policy. Some home insurance policies may have coverage for traveling, including cancellations, so check with your insurance company before considering taking out travel insurance for the trip.
Citizens of all EU member countries have general health coverage for emergencies when traveling to other EU member states, but we advise checking what the requirements are. If you have a special health insurance, make sure to bring copies of the agreement.
Slowwines has negotiated attractive rates with a travel insurance company. We can recommend a particular travel insurance if you wish.
Size and number of luggages
For guided tours, we recommend that each person carry a limited amount of luggages. One piece of luggage is enough for a 7 day tour.Slow Wines tours are much more comfortable when individual travelers bring a maximum weight of 20 kg per suitcase. Bring an additional small bag for your convenience; backpacks are most practical for daily excursions and day tours.
What if I travel alone?
Not a problem. Our small group tours usually feature an even distribution of people who travel alone, in pairs or in groups. It has been our experience that a number of solo travelers join a wine tour for one week, in a quest for inspiration for a paper, an article, or even a book. We guarantee that you will have material to write about during and after the tour. Individuals travelling alone get on well with other solo travelers as well as with the rest of the group.
Can we travel with young children?
In general we discourage the company of young children on our tours. However we suggest you consult with your travel expert before booking a tour, as they know exactly the program of the wineries visited. Let’s not forget that a winery is a production site and that, in certain months, it can be buzzing with activity. There are dangers inherent to working with young children unaware of the many risks on the premises. We see no issues for young visitors. We tend to discourage parents / grand-parents from bringing young children unless the full group is already constituted or if it appears the tour is suitable for children.
No shows during self drive Tour
When travelers fail to show up to an accommodation arrangement, to attend a scheduled event, arrangement or venue listed on the program, the Company’s contractors, a retailer acting on his behalf or a supplier of service, are entitled to apply restrictions. In such situations, the services (including but not limited to: presentation, guided visit, tasting session …) might not be performed entirely by the contractors, retailer or supplier of service. If the services are canceled, altered or hindered, such restrictions are not within the control of the Company and therefore the Company, its agents, representatives or contractors acting on their behalf shall not be held liable.
Booking and invoicing
Please read the terms and conditions for more information. Upon receipt of the retainer , should you decide to go for the full itinerary , you will need to pay the deposit. After we receive payment for the deposit, we'll send you the detailled itinerary with all the information you need. A deposit typically represents 25% of the total cost of the tour. This is to ensure the booking so we can proceed further. The balance due is payable within 60 days prior to your departure date. If you book your trip less than 60 days before the tour starts, we ask you to pay a deposit of 50% of the tour price before we can proceed with the formal booking.
When will I receive my holiday information pack?
The information material can be different from tour to tour, whether guided or self drive. Slowwines will send you the material either by mail to the address indicated on the booking form, or by email in a downloadable format. You will receive the complete material approximately 15 days before the start of the holiday.
Is there a timely response to my enquiry?
Yes! We normally respond within 48 hours.
In the booking process, you will receive a number of emails:
1- Right after the first payment is made (that is the booking deposit), we send you a complete program for the tour package of your interest. We also send you an hotel list and availabity for a potential immediate booking (hotels and wineries).
At this point you have 6 calendar days to proceed with the payment for the deposit of the booking or the full amount of the quoted price if your holidays start in less than 45 days.
3 - We send you the booking confirmation and the outstanding money due. This is to confirm your first payment is received via PayPal or via wire bank transfer and remind you of what is due to finalize the booking.
4 - If needed, we send you a reminder of the outstanding payment. Please proceed to the payment no later than in the next 3 days. This final payment is required to guarantee that you are booked having satisfied to all the payment conditions.
What methods of payment do we accept?>/h3>
We currently Bank Wire and Paypal (adding Paypal commission fees on top of the payment due)
What document do I need to bring?
Your passport and a visa if required (always double check with us as these requirements change). In addition, we suggest a photo ID, as well as copies of your passport saved both virtually and photocopied. Think about keeping it in another place than your wallet.
What is the weather like on this particular tour?
Unfortunately we are not good at forecasting long term weather. When tours are scheduled, we have a good idea of what the weather could be like during a specific time of year, and can refer to previous conditions. We can also refer to weather records over the last 15 years as a reliable source. Nothing is easier than consulting weather reports on yr.no (from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute). This is our preferred web reference when attempting to forecast weather in any given place of the World.