Everyone knows that drinking and driving is not a safe combination. Selecting a designated driver is one way to be sure an afternoon spent wine tasting doesn’t end in disaster; another way is to hire someone to do the driving.
Travis Swift runs Spokane Limo Bus, and in September he began offering Saturday wine tours.
Tickets must be bought in advance for the bus that leaves at noon from nYne Bar and Bistro, 232 W. Sprague Ave.
There are five stops on the tour: Townshend Cellar, Bridge Press Cellars, Robert Carl Cellars, Nectar Tasting Room and Latah Creek Wine Cellars.
“It’s a really beautiful drive up to Green Bluff,” where Townshend Cellar is located, Swift said.
Earlier this year Swift debuted a smaller bus with a cancer awareness theme for the wine tours.
Every time the bus is full for a wine tour – it comfortably seats 14 people – Swift gives a $100 donation to Susan G. Komen’s Eastern Washington affiliate.
“It’s been a slow start but we hope to be able to donate $1,000 at the end of October,” Swift said.
He said the idea for the cancer fundraising came about because he lost a friend to liver cancer some years ago.
“I wanted to build a smaller bus and do something to give back to the community,” Swift said.
The $35 tour ticket includes water and a vegetable tray served on the bus, but not tasting fees at the wineries.
Drinking is allowed on the bus, Swift said, adding that the bus is no different from a rented limo and that he has strict rules for conduct.
“People have about 45 minutes at each stop – that’s a comfortable amount of time,” Swift said.
The tour takes about five hours.
Those who don’t see their favorite winery on the route may plan their own tour and then charter the bus for $500 for five hours.
“They have to call the wineries and make their own arrangements first,” Swift said.