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Countryside Tours

Galena, IL, USA
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About Countryside Tours
All of our wonderful tours are 4 hours long, and we visit 3 locations. On the wine Tasting Tours you will visit 3 of these 6 vineyards, Rocky Waters, Fergedaboudit, Massbach, Stone Cliff, Sunset Ridge or Galena Cellars. On the Hop Tour, you will visit 3 of these 4 locations. 1-vineyard, 1 or 2 a very unique drinking establishment from the 1850’s and/or a distillery (we do not visit the distillery much). You will receive tastings/1 drink at each location. We also provide custom tours. Contact us to today to schedule or to find out more!
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Countryside Tours
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ChloeD wrote a review Nov 2021
2 contributions1 helpful vote
We had a fantastic time on our wine tour. There was a group of 4 of us for my bachelorette party. The drivers were friendly, the wineries were beautiful, and it was so nice to not worry about driving. We were picked up and dropped off right downtown. The drivers helped us carry our purchases to the bus and packed them to make sure we not break anything. I never saw a mention when I booked of a cheese tray or water, so the free bottle of water as a bonus to me. I also saw very clearly that booking the trip was nonrefundable, so we knew if something happened we would still have to pay the money. This tour was definitely worth every penny and I plan on doing it again when I come back to Galena!
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Date of experience: November 2021
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Raegan D wrote a review Nov 2021
Burlington, Wisconsin14 contributions9 helpful votes
21st Annual Girls Trip for 18 women. I booked months in advance. Driver was rude, when trying to sell the tour to us we were told each person would have a bottled water and a cheese tray at one of the stops. The driver was driving with one hand and swerving and a couple people in our group were nauseous. There was no information given about the area, history etc. No water no cheese tray- when I asked I was told it was a "bonus" to go to the specific winery that gave the cheese tray. And we had to each ask for the water. I reached out to the company before writing this. They told me "We have successfully been doing tours for over 10 years and have yet to have anyone be upset with us in the ways you've mentioned. " Save yourself grief and money drive your own cars, go at your own pace.
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Date of experience: November 2021
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Response from joshs734, Owner at Countryside Tours
Responded 3 weeks ago
Hello Raegan- Thank you for taking the time to write the review! I have attached our email conversation below to give full context regarding the November 12th Wine Tasting Tour you booked on October 15th for 21 guests. This is true as far as the issues you brought up in the email. I have never had anyone be unhappy with a curtesy call a few minutes prior to the tour starting if the guests have not arrived nor having to ask for water that is provided on the bus. Although this is a Wine Tasting Tour, your tour driver does make a point to mention different tidbits about the area and the vineyards themselves. This may not have been the case on your tour depending on if you were mingling amongst yourself and didn't want to interrupt. It's also worth noting that if given enough notice if guests can't make it, we do try to sell those seats. Although you let us know on Monday the week of the tour, I did attempt to reserve those seats, but was unsuccessful as those that had inquired previously had already made other plans at this point. || Email Conversation || Raegan: My group and I were very disappointed in the service (or lack there of) that Countryside Tours offered on Friday November 12, 2021. Because of other planned activities our group had a tight schedule and I had even let you know that and that we were having a box lunch delivered and would be consuming it on the bus. At around 12:25 we received a call from the bus driver rudely telling us the bus needs to leave on time and we were late. I told him we were parking and would be there at 12:30 as planned. When we arrived we boarded the busses and the drivers talked outside for a few minutes. WE were on time and we did not see the urgency for the call since the drivers stood and talked after we were boarded. When we arrived at the first stop I paid the driver for the 18 women minus the deposit made. There were 5 other people on the bus with s that were not in our group. He was rude and said we owed more money. I was angry and disappointed in the way the day was going. As leader of the group I feel responsible and at this point my day was ruined. We talked as a group and decided to make the most of it. And discuss with a manager or owner at a later time. Our frustrations grew as promises made in the description “selling us the experience” were not met. We were told water would be provided on the bus. At no time were we offered water. When I asked I was told we had to ask for the water. We were told we would have a cheese tray at one of the stops. I was not told maybe or it would be a “bonus”. When I asked the driver he pointed at the cooler at the winery and was told I could buy cheese there. We as a group thought we could have car pooled for a better experience. There was very little history or Galena information. The first winery was someplace we all would have skipped. Wine tasting in plastic shot glasses, and nothing in between to cleanse, self serve reading a paper. The other wineries were better, but nothing we needed a bus ride for. Before sharing our experience on Trip Advisor and Facebook we ask for your response to our issues. This is our 21st year as a group. And unfortunately not one of our best. Reply: Hello Raegan- Thank you for taking the time to email. The tour drivers call out of curtesy as tour time approaches and guests are not there for a couple of reasons. 1. To make sure guests are not lost and need directions or having trouble finding parking spots, which does happen often and 2. To make sure they are still planning on joining us on the tour. All sales are final and typically for larger groups we do collect in full for each seat at the time of reserving, which can be found on the invoice. Deposits are non-refundable for the simple fact that seats are limited. and once they are booked we have to turn guests away. With your original group of 21, plus the 4 others that join that only left 1 un-booked seat. Additionally, even though the number dropped below the agreed 20 guests, I still honored the discount rate. As far as for the water, because guests know that there is water Randy typically waits for guests to request water as not everyone wants one. As far as for the cheese tray, as mentioned, Fergadaboudit was not able to accommodate us so we were not able to go there for this tour. It's unfortunate and they are one of our favorite spots, but things do happen beyond our control. I hope you understand. Kyle from Rocky Waters tells guests to take 3 sips of the wine samples. The first sip is a throwaway, the second is the pallet cleanse, and the third is the true wine taste. That's the way they do there wine tastings at this location, but will pass along your recommendation to him. Thank you for your feedback. I deeply regret that you and your group did not have an enjoyable experience and it sounds like it started from the courtesy call. We have successfully been doing tours for over 10 years and have yet to have anyone be upset with us in the ways you've mentioned. I do appreciate you taking the time write your experience and will be useful for training and better our tour experience. Thank you again for your feedback. || End Email Conversation || *****And, for the record, the deposit for the 3 guest that did not make the tour did not go into my pocket.... I gave it to the tour driver to compensate for lack of tip you did not give. We are a small family business and do appreciate each and everyone of our guests that book tours with us. Our tour drivers love what they do and will continue to provide the very best customer service and make your tour with us enjoyable and fun!! Thank you, Countryside Tours
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AmberLucky13 wrote a review Sep 2021
Chicago112 contributions24 helpful votes
While this was our first ever wine tour, it was not our first wine tasting. Parking downtown Galena was easy to find. However, once we found the bus we were checked in but there was no actual list of people to make sure we were on the right tour or just for safety purposes. If there was, it was not shown to us or evident they had the correct people. Our first winery stop was Rocky Waters. The building and surrounding area was beautiful. I'm not sure guests are allowed to roam the vineyards but that would've made a great memory. The wine tasting was given in shot-sized plastic cups. Not ideal for wine tasting. There also were no palette cleansers or directions on how to properly taste wine. I think this is incredibly important. I found it hard to taste the six different wines as after awhile it taste similar. The second stop, Massbach, was not as pretty as Rocky, but the wines tasted better. The outside area was small but you were able to get up and close in the vineyards. Another qualm is that at this location the wine is given in the same glass over and over again which again is not ideal for wine tasting. Again no palette cleansers. The final stop was Galena Cellars and Vineyard. Although its not as pretty as the first stop, it certainly had the best wine. It also was served the best, in separate wine glasses. They also had a nice inside and outside area to enjoy the wines at your leisure. They certainly saved the best for last. Overall we enjoyed not having to drive during the winery tour, but we see some areas of improvement. It would be really great if they gave a historical introduction to Galena and its vineyards during the shuttle portion of the tour, otherwise you just sit there in silence. As noted earlier, we think they could voice to the wineries to refine their wine tastings to be similar to more professional wine tastings.
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Date of experience: September 2021
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Response from Tara S, Owner at Countryside Tours
Responded 3 Oct 2021
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We will be sure to pass along your recommendations to the vineyards we visited on your tour. Our tours are aimed at relaxing, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and visiting with friends/family and others on the tour. Also, rest assured, in our almost 10 years for doing tours we have yet to leave anyone behind (unless they wanted to be! :) ). The tour drivers are given a list of which they have names and contact info of each group on the tour so they are aware of who they have on each of the 12 passenger and 14 passenger bus. Thank you again for taking the time to give you feedback of the tour. Hope to see you on a tour again! Tara Countryside Tours
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masonsgalpal wrote a review Jun 2021
Chicago, Illinois132 contributions12 helpful votes
Mark was our guide for this wine tour and he was very knowledgable about the area, loved to answer any questions and took great pictures for us (he was/is a professional photographer). We visited 3 wineries on the tour - Rocky Waters, Massbach Ridge and Fergedaboudit. They all had a different feel and different experience. The cheese plate at Fergedaboudit with the wine drizzle was excellent! Tour van was very comfortable and cool. Wineries offered to-go wine slushies to take along between wineries. Fun afternoon!
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Date of experience: June 2021
1 Helpful vote
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Sarah K wrote a review Jan 2020
18 contributions5 helpful votes
We had a great day visiting three wineries, leaning about the area from our amazing driver Randy, and having carefree transportation. Highly recommend!
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Date of experience: January 2020
1 Helpful vote
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