Voted Top 9 California Wine Tour Company for Learning, Sipping, and Sightseeing by Travel + Leisure. Book your exclusive Private Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country today!

Hearst Castle & Wine FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What should I wear?

It’s a good idea to bring layers, since the coastal weather at San Simeon and Cambria can be much cooler than Paso Robles and there may be some fog in the mornings.

By the time we return to Paso Robles it can be very sunny and hot, with extreme temperature swings. So it’s also a good idea to bring sunscreen.

Wear comfortable shoes, as The Grand Rooms Tour is 60 minutes long and includes approximately 160 steps, both up and down, and a 2/3-mile walk.

Can we choose which Hearst Castle Tour we do?

Sorry, no. This tour includes The Grand Rooms tour of Hearst Castle since it is the best option for first-time visitors and provides a great introduction to the Castle and William Randolph Hearst.

The tour walks you through the stunning grounds before entering the main building, called Casa Grande, where you visit the Assembly Room, Refectory, Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater.

If you would prefer to do a different Hearst Castle Tour, please contact us regarding a Private Tour and we can work to put together your ideal itinerary.

Will we have time to watch the “Building the Dream” video at the Hearst Castle Theater?

Sorry, no. In order to have enough time to visit the charming town of Cambria and visit two boutique wineries & Tin City throughout the day we have to limit our time at Hearst Castle to the tour itself.

They have copies of the video available for sale at Hearst Castle if you wish to view the documentary at a later date.

Where do we eat lunch?

That’s up to you! We allow approximately 1 – 1.5 hours in the charming town of Cambria so you can find your perfect lunch option, and still have some time to explore the town.

Your lunch is not included with the tour, but your guide will make local recommendations for great places to eat and explore.

Which wineries will we visit?

There is no set schedule of wineries.

We will visit wineries on Paso Robles’ west side and like to visit boutique, family owned wineries when possible.

How do you determine which wineries would be best for our group?

  • Smaller, non-touristy locations
  • Excellent wines, moderately priced
  • Warm & friendly service
  • Family-friendly

If we drive in to meet the tour, won’t we be too tipsy to drive at the end of the day?

Maybe! California has a strict DUI policy. After a day of wine tasting it is likely you will not legally be able to drive.

It takes the average person approximately 1 hour to metabolize one alcoholic beverage.

Even with tasting sizes being smaller than a glass, they add up quickly! We advise people who drive in for the day to arrange other transportation home, or better yet, to stay at a local inn or B&B.

Can we get to one of your pick-up locations by public transit?

This can be challenging, but possible. If you’re staying locally, we highly recommend using Uber or Lyft.

If you’re in San Miguel, Templeton, Atascadero or Santa Margarita, you can check out the schedules for the RTA & Paso Express.

If you’re coming in from further afield, Amtrak’s Coast Starlight will bring you directly to downtown Paso Robles.

If you’re coming from Los Angeles or San Francisco, check-out our 3-Day Central Coast Hearst Castle & Wine tour package which includes train tickets, hotel accommodations and the full day tour.

Can you pick us up directly at our accommodations, even if it’s not one of your pick-up locations?

Please feel free to ask!

Each situation is different, and we will try to pick you up at your preferred location whenever possible. However, in some cases we may not be able to confirm this until the evening before your tour.

Any beverages provided?

Yes. Chilled bottled water is served on the bus.

May we drink alcohol on the bus?

Yes, if enjoyed responsibly.

However, please keep in mind that tasting rooms can refuse to serve intoxicated guests (even if you do have a driver), and that wouldn’t be a lot of fun!

Additionally, if a guest does become too intoxicated, they may need to be removed from the tour early, at their own expense.

Ultimately, we want to ensure that each tour is successful, with all the guests having a great experience!

Will you add any taxes or fuel fees to our tour price?

No taxes and no additional fees. The price you see is the price you pay.

Are wine tasting fees included?

Wine tastings are included at the first two wineries we’ll be visiting in the day.

If you choose to do a tasting in Tin City, this will be at your own expense.

May I share a tasting?

Yes. Almost any of the wineries we visit will allow our guests to share a tasting.

Am I required to taste at all of the wineries?

You are not required to taste at the wineries.

If you are not planning to taste wine at any of the wineries, you can purchase the ‘Non Drinker’ ticket which doesn’t include tastings.

If I buy wine, can I store it on the vehicle?

Yes! Our vehicle has plenty of safe storage space for holding your wine and other purchases.

I don’t live locally – can I get my wine purchases home safely?

Yes! We sell insulated, styrofoam padded wine shipping boxes that hold a case (12 bottles) of wine and can be safely checked on the airplane as a checked bag.

For individual bottles, we sell padded Wine Skins to safely store your wine bottles in your checked baggage during travel.

*Please check with your airline for specific baggage requirements and restrictions.

Are your tours dog friendly?

We love dogs, but unfortunately, can’t allow them on our shared group tours, unless it is a service animal.

We do welcome well-behaved dogs on our private tours, and are happy to work with you to build your perfect dog-friendly wine country day.

Check out our Private Tour FAQ to learn more about bringing your pooch out on tour!

Is Driver Gratuity included in the Tour Cost?

For parties of fewer than 5 guests, gratuity for your Tour Guide is not included on our group tours.
Gratuities are based on your guides’ performance and are greatly appreciated. For a good performance, it is standard to give a 15-20% gratuity.

For parties of 5 or more on our group tours, an 18% gratuity will be added to your tour price.

What is your cancellation policy?

For our public Hearst Castle & Wine group tours a full refund will be given for cancellations made more than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Any cancellations with less than 48-hours notice will not be entitled to any refunds.

Are children allowed on the tour?

Yes! Children of all ages are welcome on the tour though drinking alcohol is not permitted for those under the age of 21.

This tour is not recommended for children under the age of 8 years old.

By California law, any children under the age of 8 years old, as well as any children shorter than 4’9” must be secured in a car seat or booster seat.

Toast Tours DOES NOT provide a car seat or booster seat, and it is your responsibility to provide this yourself.

Children under the age of 8 years old will not be allowed on the vehicle if you do not have a car seat or booster seat.

Please bring a valid photo ID.

Lost or Stolen Items?

Toast Tours is not responsible for any items lost or stolen on our tour or in the wineries.

Please take care to collect all of your belongings when you leave, including any wine or merchandise purchased throughout the day.

Any items left behind which are found can be returned to the guests at their request and expense.

Are you fully licensed and insured?

Yes. We are registered, regulated, and licensed by the State of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The CPUC requires insurance and vehicle inspections as a condition of licensing.

Our license # is TCP38039A.

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