California Wine Tours earns Best of status for service

Each fall the Great Wine Capitals Global Network presents its Best of Wine Tourism Awards to the most deserving hospitality leaders throughout San Francisco and Napa Valley. Wine tourism services is one of the seven competitive categories, sustainable wine tourism practices is another.

“Congratulations to the 2010 Best of winners,” says Clay Gregory, president and CEO of The Napa Valley Destination Council. “These awards are a very important opportunity for wine tourism innovators to receive the recognition of their region and elevate their images even further on the international stage.”

California Wine Tours, Sonoma-Napa, CA, the largest transportation company in Northern California, took home the 2010 tourism services award in ceremonies last October at Domaine Chandon. California Wine Tours went on to compete in the international awards in November at the Great Wine Capitals Global Network annual general meeting in Bordeaux, France.

“I am honored that California Wine Tours is a recognized leader in the world of wine tourism,” says California Wine Tours founder and CEO, Michael Marino. “Over the last 24 years we have invested heavily in our diverse fleet, but most importantly in training our drivers to create top notch experiences for every visitor.”

Marino started the company in 1986 with the purchase of one limo and now operates sedans, SUVs, limousines, luxury limo vans, mini-buses and motorcoaches. Services include wine tours in Napa and Sonoma, corporate and company transport, school field trips, airport shuttles and private charters. California Wine Tours moves more than 500,000 passengers each year throughout the Bay Area, which equates to removing thousands of private vehicles off the road.

Going green

California Wine Tours lays claim as the first certified green transportation company in the Bay Area, saying it is now carbon neutral at all its facilities.

“Our goal is to meet the transportation needs of our guests and community and still operate as green as possible,” says Marino. “We are dedicated to sustainability.”

Over the next 12 months, Marino says California Wine Tours expects to reduce its operating costs by at least 15 percent through energy efficiency, reduction of waste and streamlined office practices.

As a green business California Wine Tours participates in the Bay Area Air Quality Program. Following energy efficiency upgrades, all buildings are now carbon neutral through PG&E’s Climate Smart program. To maintain its certification, the company must demonstrate measurable improvements in all areas over the next three years.