Lodians looking to go wine tasting will have a new option for transportation starting next week, when Destination Drivers comes to town.
“We’ll take people to any winery they want to go to,” co-founder David Blank said.
Founded in 2010, Destination Drivers connects customers with trained designated drivers who drive the customer’s own car, taking them to wineries, breweries, concerts, weddings and more.
Rates are $35 per hour for one to five passengers, $45 per hour for six to 10 passengers and $55 per hour for 11 to 15 passengers. Each trip must be a minimum of four hours.
“It’s a private tour, just you and the people you want to be with going anywhere you want to go,” Blank said.
Blank — who has more than 20 years of experience in the tourism industry including operating his own hiking and wine tour business in North Carolina — said he was contacted by friend and co-founder Sean Pennington who wanted to expand Destination Drivers.
As the company has already been serving customers in San Diego, Paso Robles, Napa and Sonoma, Blank said they looked to Lodi, where they hope to build a mutually beneficial relationship with local businesses.
“Not only are people being safe by not drinking and driving, but when people come with us, they tend to come back again and again,” Blank said. “They stay at the same hotels, they eat at the same restaurants, they shop at the same businesses.”
Stuart Spencer, executive director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, was excited to learn that Destination Drivers will be coming to the area.
“The wine and grape industry welcomes any service that allows people to continue to enjoy our wines in a safe manner and not drive under the influence,” he said.
Destination Drivers will officially expand into the Lodi American Viticultural Area on Tuesday. For more information, call 408-827-8464 or visit www.destinationdrivers.com.