I set up Visit Prosecco Italy to help you book your own Prosecco tour.
Most importantly, I work with some wonderful local drivers who I've tried and tested, and who you can book with directly from this site.
Why BIY (Book It Yourself)?
Cost of hiring a Prosecco Driver
The huge benefit of booking your own Prosecco tour is that you can largely control the costs.
Treating someone to a special weekend away? The region has some fine hotels and a Michelin-star restaurant that is likely to suit you.
Want to visit Prosecco on a budget? That's more than possible too.
Below, I focus on the cost of hiring a Prosecco driver and what you get for your money.
Further down I give a summary of what I spent on my first visit to Prosecco.
A quick word on pricing: When you fill in the Booking form, this puts you in direct contact with one of the drivers from the Prosecco region. Each driver sets their own pricing, usually depending on the itinerary you want. The prices below are indicative of the best rates available. To get the best rates, book as far in advance as you can (that means months for Spring and Summer visits). I will try to keep this page up to date. However, you should agree the exact price with your driver before you confirm your booking.
4 hours with your driver
For 1 - 6 people
Priced per car not per person
€50 per hour
Priced per car not per person
Larger groups can be accommodated at additional cost, on request
Discuss with driver
Airport Transfer from Venice
Something else? Just ask
What can you do in 4 hours?
A 4-hour trip should be enough time to comfortably visit one winery (for a supersized 7-glass tasting), have a relaxed lunch and drive along the Prosecco Road where you'll see the glorious Prosecco hills. Prefer two wineries? Have lunch on your own time and do two wineries instead.
Obviously, people travel (and drink!) at different speeds so you may be able to do more. Or, you may want to book more time. When my friends ask, I recommend hiring a driver for 6 to 8 hours so you can visit at least 2 wineries and have a leisurely lunch within the Prosecco region. Most people will arrange a Prosecco tour only once and there really is a lot to see, do and sip in Prosecco.
- Lunch - one of the things I love most about creating your own Prosecco tour is that you get to decide where you eat. I have some recommendations over on my Where to eat in the Prosecco region page as well as tips on where to get some of the best Cappuccino and pastries you're ever going to eat. Speak to your driver if you have a particular preference. And if you're on a budget, save cost by packing your own picnic or there's a self-serve Osteria I recommend where you can grab some bread and cheese. It's just down the hill from a Prosecco vending machine. Yes, it's a thing.
- Wine tastings - most vineyards charge a tasting fee which ranges from €5 to €15, depending on the winery and the number of types of Prosecco you taste. Be warned: the tastings are generous pours and in some wineries you can taste up to 7 different Proseccos if you so choose. Perfect for
getting sozzledlearning about the intricacies of the glera grape.
- Also excluded: accommodation, all other transport, travel insurance, hangover remedies, and Ryan Gosling's phone number.
Beware - the wineries close at lunch time
The biggest surprise during my first visit is that the wineries all close for a sold lunch period between 12 and 2pm. Keep this in mind when you plan your visit. If you're booking a 4-hour visit, you're better doing it in the afternoon...unless you're a fan of Prosecco for breakfast (hey, no judgment here).
Cost of my first self-guided Prosecco tour
Train ticket (return from Venice to Conegliano): from €11
Driver hire (4 hours): €200 (between 3 people)
Tasting: from €10 (based on 2 tastings)
Lunch at Osteria: €12 (between 3 people)
Prosecco Vending: €25
Total Cost: €100 each (based on three people)
I did my first trip on a shoestring and ate from a self-serve Osteria where I grabbed some bread, cheese, cured meat and found a small table overlooking the hills. Of course, I required a glass of the sparkling stuff, which was solved by the Prosecco Vending machine.
Yes, you can vend Prosecco in hills of Prosecco. I explain how to do this in my Where to eat page. The cost included vending of 3 Prosecco glasses. We were on a budget, we were not philistines.
Note: I've updated the costs above because I didn't think it would be helpful to give you 2015 prices that no longer exist. Also, the tastings were free (but not as plentiful) back then so I've included that cost, too.
I haven’t included the cost of the hotel as accommodation was not included in any of the package tours I looked at. However, as an indication, I stayed in Conegliano and paid about €50 for one night i.e. a whole lot cheaper than staying in Venice. I've included the hotel on my accommodation page.
Securing Your Booking - Now Taking Deposits
NEW (MAY 2019) - we are now taking online deposit payments!
I know what it's like as a tourist - you make a booking and all you have is some person you've emailed a few times tell you they'll meet you next Tuesday in some obscure location. It's caused many of you to ask for a more formal booking system and, in conjunction with the drivers, I've launched one.
How it works: You'll need to pay 20% of your booking upfront to secure your trip date. Once you've picked your date and discussed the details with your driver, they'll send you an online payment link. It's all very secure (run by Stripe - they're the payment people that Amazon use). We don't get to see your payment card details but you do get that booking confirmation you've all been asking for. No need to print it - a screenshot or the email will do.
Drivers will mostly still take the balance on the day.
You can find details about the drivers' cancelling policy below (but you weren't planning on cancelling anyway, were you?!)
Some FAQs (Freaking Awkward Questions*)
*Just kidding. There's no such things as an awkward question. Unless it's about the number of cakes I've eaten today.
Here are some of the main questions that have come up since I started connecting travellers with the local drivers. Got any other queries, contact me.
Where will the driver pick me up and drop me off?
Our drivers want to make your trip as easy as possible so they can pick you up from most locations within the Prosecco region. Most commonly, visitors arrive in Venice or Treviso and, once you're connected with a driver, they will advise you of the best pick up point based on where you arrive and where they are based.
There is a main train line that makes this all very simple. The train runs from Venice to Conegliano with stops including Treviso, Susegana and Conegliano. Your driver will probably advise you to hop on a train to one of these destinations and will meet you at the station. The trains are efficient, clean, safe, run on time and cost just a few euros. You can buy tickets in advance or on the day, and I have full details about the trains here.
Taking the train is a very simple and affordable option. However, if you prefer a pick-up from Venice airport, this is possible at additional cost. Just discuss this with your driver when you book.
You will usually stow your luggage in the boot/trunk of the driver's minivan for the day so you can maximise your time in the region rather than doing a detour to check in to your hotel.
After your day exploring the Prosecco region, most visitors get dropped off at their accommodation within the Prosecco region. Alternatively, you can return to the train station you arrived at, or hire your driver to take you back to Venice (at additional cost).
Do I need to hire a car for the rest of my time in the Prosecco region?
This is entirely up to you.
If you prefer to have your own vehicle for your non-wine tasting time in the Prosecco region, Hertz has an office just outside the train station in Conegliano. Hiring from here has the advantage that you don't need to drive from Venice - just take the train to Conegliano. Not a fan of public transport? You can hire a car from Venice airport or Treviso airport.
Don't want to hire a car/can't drive - don't worry. Either base yourself in Conegliano, which is a very walkable city and can be reached by train from Venice, or locate yourself in one of the smaller towns within the region and add on a transfer back to the train station with one of our drivers. Alternatively, bike hire, Vespa hire and local taxis are all available.
Is there a cancellation fee?
Each driver will set their own cancellation policy. However, generally speaking, if you cancel your driver within 48 hours of your booking start time, you should expect to pay the entire booking cost and your driver will send an invoice to your booking email address via Paypal. The reason for the fee is that, with less than 48 hours' notice, your driver is unlikely to be able to arrange another customer for that day. For the same reason, cancellations up to a week before your booking start time, the cancellation charge is 50% of the booking cost.