Winery Tours, Brewery Tours: Just Hop on the Bus

Many companies take you directly to the main wineries, breweries and other Upstate locations

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Motherland Connextions tours are led by costumed “conductors” who offer insights on a variety of historic sites and points of interest about the Underground Railroad and its presence in Western New York.

Leaving the driving to a professional means you can sit back, savor the scenery and relax.

Motorcoach tours provide another dimension to travel, as you enjoy the trip with likeminded people interested in what you want to see.

Plus, the tour group leader can either create a travel package to suit your group’s desires, or you can choose to take a tour to see what you want to see where.

As their name denotes, Crush Beer & Wine Tours (Victor, focuses on brewery and winery tours. The former includes Rochester, Canandaigua and Seneca/Keuka tours. The latter include Canandaigua, Seneca, Keuka, and (for six or more) Cayuga. If you can’t decide, a Combo Tour might be suitable. These include ROC City Combo Tour, City Spirits, Flavors for All, Flavor for All & All for Food Combo, Canandaigua Spirits, Seneca Spirits and Beer & Wine Food Pairing Tour.

Hoppy Trails Brew Bus (Glens Falls, explores craft beverage purveyors in Warren, Washington, Saratoga counties and beyond.

If you want to get to know Buffalo better, you have several options. Open Air Buffalo (, Buffalo Double Decker Bus Tours and (, Forgotten Buffalo Bus Tours ( emphasize points of interest throughout Buffalo, while Brew Bus Buffalo ( offers a brewery tour. Motherland Connextions ( Motherland tours are led by costumed “conductors” who offer insights on a variety of historic sites and points of interest about the Underground Railroad and its presence in Western New York.

Winewagen Tours (Geneva, offers a smaller scale tour with up to six passengers. Choose between a public or private tour to the Finger Lakes’ wine, cheese and beer trails.

In a similar vein, Finger Lakes Limousine & Coach (Geneva, offers wine trail tours on Cayuga, Keuka and Seneca lakes. In addition, Finger Lakes Limousine also hosts trips to other points of interest, including New York City, casinos, and major sporting events in the region.

Hayfield Quality Tours (Queensbury, offers a mix of pre-packaged tours to local and regional locations and tour designing services. Tours include Ontario and Quebec, Canada; New York’s Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and Hudson Valley; and New England tours in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. In the past, Hayfield has also offered motorcoach services to major events in the region; however, the pandemic has canceled so many events that these services have been suspended indefinitely.

To enjoy your motor tour, keep these tips in mind.

  • Carefully review the company’s tour guidelines and parameters to know what your tour includes and what you can expect.
  • Before booking, ask about any accommodates needed such as for mobility, dietary needs or other considerations.
  • Consider a private tour if you feel uncomfortable with traveling in a group or feel you will want to take the tour at your own pace.
  • Listen to safety guidelines offered by the tour operator.
  • Stay with the group and as applicable, know where and when the group will leave each stop.
  • Bring along an empty tote for any purchases you may make. Supporting local businesses is part of many tours.
  • Let the tour guide, well, guide. The hole-in-the-wall restaurant may not look like much, but the guide’s job is to show you things you’re not aware of. You may be pleasantly surprised with how good it is.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Feel free to ask questions about the places you visit. Tour guides enjoy sharing the knowledge they have gained over the years.
  • Address any complaints with the tour company before leaving your review. If they are not aware of any problems you encounter, they have no way to know that they can better meet your needs.