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Meet Tom Plant of WINEormous in Temecula

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Plant.

Tom, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 2009, after prompting from friends, I hung up my real estate license to pursue a wine-focused blog. I came up with the name WINEormous and slogan “We’re not wine snobs, we just like good wine” almost instantly. I decided immediately it would not be a wine review site. There are too many others far more qualified than I to critique wine. I knew there were some good stories in wine country that needed to be told. I started interviewing winery owners and wine makers in the Temecula Valley to hear how and why they got started in this industry. The stories were compelling. That same year, I attended a luncheon with members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association and joined their organization. In 2010 I began WINEormous winery tours in the Temecula AVA and I continue providing tours to this day. I’ve traveled to Italy, Croatia, the republic of Georgia, Nova Scotia and all across the United States writing about people, wine and food. I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
To the contrary it’s been a very bumpy road. I started out blind without a clue of how I was going to proceed. Joining the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association helped me immensely.

Starting the tours was another huge hurdle. To carry passengers for pay, you need to be permitted by the Public Utilities Commission. The application process is daunting and expensive. You need to get commercial license plates and insurance, also costly. On top of that, the coupon sites are pervasive. If you offer a “deal,” you get lots of business, but very little profit. If you don’t, business grinds to a halt. It’s an immense learning curve.

WINEormous – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m know for offering intimate Temecula Valley winery tours, typically for two or three couples. I take my guest to three different wineries where they spend up to an hour and taste six wines. Their tasting fees are included in the price. Since I know most of the owners, winemakers and winery staff, I’m able to give my guests an experience they’re not likely to find elsewhere. I’m proud of the relationships I’ve developed in the wine industry and that able to share that with my guests.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I got an email a few years ago from a PR firm that started with an apology for the late notice, but asked if I’d be interested in visiting Rioja, Spain. They sent a town car to drive me to LAX, flew me business class to Spain, took me to two of the top wineries in Rioja and covered my accommodations and meals. It made me feel my hard work had been recognized.

Pricing:

  • Temecula winery tours are $199 per couple, $349 for four and $449 for six.
  • Homemade picnic lunches are available for $15 per person.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Tom Plant

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