Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Wine Tours Set to Launch in Penticton, BC

Two carts will soon be traveling along the Naramata Bench. Starting this weekend, Grape Savvy Wine Tours will offer the first hop-on hop-off transportation service in the Okanagan Valley.

Trolley tours will operate on a pre-determined route from Penticton to Naramata. So far there are 12 pick up points including Township 7 Vineyards, Da Silva VineYards and Maple Leaf Spirits.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be a pioneer in Okanagan tourism and truly creating a new generation of wine tours on the Naramata Bank,” said Savannah Swaisland, owner and operator of Grape Savvy Trolley Co..

“There has been overwhelming support from the Naramata Bench wine community as well as cider houses and breweries in the city. I think this is a really good post-COVID way to allow people to have more discretionary income when it comes to actually supporting the industry.

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Swaisland has been in the wine business for nearly a decade, but felt the Okanagan Valley lacked affordable tour options.

“Grape Savvy Trolley Co. aims to be just that. An affordable way for people to be transported to Naramata’s most incredible vineyards, landscapes and views in the most convenient way possible,” she said. added.

Keeping with the theme of convenience, the new service will use an online web application integration system. The system will house all ticket sales and track carts.

“In the web app there is a live map feed when you buy your ticket so you can see where the carriages are and what the seating capacity is so no one is waiting,” Swaisland said. .

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The company is launching with two carts purchased from the Vancouver Trolley Company and has purchased three more for additional routes to be announced later.

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“One thing that was really important to me, because I was born and raised in Vancouver, where I acquired these carts, was keeping the nostalgic feel of these buses,” Swaisland said.

“They’ve had a makeover and rebranding, but really keeping the nostalgic feel of the wooden benches and everything. [the] brass.”

Grape Savvy Trolley Co. had a soft launch last weekend and Swaisland says the support has been overwhelming.

However, it was not all smooth sailing, as just before the soft launch, a suspicious fire damaged one of the carriages.

“We had a hell of a time setting them up and getting them working. There was a suspicious fire started on Friday evening which caused extensive damage to one of the buses – the community really came together to address this issue,” she added.

Public tours are expected to run on Saturdays and booking and more information is available on the Trolley Co. website.

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