New business Local couple starts wine tours via horse drawn cart, hoping for May opening
After seeing wine tours in limousines for years, Doug and Barbara Jackson decided they could organize something like that, but better.
Were looking to provide our cliental a premier wine tour experience, something you cant do in a stretch limo or hummer or something, Doug Jackson said.
The Jacksons named their land DbarJ Ranch just for fun at first, but are now looking to start their first business venture with Wine County Tours A la Cart. Visitors will tour a handful of wineries along either Ribbon Ridge or the Chehalem Mountains, by horse and buggy.
We looked all over the country and found a team of Belgian draft horses, Doug Jackson said. They were trained by Amish farmers in Minnesota.
These horses are very well broken and road safe. Barbara Jackson said.
With Chip and Charlie joining the ranch, the last element was finding two wagons a four-seater and one to hold eight.
The ranch hopes to start tours May 17, offering one each Saturday and Sunday until the weather no longer permits. The two path options include wineries such as Utopia Vineyard and Adelsheim Vineyard.
As far as arranging the details, Doug Jackson said its gone smoothly.
Every single person weve talked to has been very receptive, he said. Their eyes get big, they say, How cool is that? The better you can make the experience for our guests and their guests, the more theyll remember and enjoy it and recommend it to their friends.
Even ensuring they could take the horses on the road was an easy endeavor.
We talked to the ODOT, the state police, county sheriff, the city police, and everybody assures us were road users just like everyone else, he said.
Barbara Jackson said theres just a little training left to do and then they can host the first four-hour tour.
Weve researched this and found that theres a lot of interest in Sonoma and Napa Valley. In Sonoma its $192 to do this, and weve decided to set our rate at $125 because we want people to get the experience, she said. It may go up next year after we find out how much these horses are eating. Ive been told by people in the area that thats a dirt cheap price, so we hope people will take advantage of it.
She said although its been a lot of work to get the business together, they look forward to starting the tours.
Its just something that brings us closer to our horses and something weve never done before, she said.
For more information, visit www.dbarj.com.