Aug 2019–We have a new neighbor at Gathered & Good! It is one that will be of interest for both visitors and locals looking for a convenient way to sample the blooming palate of wineries in the Texas Hill Country.
The 290 Wine Shuttle now picks up and drops off passengers directly across the street from our shop, in the side parking area of Inn On Barons Creek.
Mike Kinchen is the impresario who first came up with the “shuttle” concept back in 2013. He had a vision: “We want to provide good, safe, affordable transportation from downtown Fredericksburg, Texas, to the wineries on the 290 Wine Trail.”
His simple idea took off beyond expectations. Starting with two vans and an idea, 290 Wine Shuttle today has grown to 21 buses and vans, with 25 drivers. Here’s how it works:
The 290 Wine Shuttle picks up and drops off riders in the parking area behind Inn On Barons Creek. A shuttle leaves every 10 minutes, making the circuit to 16 wineries. Guests can hop off at any destination they prefer. Pick up in town goes from 10:00am until 3:00pm. The shuttle continues operating between wineries until 6:00pm.
Newcomers to our German heritage town make up the bulk of his ridership. They appreciate the fact they can use the shuttle to take them to a mix of large and small wineries, both new and established.
“Our guests stay here in Fredericksburg, and have the opportunity to shop and eat here. With 290 Wine Shuttle, we give them the added opportunity to spend a few care-free hours at several local wineries of their choice.”
You get all this with an all-day pass of just $29.99, and you can book online at www.290wineshuttle.com.
Coordinating schedules, riders, and drivers every Saturday turns Kinchen into a field general. He parks at a strategic point along the wine trail and mans his cell phone, dispatching vehicles to accommodate larger groups, fielding calls from wineries, and making sure everything runs smoothly.
It’s a service popular both with riders who want to enjoy the wine trail with no concerns, and for winery operators who appreciate the controlled flow of visitors. Tourists have the option of leaving in the morning so they can return mid-afternoon, or sleeping in and starting their tour after lunch in town. They also offer a free service where riders can leave purchased items with the shuttle drivers throughout the day, and have them waiting when they arrive back in town.
While taking the shuttle is always an enjoyable experience, Kinchen encourages riders to “Tour Responsibly.”
“We emphasize that people drink responsibly and respect other guests and the wineries. It’s not a party bus.”
With a track record of seven years and 5-star rating, the service is embraced by the wineries and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Likewise, Kinchen supports local Fredericksburg businesses, including restaurants, accommodations, and shops like Gathered & Good.
“Our goal is that when people visit Fredericksburg for the wine experience, they think, I want to take the 290 Wine Shuttle!”
And before or after your tour, you’ll want to walk across the street and pop in to Gathered & Good for a great Fredericksburg shopping experience!
Inn on Barons Creek
308 South Washington Street
They also provide private tours by arrangement.