About

Taylor Tasting Tours is founded by the former owner of Seattle's best known wine tour company, Bon Vivant Wine Tours, Don Ward.  Leading wine tours for over 6 years, Don earned glowing Trip Advisor reviews from satisfied guests and from wineries alike.   Don, along with his knowledgeable team of guides is proud to offer private tours that are small, informative and fun. Each tour is individually personalized and can be as close as downtown Seattle or Woodinville or anywhere throughout Washington and beyond.

Our Team

Donald T Ward, Jr. owner and wine guide

Don’s passion for wine began after college, when he moved into a small seaside town on the East Coast next to a wine shop. While working for a major airline’s marketing department, he had the opportunity to travel to Europe frequently with customers and lead tours as part of his job. Thus began his tour leading experience and entry into wine. He found the Europeans really knew how to live based on their love of wine and food. The seed was planted. With uncertainties in the airline industry after many years he decided to pursue a career in the healthcare field in medical devices and equipment. He eventually moved into advanced diagnostic testing systems in Cardiology and to Seattle from here it was an easy transition from cardiology to red wine. He then took his natural curiosity to the wine industry and set–up a wine tour business for a company 7 -8 years ago with a partner. He then had the opportunity to purchase Bon Vivant Wine Tours in 2011, Seattle’s first true wine tour company (vintage 2005), when the original owner approached them about a buy out. “He said wanted to sell to someone with a good reputation”. He did. He and a partner purchased the company in Seattle in 2011 and Don became the co owner. In early 2016 he sold his interests in Bon Vivant Wine tours after receiving glowing reviews on Trip Advisor and helping to earn it SIP magazines best wine tour company in the NW award in 2015. Not resting on his laurels he continues to take classes to enhance his knowledge of wine, as well as spirits and beer all at NW Wine academy where he has enjoyed courses for the last 5 years plus. He has just recently earned his level I sommelier’s certificate and has also been cerified as a "French Wine Scholar"  with" honors" which allows him to teach. He jokingly says he is studying to be a wine snob, but will never get there. His new wine tour company, has the benefit of his education and devotion to making the wine tour experience, both informative and fun. He says he is not a wine expert, his professors at NW in academy, such as Reggie and Lenny and or some of the master sommeliers he has met are the real experts. He feels that the wine knowledge is very helpful for assisting clients in determining why they like what they like and in pairing foods and wines, to this end he has taken 5 courses in Food and Wine pairing alone. He thinks the pretense and snobbery are uncalled for in the business. He thinks a down to earth approach is more helpful and more fun and it is more his style anyway. Wine is to be enjoyed.  So Let's Enjoy it!

Eleanor Pawley Tasting Tour Guide

Eleanor has a diverse background -  from working in restaurants, to theatre production career and to meeting planning. Between pouring wines for guests - to being wined and dined - to travelling through Italy, she yearned to learn more about wine.    She returned to school and studied wine at the Northwest Wine Academy earning  degrees in Food and Wine Pairing & Wine Marketing and Sales.  She has worked for American Cruise Lines as an onboard wine educator, in event management for Wine World & Spirits and the Northwest Wine Academy.  And has poured wine for many tasting rooms. Her favorite part of wine is its relationship to food – she views wine as the final sauce for your dish that elevates your dining experience

While at Northwest Wine Academy, Don Ward recruited Eleanor to be his first guide for Bon Vivant Wine Tours.  Both Don and Eleanor have the same approach to hospitality and pride themselves in giving their clients the best service possible, by individualizing each tour.  When Don started Taylor Tasting Tours, she found only natural to follow him into his new company. They enjoy tasting wine together and exploring new restaurants in the Seattle area.  

She has cultivated relationships with many winemakers and tasting room staff throughout Washington, visits the vineyards and is constantly learning and tasting. 

Rudy Nieuwenhuis Tasting Tour Guide

Rudy is a veteran of the the wine business having owned a wine bar for many years and also being the most popular wine tour guide at Chateau Ste Michelle winery in Woodinville for years. While at the Chateau he developed as a wonderful reputaion in the community as well as a knowledgable and fun guy to be around   We are fortunate to have him