Get To Know Napa Valley Guide Justin Perkins

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Take a journey to the Napa Valley with guide Justin Perkins. With over 25 years of experience and a motto of ‘old fashioned service with modern sensibility’, you know you will be treated well.

Did you have any jobs or a career before becoming a tour guide? If so, how did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?

I majored in music in college therefore I naturally ended up working in the wine industry. Since I am a bit of a bicycle geek I decided to start working as a bicycle tour guide for fun on the weekends. I discovered I loved meeting people from around the world and sharing beautiful places with them.

If you could only take a visitor to one place in Napa, where would you go?

I would take them somewhere beautiful where we would Enjoy Napa Valley.

Tell us a bit about your first experiences in a kayak and why you are such a devotee.

Honestly I do not remember the first time I kayaked. However, I do remember the first kayak tour that I did. When I was working as a bicycle tour guide the owner asked me if I would be willing to do a kayak tour-they no longer offer kayaking. I agreed and the rest is history.

How would you describe your style as a guide?

People are often surprised that I am still so passionate about what I do after all these years. The truth is I truly do love what I do and it shows.

What is the best part of your job?

Meeting people from around the world and sharing beautiful places with them.

What’s the most bizarre experience or odd request from a client you’ve had on a guided tour?

I cannot think of any bizarre request on a tour itself. However, I recently had somebody contact me and asked if I would design an “Amazing Napa Valley Race” for their family. Honestly, I do not believe that there is anybody more qualified to design this event.

It was an awesome experience for both them and myself. I am considering using this for future events.

When you’re not busy guiding tours – what’s your favourite thing you to do?

Spending time enjoying the beautiful NapaValley.

 

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?

There are a lot of levels of tour guide. If you are able to find somebody who is truly passionate and knowledgeable about the area you will discover things that even the locals do not know.

A talented tour guide is also an entertainer and therefore it is like going to a high-end and unique performance that is tailored for you.

You have a lot of experience with great food and drinks from Napa – What is the most awesome local specialty that all visitors must try? Let me guess, is it wine? 

There is an Italian food that is unique to Napa. Funny thing is the majority of the population is unaware that it is unique to this area. In my opinion “Ca Momi” has the best”Malfatti.” You can also find Malfatti at Lawlers and Clemente’s. To learn the history you must go on the tour.

Wine is subjective and it depends on the individual what they would like. For a winery experience I would recommend Castello di Amarosa. Not for their wine but for the experience.

Tell us something about the Napa River that only a guide would know.

Because of the incredible work that has been done by the community the Napa River is one of the cleanest rivers biologically in California now.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

Passion and knowledge

And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?

Look for somebody who truly cares about what they do. Someone who after years of doing tours is still passionate. Someone who believes that everybody deserves special treatment no matter whether it is just an inquiry or they spend tens of thousands of dollars. Every individual deserves to be treated as though they are special – after all, you are.

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