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Help for Guests

Below we've answered some questions that we frequently receive from Guests before or after they book. We've tried to be thorough, but if you can't find the answer you need get in touch.

What is Door Explorer?

Door Explorer is your gateway to the best wine-tasting experiences in Australia's premier wine regions. Our platform simplifies your wine country trip planning by offering a comprehensive directory of wineries and their unique tasting experiences. From iconic regions like the Hunter Valley to the scenic Yarra Valley, we've got you covered.

Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or new to the world of wine, Door Explorer is designed to help you discover and book the perfect wine adventures. Our aim is to cater to all wine lovers, ensuring you find experiences that match your tastes and preferences.

Founded by George and James, two friends passionate about wine tasting, Door Explorer began as a way to share winery recommendations with friends (read more about us). It has grown into a platform that helps thousands discover wineries they'll love, every month. Our mission has evolved to connect wine enthusiasts directly with wineries, using our free booking tool to reveal the most popular, well-reviewed, and available tasting experiences—bypassing the frustration of browsing top 10 lists written by marketing people who haven't event visited the region.

With Door Explorer, you're set to discover hidden gems and beloved spots beyond the usual, making your wine trip planning seamless and filled with discovery.

How does Door Explorer work?

Embark on your wine country journey with Door Explorer by utilizing our map search feature or exploring by region to uncover wineries that capture your interest. Our platform is designed to make discovery effortless, whether you're looking for a winery with breathtaking views, exclusive premium tastings, or options that are perfect for groups.

After pinpointing the winery that matches your criteria, submitting a booking request is just a click away directly from their detailed listing page. But why stop at one? Door Explorer enables you to craft a complete wine tour itinerary by adding multiple bookings. This feature is particularly useful for planning visits to several wineries in a day or across a weekend, ensuring you experience the diversity of wine offerings in your chosen region.

To enhance your planning, Door Explorer offers several tools aimed at simplifying trip organization, especially for groups. Our platform allows you to:

  • Share itinerary plans with fellow travelers, making collaboration easy.
  • View and manage group bookings in one place, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  • Access winery profiles with detailed information on tasting options, amenities, and any fees, helping you budget and plan accordingly.

Whether you're organizing a wine tasting adventure for a special occasion or a casual weekend getaway with friends, Door Explorer's intuitive interface and comprehensive features ensure your planning is as enjoyable as the wine tasting itself. Start with our map or region search today and see where the wine roads take you!

How do Bookings work?

Initiating a booking with Door Explorer is straightforward. When you find a winery that catches your eye, simply submit a booking request through their listing page. Here's what happens next:

If the winery uses Door Explorer as their primary booking platform and has set up their experiences, capacity, and availability, your booking request can be auto-approved. This means you could have your wine tasting adventure locked in instantly! If the winery hasn't set these parameters, or prefers a more hands-on approach, they'll receive an email notification about your request. They have the option to approve it as is, suggest an alternate time, or in rare cases, decline the booking. Regardless, this process is quick and efficient, designed to ensure you can plan your visit without any hassle.

Many wineries on Door Explorer have also enabled payments for experiences, adding another layer of convenience to your booking process. These payments are securely processed through Stripe, accepting all major credit cards. To support this secure transaction, a small payment processing fee is applied to your booking. This fee covers the cost of using Stripe and allows Door Explorer to maintain low or no costs for wineries and guests alike. While these fees can vary, we strive to keep them as minimal as possible, ensuring a fair deal for everyone involved.

Once your booking is confirmed, you'll receive a confirmation email, finalising your plans. This streamlined and secure process is part of our commitment to making your wine-tasting journey as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

My booking is "Pending", when will it be "Confirmed"?

Wineries typically respond to booking requests within 48 hours, though it's often much quicker. If there's a delay in confirmation, we proactively follow up with the winery on your behalf to secure your booking, ensuring you can plan your trip with confidence.

How do Cancellations and Refunds work?

Understanding that plans can change, Door Explorer and our winery partners aim to make the cancellation and refund process as clear and straightforward as possible. Each winery on our platform selects from one of three predefined cancellation and refund policies for consistency and transparency:

  • Flexible: This policy allows guests the freedom to cancel their booking up to 24 hours before the scheduled experience for a full refund, offering the utmost flexibility for unforeseen changes.
  • Standard: Under the standard policy, guests are required to cancel at least 48 hours in advance to qualify for a full refund, providing a balanced approach for both guests and wineries.
  • Strict: Designed for wineries that need more certainty around bookings, this policy requires at least 7 days' notice for cancellations to be eligible for a refund, ensuring wineries can manage their schedules and capacity effectively.

When you book a tasting experience, the specific cancellation policy for your chosen winery is clearly communicated to ensure you're fully informed. Should you need to adjust or cancel your booking, contacting the winery directly is the most efficient way to proceed. They have the capability to modify your booking or process a refund directly through the Door Explorer dashboard, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for everyone involved.

At Door Explorer, we believe in fairness and transparency throughout the booking, cancellation, and refund processes, making it easier for you to plan your wine-tasting adventures with confidence.

What happens if I have a problem with a winery?

If you encounter any issues during your visit to a winery, we recommend contacting the winery directly to resolve the matter. Following your booking, you'll have the opportunity to leave a review. We encourage you to share your experience in a constructive and respectful manner. For further assistance, you can reach out to us at [email protected]. Each complaint is handled on a case-by-case basis by our founders, ensuring personalized attention and resolution.

Can't find the answer you're looking for?

Feel free to reach out directly to [email protected] and one of Door Explorers' founders will respond and answer your question.

Help for Wineries and Cellar Doors

Below we've answered some questions that we frequently receive from Cellar Door managers and winery owners. We've tried to be thorough, but if you can't find the answer you need get in touch.

What exactly is Door Explorer?

Great question, we're new! 👋

We're building Door Explorer to connect Wine Lovers with great Cellar Doors.

Our mission is to make exploring wine regions simple, helping people easily find and buy wines they love—and importantly, ensuring they have a memorable tasting experience at the Cellar Door.

To achieve this, we're creating tools designed for Cellar Door managers to digitise their operations, simplify booking processes, and foster stronger relationships with guests. By gaining insights into guest preferences, you can customise tastings to suit each visitor, boosting the likelihood of guests finding (and buying) wines they love.

Ultimately, it's about creating a win-win situation for both Wine Lovers and Cellar Doors.

Who's behind Door Explorer?

Co-founders, George and James—two mates with a shared passion for wine tasting and exploring wine regions—have turned their hobby into something bigger.

We come from tech and startup backgrounds, each of us with over ten years of experience in creating and growing websites and apps for some of Australia's leading tech companies.

Door Explorer started as our way to keep track of the wineries we'd visited and to recommend our favourite Cellar Doors to friends. Now, we're dedicated to developing tools that help Cellar Door managers offer a better wine-tasting experience for all. By blending our tech skills with our enthusiasm for wine, we're tackling the challenges faced by both wine lovers and Cellar Door Managers.

Find out more on our about us page, or feel free to book a call for a chat with us directly.

How do I update my winery's details on Door Explorer?

Updating your wineries listing page on Door explorer is simple.First you'll need to create a Door Explorer account, and claim your wineries listing page.

You can do this by simply sending an email to [email protected] from an email address that matches the wineries website (ie. Once we have confirmed you are part of the wineries cellar door team, we'll send you an invite link to claim the listing and guide you through the process.

You'll then have access to a dashboard that lets you to adjust opening hours, add or modify details, and tweak your tasting experiences. It's designed to be intuitive, and is the best way to manage & view the bookings you receive from our free winery booking tool.

Some updates, such as uploading new photos, cannot currently be done via the dashboard. For these changes, George is available to assist via email, helping to keep your listing visually appealing and up-to-date.

Can I integrate Door Explorer with my website?

We have ambition to build the best tools and software to help wineries manage their cellar doors.

Door Explorer is designed to work seamlessly with (or improve) your existing operations. We offer various integration methods to ensure our platform complements your existing website and booking processes, aiming to streamline your booking management process.

If you have specific needs or ideas for better integration, we're here to listen. Our development is driven by feedback from winery owners and managers like you. Let's talk about how we can tailor Door Explorer to fit your business more closely.

How does Door Explorer make money?

We make a small amount of money each time Door Explorer is responsible for a Guest booking a pre-paid tasting experience. This is what we refer to as a Referred Booking, with a Referral Fee of just $1 per guest. More details on this are available in the next section.

Transparently, Door Explorer is in the early stages and our revenue is minimal. We're building this platform ourselves, and don't have an expensive development team to pay, which allows us to keep our services low-cost or free.

Our billing approach is simple: we charge only when we provide real value. We're looking to introduce premium sales and marketing tools designed specifically for Cellar Doors to boost your business and wine sales. While these tools are still in development, we're eager for your input on what features will genuinely benefit your operations.

For now, we're not selling anything, we just want you to use the free tools we've built to help run your cellar door.

What is the difference between a Direct and Referral booking?

With Door Explorer, what you see is what you get—no hidden fees, no surprises. We believe our $1 per guest referral fee offers great value, and we're here to help you understand exactly how it benefits you. Got questions? A quick call can clear them up.

At Door Explorer, we classify bookings into 2 categories.

Direct Bookings:

Guests book these directly with you— through your website, over the phone, or via email. You might already manage these bookings using a calendar, diary, or a generic booking tool not specifically designed for wineries.

We've developed a specialised tool tailored for wineries, equipped with everything you need to efficiently manage your bookings and Cellar Door operations. And we're offering it to you for free, with a commitment to remain free.

Referral Bookings:

We built to to spotlight fantastic Cellar Doors, helping people explore new wine regions or find hidden gems within familiar ones.

When someone books and pre-pays for a tasting at your Cellar Door after discovering you on our site, that's what we call a Referred Booking. For these, we keep a $1 per guest referral fee from the pre-paid tasting charge. Think of it as a cost-effective marketing investment—where else can you gain a new pre-paid booking for as little as $4 for four guests?

We think its a great deal for everyone involved:

  • The Guest: discovers a new favourite Cellar Door without any added service charges, booked and paid for in advance.

  • The Winery: welcomes a new group of customers, complete with a prepaid tasting fee that enhances cash flow and minimizes no-shows. These are guests who likely wouldn't have discovered you without our platform.

  • Door Explorer: is rewarded only when we successfully connect your Cellar Door with new guests, ensuring our success is directly tied to yours.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please don't hesitate to book a quick call with us. We're here to walk you through it.

How are payments processed?

Payments are securely handled through Stripe. When you set up your Cellar Door listing, you'll have the option to activate payments for your tasting experiences. This step requires approval from your business directors via Stripe Connect, but don't worry—it's straightforward, and we're here to help guide you through the process, whether through the Door Explorer dashboard or over a call.

Once you're approved, you'll be all set to receive payments for tasting fees directly.

Stripe, like all payment processors, charges a fee for transactions (usually between 1-2%). To ensure these fees don't impact your revenue (or ours), we add them to the guest's payment at the time of booking.

As outlined earlier, Direct Bookings come without additional fees from us—you'll get the entire tasting fee. For Referred Bookings made through Door Explorer, we deduct a $1 per guest referral fee.

Let's break down what this looks like with a standard $10 tasting for a group of four guests

TypeTotalGuest PaysPayment FeeYou ReceiveWe Earn
Direct$40 ($10 x 4 Guests)$40.80$0.80$40$0
Referral$40 ($10 x 4 Guests)$40.80$0.80$36$4 ($1 x 4 Guests)

How do refunds and cancellations work?

Managing refunds and cancellations is a critical aspect of offering a seamless booking experience. When you enable payments for your tasting experiences through Door Explorer, part of the setup includes selecting a cancellation policy. We provide three options to ensure consistency across the platform while also aligning with your business practices and setting clear expectations for guests.

  • Flexible: The most flexible option, allowing guests to cancel at any time before their booking and receive a full refund. Ideal for prioritizing guest convenience and safeguarding your brand reputation.
  • Standard: Requires guests to give at least 48 hours' notice for a cancellation to be eligible for a refund. This middle ground offers a balance between flexibility for guests and predictability for your operations.
  • Strict: Designed for those who need greater certainty on bookings, this policy asks for a minimum of 7 days' notice for cancellations to qualify for a refund.

Selecting the right cancellation policy allows you to manage your booking slots efficiently while making your refund and cancellation terms clear to guests upfront, minimizing surprises and ensuring a smoother experience for both parties.

You have the flexibility to update your cancellation policy whenever you need to. Any changes you make will apply to new bookings moving forward; however, these adjustments won't affect bookings already made or currently in place.

What support does Door Explorer offer to Wineries?

If we can help we will. While we don't pretend to know all the nuances of running a winery— we do have a lot of experience building websites, and growing businesses— and we're more than happy to offer any support and advice we can.

Website and Technical Support

If you're having trouble with your website, just reach out. We're great with websites and will either be able to help you ourselves or point you in the right direction.

Marketing and Business Growth

We'd also love to discuss any business challenges you're facing or any problems you have at your cellar door or with your guests. Lets hop on a call, and we'll do our best to help with either advice or maybe even develop features into Door Explorer that can help.

Can't find the answer you're looking for?

Feel free to reach out directly to [email protected] and one of Door Explorers' founders will respond and answer your question.