I’m proud of the tours we’ve organized to destinations that were not on the radar screen of most wine lovers.
Everybody has heard about Tuscany, Burgundy, Rhine not to mention Rioja, Mendoza or Port. Those destinations have sizzle and most people like to know that others have been to these destinations which validates their stature.
But as tour organizers, it takes courage to propose a tour to a destination that most wine lovers have never heard about but that’s what we have done, and subsequent press coverage to these areas has validated most of our choices as the next wine frontier to explore.
We brought a group of 4 intrepid wine lovers to Georgia 6 years ago and in 2019 we offered the tour again, and it sold out within weeks.
in 2005, we did our first tour to Argentina, long before it had established its reputation in the world of wine. We followed that with tours to Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Brazil. Brazil and Peru have yet to catch on as wine destinations but I am sure that they will. Brazil is a lot more established and make tons of very good wine but most of the wines are consumed domestically.
The political climate in Peru has improved dramatically and I believe it’s a matter of time before we’ll bring a group there again.
The decision to go to Croatia now seems like a no-brainer because it has become a popular destination but at the time, people really felt they were embarking on an adventure.
Our tour last year to England was in the planning stage when no one knew that wine was even produced there. We tasted some British sparkling wines that were on a par with Champagne.
Switzerland was a gem with vistas that rival the Douro and Mosel; Jura was full of many pleasant surprises; I remember seeing few wine lovers in Jurançon- probably the same today which is a pity.
And Le Marche in Italy may get tourists but most aren’t American and most don’t know about the superb white wines.
PS. I forgot Corsica, Sardinia, Madeira- 3 additional islands that are definite wine destinations to consider.
We went to Switzerland and the Jura region in 2015 and I still don’t understand why people aren’t beating down the doors to visit these areas. Especially Switzerland with its spectacular wine landscapes on a par with the best of the Douro and Mosel.
In Italy we’ve brought groups to Calabria and the Marche areas as well as Basilicata and Abruzzo.
In Spain one of our favorite tours is to Valencia, timed with the Fallas festival in March. It’s an up and coming wine region but very few people know about it and the Fallas Festival.
In 2019 we’re bringing a group to the Aeolian Islands. I didn’t even know where they were until 2 years ago. Armenia is scheduled for 2019 as well. How about Bolivia? That would be a real adventure because there’s little tourist infrastructure.
Sure, we’re experts in the traditional wine destinations and we know Italy and France like the backs of our hands. And we’re pretty knowledgeable about Spain and Portugal (going there again in 2019) as well as Germany. We like to think we’re as good as anyone else when it comes to South America.
But we like to walk on the wild side to validate our hunches and so far our hunches have been on the mark.