For more than 30 years, we’ve strived to make each tour a truly unforgettable experience which exceeds expectations. Do we succeed at that? We’re fortunate that more than 80% of our tour participants have returned for another tour, (in some cases 15 or more tours!) so we must be doing something right. But don’t just take our word for it, see what our awesome travelers have to say.
Wine Tours Testimonials
Just a short note about the two fabulous wine tours to Northwestern Spain (Galicia) and Portugal I joined you on this year. Having traveled with you since your tour of Alsace and the Rhine in June of 1991, I have come to expect great local food, wonderful regional wines, and convivial traveling companions and once again you exceeded my expectations.
I loved the tour of Santiago de Compostela on our first day and then the visit and dinner at the Pazo de Galegos winery. I was not at all familiar with Galician grape varieties, but this tour really opened my eyes to them and the fine wines made from them. Let’s hear it for Mencia and Godello! The visits that included barrel and tank samples were awesome. For example, on the visit to Forjas del Salnés, I remember (vaguely) seven barrel samples of 2018 Albarnios, and four red tank samples of about-to-be-bottled wines of varieties new to me (Espadiero, Caino, and Louirerio). I lost count of the number of wines we tasted in Galicia, but it had to north of 60 over the whole tour, although that is a drop in the bucket compared with your tour to New Zealand and Australia where I have notes on 304 different wines.
I had been to Portugal with you in 2005, but the revisit this year was completely new and fresh. I loved the tour concept of trying mostly the dry red and white table wines of Portugal this time. We did get just enough Ports though. The dinner you set up at Graham’s port house was great, finishing with a nice 10 year old port. The food was terrific too. The luncheon at the Luis Pato Estate (with the owner) was a real treat; with the whole roast suckling pig main course and about eleven wines accompanying the meal.
I am looking forward to traveling with you again in the near future.
Neill Bassford Wine Maker - Elk Run Vineyards Virginia June 14, 2019
So happy to meet you both! I did have a wonderful time and the "Gang" was a lot of laughs.
So glad you're doing France in October. May can be "iffy" with those rivers. I do hope our paths cross again. Thank you.
Vivienne Roberts Spain Rioja Region Wine Tour California January 15, 2016
I want to tell you that I had a great experience in all ways: visits, wines, foods, hotels, driver and group all good. I do not identify with the "winery hardened" crew that wants nothing less than continuous wineries.For me,the schedule of a wine event and some free time was ideal. The distinct settings of Txomin,Otazu,and Nekeas are memorable.
Thank you for your quality leadership.
Joe Nechasek Spain Rioja Region Wine Tour Connecticut January 15, 2016
I highly recommend treating yourself to an enjoyable tour guided by a true wine aficionado. Vin was enthusiastic, friendly and very knowledgeable. The trip exceeded my expectations, everything was absolutely top notch, the accommodations, the logistics, the wineries and the meals. This tour has changed my life, not only did I fall in love with the beautiful places I visited but I made great friends along the way, definitely an experience everyone should consider. I'm extremely thankful and look forward to taking my next wine tour with Vin.
Carolina G Interior Designer Aventura, FL April 17, 2015
Once again, the Italy trips (our 10th with you!) this Fall were wonderful and much more interesting and easier than we could have done on our own. Visiting wineries we would not have been able to get into, great food and great fellow travelers, and your speaking Italian made it an unforgettable experience. We are looking forward to visiting South Africa with you this Spring.
Barbara & Bruce Adams California November 21, 2014
It was a fabulous trip-interesting history, good wines, good food & best of all, good company. Thanks again!
Jan Lewis Houston, TX April 21, 2014
Our trip to Chile is our 11th or 12th with you. We enjoy your small groups and on a scale of one to ten your trips are either nines or tens. We love the combination of wine, food and culture.
Harvey Kaufman Tennessee April 21, 2014
There is a void in our lives right now as we are missing the joy of looking forward to our next ‘Vin trip.’ Can’t wait to get next year’s brochure so that we can correct that.
Bob & Judy Bruce Florida April 21, 2014
Vin, thanks for the recent newsletter. It brought back such great memories of our France/Italy truffle trips with you, as well as the outstanding trip we took with you to Alsace. The Alsace trip was one of the best we have ever taken, thanks to your planning and contacts! Wish we could be going on your Sept 28 trip. We are going to Oregon shortly and have reservations for dinner one night at King's Estates, outside of Eugene. We remember fondly our visit to Kings with you!
Hi to Roz! Hope you have great tours this fall!
P.S. Your web page has a great new look!
Beverly & Jerry Foster California April 21, 2014
Thanks again for the great trips. The winery visits in Piedmont and Tuscany, the wine, the food, and the company were wonderful. Everything was well organized and balanced thanks to your excellent planning. What made everything even more enjoyable is that we really felt like we were with family. We will travel with you again!
Marge Bassford Virginia April 21, 2014
Thank you again for two wonderful tours. Piedmont was outstanding and Tuscany was super. I have just completed putting our pictures in a scrapbook, so I was able to relive all the fantastic times. Each page comes alive with wonderful memories of great wine, great food and great traveling companions.
Elaine Lazarus Veteran of Wine Lovers Tours California April 21, 2014
As always, we really enjoyed our recent trip with you. Croatia was even more beautiful than we expected and we certainly covered a lot of territory. The scenery was spectacular, the people we encountered were wonderful and the food and wines were great. What else could we ask for...oh yes, lots of laughs too!!
Bob & Maura Matthieu Connecticut November 21, 2013
Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed the trip. It was also great to get to meet you both after years of Jan saying how great you are.
Totsy Gano First-time traveler with Vin in 2013 Houston, TX April 21, 2013
“La ringrazio e sono molto contento che vi siete trovati bene. Se vuole tornare bisogna solo avvertire, io l’aspetto.”
(I thank you for your visit and am very happy that you enjoyed it. If you ever want to return, just let me know and I will welcome you.)
Maurizio Vallona Enoteca Fattorie Vallona Emilia Romagna, Italy April 21, 2013
“Once again we had a wonderful time on your tour. The wineries, food and company were amazing and the country superb. Too much fun! We haven’t stopped talking about it.”
John & Karen Hovannisian California April 21, 2013
I really did mean it at our farewell dinner when I said the tour to Volpaia was one of the 10 best days of my life. Your tour was so well thought out and executed; we had a wonderful time.
Joan O’Dowd First time traveler with Vin in 2012 Florida April 21, 2013
I just wanted to let you know that I (and Margie, of course) had a fabulous time on your Bordeaux tours this year. Great wines, great food, and great company made these tours an incredibly enjoyable two weeks. I know how much work it is to set this kind of thing up and I appreciate your efforts a whole lot.
I have been telling all of my wino friends about the trip and they are suitably jealous.
Please feel free to use me as a reference if anyone asks for one. I think we will be joining you next year for the Alsace and Rhine tours. I can hardly wait.
Looking forward to seeing you and Roz,
Neill Bassford Wine Maker - Elk Run Vineyards Virginia April 21, 2013
"We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Rioja. ‘Don Reyes' was a highlight for me and you were at your best. I look forward to Sicily and future trips."
Harvey Kaufman Wine Lovers Alumni Tennessee April 21, 2013
What a wonderful travel experience to Tuscany! This is my 3rd tour with you and will not be my last.
Sue Simmat Connecticut November 21, 2012
I enjoyed Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, a great blend of wine, food and sight seeing. We went as tourists to places where few tourists go and the cooking class with Sergio was spectacular.
Judge Bill Riccitelli Multiple tours with Wine Lovers Tours Rhode Island November 21, 2012
I agree with your analysis 100%. Great people, great food and wine, immersion in the local culture, and of course a terrific director/guide with lots of stories to tell! It cannot be any better. We have nice memories of the few tours we took with you.
B. Corso Connecticut August 21, 2012
I agree wholeheartedly with the arguments for a guided tour vs one on your own. I have done both, and will only go on my own to a country I know well. Even though I have been to Italy and Spain many many times, both on business and pleasure over the years, I would much prefer to go with you if I wish to go on a wine tour. I enjoyed going with you on the ones we have made in years past.
L. Riess North Carolina July 21, 2012
All I can say is your tours are much better than most tours because they are small group and, from my experience, you seem to take into account the fact folks like to explore some on their own and take this into account when you do your scheduling. I am still basking in the enjoyment of our Iberian peninsula trip from last year.
C. DelFavero Connecticut June 21, 2012
Vin, respond to Thomas Heath (travel writer Washington Post) about your trips. He should write about your trips. They really do add value to the experience.
Susan Cecil Long-time traveler with Wine Lovers Tours Maryland April 21, 2012
I want to thank you for a WONDERFUL tour. I didn’t think we could have done more, seen more, eaten more or drunk more than we did on this trip. Of course I have to mention the exceptional group of people who travel with you- what a diverse, extraordinary collection. Truly an experience of a lifetime!
Carol DelFavero First-time traveler with Wine Lovers Tours Connecticut April 21, 2012
Just a note to say I received the itinerary for the trip to Spain and I am overwhelmed by the quality of the visits you have arranged. I am looking forward to the trip with even greater anticipation. Well Done!
Ric Accola Connecticut April 21, 2012
Your French was a major bonus for us, making it possible to communicate with winemakers without being limited to whatever English they could muster.
Don Janson Michigan April 21, 2012
Thank you so much for the wonderful tour of Tuscany complete with a great group of travelers, excellent wine, food and accommodations. In addition we visited many places and with many Italians that most tourists do not see. Hope we can do it again in the near future.
Dr. André Laz Wine Lovers Tours Alumnus Florida April 21, 2012
"Thanks for another great tour. You are a master at putting together interesting, innovative and surprising tours with a combination of fine wine, good food and interesting culture. Each of the ten tours that we have been on with you has been unique and each had its own character. We have a lot of good memories of people, places, meals and wine."
Bill Pugh Veteran of Vin's Tours Pennsylvania April 21, 2012
The Bordeaux “101” and “201” trips exceeded our expectations and after traveling with you to Uruguay and Argentina, our expectations were high. We were not “newbe’s” to Bordeaux, but our previous unguided visit was years ago and our access to the wineries was much more limited. Just to have the access to over 30 different wineries and their owners, wine-makers, and expert staff was incredible. And as expressed by some, it was akin to a “boot-camp” drill – especially in light of the repetitive tours of winery facilities. Still there was enough variation in these to pique the interest of many of us – especially when viewing the unusual – like the winery using amphora-based fermentation/aging vats.
I’m not sure that I have achieved your goal of being able to tell what a Margaux tastes like versus a St. Julien, Pauillac or any of the other classifications given the more than 400 wineries in the Bordeaux appellation, but I did get a real feel for Bordeaux and an appreciation for how a “big” Merlot-based wine can taste – not withstanding the given bigness of the Cabs. We also came away with the knowledge that not all Bordeaux’s cost an arm and a leg – with many being quite affordable especially those not in the original 1855 classification who by definition must try harder. We will certainly keep an eye out for “Bordeaux bourgeois” and “petite chateaux” classified wines as these can be both highly rated and quite affordable. My only regret is the generally long lead time for bottle-aging some Bordeaux wines, but maybe this could be an incentive to my personal longevity? After buying a costly first or second growth, you simply have to stick around and see how it ages, no?
Who would have guessed that both Barbara and I would come home with an appreciation for non-gamey oysters! The gourmet meals have increased my appreciation for foi-gras – a short lived appreciation as is a delicacy soon-to-be forbidden in California.
Please keep us in the loop regarding future tours, who knows, you might schedule a visit to Italy or South Africa in the spring-time.
One thing I forgot and it's important...I did not anticipate how loyal your customer base is...the fact that many of the tours groups were folks we had toured with before was incredible...not having to start from scratch with each couple/person made the tour like a family reunion...not that we ignored the new folks, and actually the new folks probably fit in to the family group easily...Bruce
Barbara & Bruce Adams California April 21, 2012
You left out one of my favorite benefits of going on an organized tour: No driving! Just get on the bus and read, nap, or follow the map! After a three hour lunch with abundant wine and food, that is the way to go!
Heidi McLean Founder - To Your Taste!® Wine Party Kit Maryland April 21, 2012
I enjoyed Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, a great blend of wine, food and sight-seeing. We went as tourists to places where few tourists go, and the cooking class with Sergio was spectacular.
William Riccitelli, Esq March 26, 2012
The visit to Siena and surrounding hill towns was wonderful and we really enjoyed everything about the experience. Things have certainly changed since our visit there with you 15 years ago. We appreciate all the work, time and personal effort you and Roz put forth to make these trips run smoothly, and make them informational and educational. Plus the wine was pretty good too!
Looking forward to our next trip with you!
Beverly & Jerry Foster multiple tours with Vin & WLT including Tuscany 2012 California March 26, 2012
The Bordeaux tours this past May were the best ever: best wine, best food, best company and best visits. Thank you for this experience.
Margie & Neill Bassford Over 15 tours with Wine Lovers Tours Virginia March 26, 2012
When traveling with Vin it feels like you are traveling with family. His attention to detail, preparation and knowledge make the trip so pleasurable and stress- free. His sense of humor, passion for traveling and exploration and for making relationships with the tour participants as well as the inhabitants of the region traveled is a true gift. He sets the tone for a great trip from the minute you get off the plane.
Mark Battista Conecticut markbattista.com October 21, 2011
I had a wonderful time on the trip to Portugal/Spain. Everyone was so kind and helpful. It’s amazing how the group bonded and became a community.
Mimi Tellis First time traveler with Wine Lovers Tours California October 21, 2011
Just a quick note to again thank you for a wonderful Uruguay/ Argentina tour. Good fun, good time. I’m richer for your insight and efforts.
Brian McGee 1st time traveler Uruguay/Argentina ‘11 Colorado April 21, 2011
We are embarrassed that it has taken so long to thank you for a GREAT TRIP. We’ve already told several of our wine-loving friends about your tours and hope that it will result in some new clients. We look forward to traveling with you again. Thanks again for a very nice trip.
Joann & Paul Trujillo 1st time travelers Uruguay/Argentina ‘11 California April 21, 2011
“Caro Vincenzo: As you could experience, we had as much pleasure as you! We did our best to make you and your group feel at home and enjoy your visit. We only do what comes from our hearts and I think that is what people value...besides the quality of the wines, of course!”
-Daniel Pisano, host of our visit to Pisano Winery, Uruguay
Daniel Pisano host of our visit to Pisano Winery Uruguay April 21, 2011
I truly enjoyed our adventure to discover the wines of Southern France. I did my research ahead of time, but the trip down the Rhone River, then Provence, and ending in the Languedoc was a true wine education...a great mix of wine, food and culture with an uptempo pace. I would be hard pressed to duplicate wine and France a la Wine Lovers Tours on my own..so. très bien and merci!
Judge Bill Riccitelli Rhode Island April 21, 2010
It's true that we have spent a very enjoyable week together and just as before, I have wonderful memories of the group. The success of your tours is due essentially because you organize them very well and you do it out of love, and also because we understand each other very well and that I consider you as friends and not as mere passengers or ordinary customers.
Philippe Ban Vin's bus driver in the Rhone Valley France April 21, 2010
I enjoyed meeting all of you on a wine and travel lovers dream come true. In many ways it was a 'trip of a lifetime!' I certainly hope that you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed it! CHEERS!!!!!
Tom Fries Ohio April 21, 2010
We would like to thank you for a wonderful, marvelous, fabulous and unforgettable trip to the Rhone Valley and French Riviera. In reviewing our photos, we realize how much we did other than wine tasting. The perfume factory and candy factory in Nice, the market in Vaison la Romaine, the Roman ruins, the Suze la Rousse castle tour, the garden in Eze, Avignon, and so on. When the 'Rhone Ranger' leads a tour, you really see the area. It was so interesting at each winery and amazing that they were all so different and educational. From the smallest to the largest, the known producers and unknown, we were treated like royalty. Barrel tasting and 'dusty' bottles, limited editions and the "last" of a vintage - these were wines we would never have experienced without your tour. Thank you so much. We look forward to the next one we can join.
Regina & Lee Steeneck Connecticut April 21, 2010
We think and talk often of our wonderful trip to France! Recently, at a couples group we belong to, we were asked to share what our favorite trip together was ...and Guess? You got it.
The Tylers New Hampshire April 21, 2010
Just want to express my thanks and appreciation for yet another outstanding wine tour! Your recent tour of Northeast Italy-with stays in Venice, Verona and Trento- was my 8th trip with Wine Lovers Tours and ranks as one of the top 3 trips I've enjoyed with you! I am looking forward to my next Wine Lovers Tour to Spain in 2009. Thanks again!
Heidi McLain Maryland April 21, 2009
We wanted to thank you for the fine trips to Northeast Italy, Austria and Hungary.
Over the years Carol and I have done a lot of touring in wine areas, either the two of us or with another couple. After experiencing your tours, we would never go on our own again.
The important advantages of your tours include: the wineries roll out the red carpet for a wine-focused group, including more all- inclusive tastings and wonderful meals at the wineries; camaraderie with fellow travelers who are knowledgeable and wine- focused; fine hotels and comfortable travel at reasonable prices.
Looking forward to Spain, Washington, Oregon and California next year.
Carol & Charlie Goolsbee Texas April 21, 2009
Thank you for a lovely and most interesting and definitely educational trip to Austria and Hungary. Always enjoy traveling with you and your darling family.
Carolyn Kachman South Carolina April 21, 2009
I want to express our appreciation to you and Roz for the wonderful trip to California. Everything was perfect. The selection of wineries was thoughtful and well balanced. The reception at the wineries was also impressive. I have to admire your ability to put all this together. We enjoyed the new and old friends on the trip and look forward to many more.
Jack Landau Connecticut April 21, 2009
My Spain trip was one of the best I have ever been on. As a 'first-timer,' I really did not know what to expect and so was delighted with everything. The group we traveled with was a fun-loving bunch - how could we not be with all the wine we consumed!! The hotels were first rate and the food...the food was beyond my expectation, beyond great. This was a trip I will always have wonderful memories of.
Mary Beth Stockman Connecticut April 21, 2009
Mike and I enjoyed the trip to Sicily and the good food and wine. Hope to go on another wine tour.
Audrey Siska First time traveler with WLT in 2002 Virginia April 21, 2009
We had a great time in France. We especially enjoyed the guides we had at several of the vineyards and their discussions of how the mineral content of the layers of soil influence the wine. I was very impressed with both Jadot facilities we visited.
We look forward to joining you again at a tasting or one of your scheduled trips.
Rich & Kathy Heffernan Connecticut April 21, 2008
I know wine, and Vin Marottoli's Wine Lovers Tours are a must stop on the world wine scene. Vin's presentation is vino-perfect as he combines wine, travel, and culture into one-of-the-kind experience that captures the art, science, and mythology of the winemaking process. Along the way you stay in plush hotels, visit well-known wineries, taste their best wines. and share gorgeous meals with his many repeat travelers. Pack your bags and just go...it's the Wine Spectator on wheels!
Judge Bill Riccitelli Rhode Island April 21, 2008
Thank you for another great tour- that makes 7 for us. The Veneto, Austria and Hungary itineraries had the correct balance of wineries, cities and great friends.
Anne & Mike Hickey Utah April 21, 2008
Both Gail and I enjoyed the whole trip immensely! The pace was just about right and the food and wine were great. We especially enjoyed the barrel tasting and we really appreciated being able to sample so many Grand and Premier Crus and seeing the vineyards and cellars up close.
Gail & Charles Bock Utah April 21, 2008
Traveling with Vin Marottoli to visit the very best vineyards and meet winemakers around the world is pure pleasure. His trips are fun, exciting and informative. You get into the life of a country, meet interesting people and get to taste a lot of great wine.
We first accompanied him to Burgundy some 25 years ago. Since then we have visited Argentina, Chile and Peru. He is passionate about wine and about making sure those who travel with him have the best possible experience.
Vin is the perfect tour guide- caring, knowledgeable and energetic. He has a great sense of humor and enormous patience. And he speaks French, Spanish and Italian fluently.
John & Karen Schneider Connecticut April 21, 2007
Thank you for the wonderful newsletter. We truly loved the time we spent with you and Roz and who could forget the night your daughter became engaged!! The whole experience was magnificent. Randy and I look forward to the time when we can join you on another adventure.
Randy & Nikki Huisenga Connecticut April 21, 2007
Now that we have fully recovered from our 3 week trip to France we want to thank you for such a wonderful trip to the Loire Valley and Burgundy. We could appreciate all of the details of careful planning as the voyage unfolded. Any surprises were only on the positive side.
It was great to revisit with some former travelers and to meet so many more pleasant and dedicated wine lovers.
Dr. André and Peggy Laz Florida April 21, 2007
We're looking forward to the wine, the truffles, the scenery, the company, the vowel movements, and yes...even the frog! See you soon.
Linda & Dave Holzinger Florida April 21, 2005
"I'm looking forward to another great 'Life experience.' Your planning and execution are always memorable."
Julie Owen Connecticut April 21, 2005
I always thought the Spain/Portugal trip was my favorite. But it's a tie with "Wine and Truffles" now. Where do you find such great people to take the tours?
LaVera Nagle South Carolina April 21, 2004
Another superb Marottoli wine tour is behind us, and we are left with happy memories and some photos, a few of which are enclosed. What a photogenic family! That last word typifies your trips - family! That is what draws me back year after year - the feeling of warmth and congeniality as we learn more about wine, enjoy those wines with marvelous cuisine, visit the byways of each country, and meet the 'locals' in a very unstructured manner.
Penny Marland Connecticut April 21, 2004
Hard to improve on this trip!
The Van Dorens Florida April 21, 2004
We found the tour exhilarating, educational and very comprehensive. The accommodations were excellent... and transportation was excellent. Vin, you are a rare person who enjoys France and displays a degree of honesty and enthusiasm one seldom experiences.
Jerry & Beverly Foster Wine Lovers Tours Alumni California April 21, 2004
If you get the chance to go on one of Vin Marottoli's wine and food tours, don't be afraid to venture out with his groups. My bet is that you won't be disappointed.
Don Kaiser Connecticut April 21, 2003
July just wasn't July without being on a wine trip with you, so enclosed is my Burgundy deposit...! Since my first trip with you was Champagne and Burgundy 1990, it felt necessary to return now that I know a few more things. This time I will actually be able to appreciate the Romanée Conti Vineyards and I promise not to get lost at Clos de Vougeot as I did twelve years ago!
Penny Marland Veteran of Vin's Tours Connecticut April 21, 2003
Thank you again for preparing such an enjoyable trip to Scotland. The castle tours were fun- and the cold/rainy weather made the scotch distillery tours even more warm and cozy. The food was outstanding and of course, the company made it special.
Linda Velez Connecticut April 21, 2002
We had a wonderful time on your trip. We've been sharing our pictures, truffle stuff and stories with our friends here in California. Thank you.
John & Karen Hovannisian April 21, 2002
I really enjoyed the trip - it was the best tour I ever paid for. I liked the pace, people and price, hey, that's 3 p's!
I like how you and your wife run the show; keep it that way; that's the charm of your trips!
Charlie Adler Washington, DC March 21, 2001
We want to thank you for making our first trip abroad such a great success. Your planning and attention to the little details allowed us to experience the French people and their culture in a unique way that most visitors never do.
Bill & Dolores Dabney New Jersey April 21, 1998