Wine Tours Set for South America, Italy and Portugal
(New Haven, Connecticut) - Cruise the Douro in Portugal, visit rural Italy and tango and sip wine in Argentina with Wine Lovers Tours in 2011.
Now in its 30th year, Wine Lovers Tours is led by Vin Marottoli, a former French, Spanish and Italian teacher who uses his language skills to navigate non-English speaking wine regions.
The first tour in the 2011 offerings is Argentina during harvest time: April 4-14. After a visit to Buenos Aires, the tours heads to Salta and Cafayate, a three-hour plane ride. This is home to Torrontes, Argentina's signature white wine, and also a UN World Heritage Site. The tour ends in Mendoza, Argentina's equivalent of the Napa Valley. Participants can also elect to add on a visit to Uruguay and its wine region of Canelones, just outside Montevideo.
In June, Wine Lovers departs from its traditional wine and food offerings to offer participants a glimpse of rural Italy as Vin retraces his roots in Campania and the Marche region. Highlights of this tour will be the centuries' old Festa della Madonna, always celebrated on the first weekend of July. The 5,000 inhabitants of the hilltop village of Buccino carry the statue of the Virgin Mary through the cobblestoned streets, many in their bare feet. The tour will also go to the Adriatic coast and visit Stacciola, a tiny (55 people) hamlet inland from Senigallia and experience a porchetta roast, the traditional Italian pig roast. There will be winery visits in both areas as well as authentic provincial Italian cuisine.
Also offered in 2011 will be a Fall cruise up the Douro River in Portugal into Spain with winery visits along the steep terraced river. The tour will also visit the storied Port houses of Porto and venture into Galicia in Northern Spain.
All tours include most meals, VIP visits, first-class hotels and a private deluxe bus and are limited in size. There is a discount for doing multiple tours. The word 'value' needs to be emphasized. The all-inclusive wine tour costs are among the lowest in the industry.
Vin's wine tours are intended for people who don't normally like group tours. "We try to create an atmosphere of a family or group of friends traveling together," said Marottoli. Over 80 percent of his tour participants come back, so he must be doing something right! The "secret" is well-organized unique visits that combine wine, food and culture at an all inclusive cost.
Vincent Marottoli, President of Wine Lovers Tours, has organized and led each of his tours for the past 28 years. He has a Ph.D. in French and is also fluent in Spanish and Italian. Most tours have 75 percent or higher repeat travelers.
Wine Lovers Tours. www.wineloverstours.com 800-256-0141.