We hosted our first wine tour on a whim in 2008. It was autumn and we were having a difficult time getting winemakers to host dinners because autumn is harvest time and (duh) winemakers need to be in the vineyards during this stressful time when picking decisions can literally make or break a vintage. Then it hit us: Why not bring our customers to the winemakers instead of vice versa? So, after a couple of “research” trips, we put together our first wine tour to the Central Coast. We chartered a bus and loaded 38 adventurous (and trusting!) customers for the maiden voyage. Three days later after insider visits to Ancient Peaks, Cass, Four Vines, Tablas Creek, Denner, L’Aventure, Dusi Ranch, Sea Smoke and Brewer Clifton, we returned to San Diego with tons of new friends and lots of fond memories. As folks got off the bus the question we heard over and over again was not, “Are you going to do another tour,” but “When’s the next one!” And that’s how it all started.
In the ensuing years we’ve hosted wine tours to the South of France, Sonoma, Napa, Valle de Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Lodi, Santa Ynez, Mendocino, Willamette Valley, Hood River, and even cocktail tours to New Orleans and Tequila tours to the actual town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico. Each tour is truly an “insider’s” tour with unique experiences that would be difficult to replicate on your own. We’ve done lots of cool stuff like having a Roederer Estate champagne brunch in our own private railcar pulled by a vintage steam locomotive through the Mendocino redwoods, making sausage (and then eating it for lunch) at Seghesio, vineyard treks through Rockpile with samples of each wine right in front of the individual vineyard blocks where it was grown, dinner prepared by our chefs three stories underground in the caves at Rudd, drinking library Pinots with the original party animal Gary Pisoni in his private retreat in the Santa Lucia Highlands, enjoying a vineyard workers’ lunch cooked over the coals in the mountain vineyards of Luna Matta, grafting our own vines (and then taking them home to plant) at Sextant, having a winemaker dinner at the remote “upside-down boats” winery at La Villa del Valle in Mexico (and then seeing it featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” a few months later), having a seven-hour progressive dinner through the French Quarter … the list goes on … and on … and on!
Tour details are posted on the Upcoming and Past Tours links on the menu bar above and via our Email Newsletter (which you can sign up for above). Tours usually start on a Sunday so we can beat the weekend crowds and take advantage of non-primetime hotel rates.