For general information on Italian wines and wine regions, refer to Italian Wine Central
Wine Tour Operators
Arblaster and Clarke Wine Tours are UK based and were established by Tim Clarke and his wife Lynette Arblaster in 1986. They pioneered the whole concept of wine tourism in many parts of Europe. They present themselves as the world’s leading specialist wine tours operator (which I would agree with) and run wine tours to all of the major wine countries with fixed departure dates. They also run champagne weekends, vineyard walks and wine cruises. Many of their wine guides are masters of wine.
La Dolce Vita Wine Tours are based in New York, USA and were established in 1999 by Claudio Bisio and Patricia Thomson. They offer epicurean wine tours, and walking or biking tours with a wine focus, in a variety of Italian locations plus Spain and Portugal. Tour features include private in-depth tastings at top estates, personal dialogue with the winemakers, gourmet wine dinners and charming accommodations. Groups are restricted to 14 people.
Cellar Tours are based in Madrid, Spain and were founded by Des and Genevieve McCarthy in 2003. Their focus is solely on private luxury chauffeured food and wine tours in Italy, Portugal and Spain. Many tours have been featured in Travel & Leisure, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday Telegraph, UK. All of their staff speak English fluently, as do their guides and chauffeurs. They have personally visited and hand selected all of their suppliers including luxury hotels, wineries, private chefs, limo drivers and gourmet restaurants.
A Toast to Travel is based in Chicago, USA and was founded by John Helling & Natalie Mosallam. Their focus is on wine and culinary experiences in Tuscany and they have been featured on both ABC and CBS News. Their Tuscan Wine and Cultural Experience is designed for the lover of wine, food and culture and is based in a palace in Florence while their Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun Experience is designed for the lover of cooking, wine, leisure activities and culture and is based in a villa in the Tuscan countryside. Both tours last a week and are personally hosted by Natalie and John.