Tours for Wine Lovers

This item appears on page 31 of the January 2011 issue.

My husband, Bob, and I were introduced to Vin Marottoli’s outstanding Tours for Wine Lovers (New Haven, CT; 800/256-0141) in 2002 and have taken six tours with him since then, in the US and abroad. Our most recent was an eight-day tour in Italy, April 15-23, 2010, which cost $3,199 each, excluding airfare.

Vin uses Michelin guides to pick the hotels and restaurants and his vast contacts to select wineries. With his more than 20 years of organizing tours, his experience is invaluable. He is a recently retired high school French teacher who is also fluent in Italian and Spanish.

We toured and tasted at seven different wineries in the Piedmont region, including the beautiful, hilltop Castello di Grinzane Cavour, where the white truffle auctions are held each fall.

After an outstanding six-course luncheon at Ristorante Gallante in lovely Torino, we viewed the Shroud of Turin. Despite long lines, this was a memorable day for all of us, believers and skeptics alike.

We spent the last three days on the Italian Riviera, staying in Santa Margherita. Most of us followed Vin’s suggestion to make the one-hour train trip to see the five ancient towns that comprise the Cinque Terre. We managed to conquer three of the four paths between the towns one day, returning later to spend more time in these lovely towns.

We also enjoyed searching the many restaurants, nautical-themed shops, fish markets and boutiques of beautiful Santa Margherita and the nearby upscale Portofino.


Lakeland, FL