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Customized Tour Benefits

We just finished our first tour that we customized for another business owner for their clients. We partnered with the owner and chef of Aroma Thyme Bistro restaurant in Ellenville, NY and had an amazing experience. We received information about the vineyards and areas that the chef had contacts in and we geared the entire tour around those preferences.

This was truly a unique, once in a lifetime tour. This wasn’t a trip that you could ever find through a standard tour company, simply because they wouldn’t have the personal contacts that our

Pratello Agriturismo

partner did. We were able to visit vineyards that don’t usually do tours and were able to have dinner at a vineyard that usually only hosts large events, like catered weddings.

 

Let me tell you and show you some of the great experiences we had. I should start by pointing out that we traveled off season, which allowed access to some places that would otherwise be booked with large events and other small operations that would not be available to host a small group during their busy production season.

We stayed in an agriturismo property, Pratello, that is not only a working vineyard but also an olive farm and does farm to table meals with the produce grown on property.

This historic villa is located in a small town right near the southern shores of Lake Garda with the Alps clearly in view. The large, simple rooms were very comfortable and Murano glass chandeliers were found throughout the property.

We were able to tour the wine cellar and eat dinner at the restaurant on property, which we had to ourselves. The small town surrounding the property was like a step back in time.

Villa Giona

 

We were also lucky enough to stay in a 16th century villa, complete with statued gardens and surrounded by vineyards, fruit and olive trees. This beautiful property had only our group staying there and we were treated to dinner in the formal dining room.

When we checked in, a staff member had to escort us to our rooms because the manor was a maze of hallways and different wings. It was SO incredible to think that in its 500 years of history, this property only had three families of owners. It had been handed down generation after generation.

These two properties that we stayed in are not the kind of hotels used by large tour groups. They are old and intimate and provide an experience that only customized, small groups can take advantage of.

The Allegrini Fireplaces

Now let’s talk about the wine and vineyard experiences we had! We visited Allegrini vineyard and had lunch at the Villa that the owner of the vineyard recently purchased and is renovating and using as an event site.

It was AMAZING and so unique. We toured the property and got the history of all the unique architecture….ok well the fireplaces really! It was designed around “three levels” of the world….the underworld, purgatory and heaven. We were treated to lunch with a wine pairing of the vineyard’s wines, some of which were over $100 a bottle! It was NOT a typical tasting!

One of the most remarkable experiences we had was having our chef cook dinner for us at one of the vineyards we visited. Chef Marcus is personal friends with the son of the vineyard owner at Tenuta Santa Maria Bertani and was able to arrange our group having dinner in their “antique kitchen”. Of course it was paired with their wines as well, but what made it really special was that we were joined by the family, Giovanni Bertani and his parents who are still part of the winemaking on their property. No other group is going to have this experience without that personal connection, which made the whole trip SO unique!

The Bertani Family with Marcus & Jamie & I

These were just a few of the experiences that we had on our Northern Italy Vineyard Tour. We specialize in these small group, customized itineraries because we want our clients to have extraordinary vacations. We want them to come back raving about the experiences, not just the sites, the food and the wine. It’s the whole unique package, something large companies just can’t do because they don’t have the same personal connections that we have with our suppliers in the destinations and our partners, like Chef Marcus, have in their industry.

We have plans to partner with other business owners and groups to provide more unique tours. Trips that will appeal to different interests including food, wine, opera and art are already in the works, so stay tuned for more 2018 tours coming soon!