Boasting an unparalleled collection of indigenous grape varieties and unique terroirs, Italy is never short of a surprise or two. Albana is a pertinent example: the grape is one of the last unsung heroes of Italian white wine. Long ignored by the global wine trade, Albana suffered because it is not found in the country’s […]
Where to stay in La Rioja La Rioja is, without a doubt, Spain’s most evocative and beautiful wine region, sprinkled with medieval villages, world-class wine estates, and some of the best restaurants in the country. This region is an absolute must for wine lovers visiting Spain, and we are delighted to share our selection of […]
In the great pantheon of European wine nations, France stands alone. For centuries, L’Hexagone has pulled off a remarkable feat: viticultural diversity. Unlike Spain, Germany, and Italy, France has maintained a multi-faceted wine portfolio since the beginning, exporting red and white wines to eager clients worldwide. Of course, we do not wish to belittle Spain’s […]
Critics, buyers, and journalists have been scratching their heads over Riesling. It is universally regarded as one of the world’s finest white grapes – the antithesis of Chardonnay in every way imaginable. Unoaked, saline, and aromatically complex, Riesling should be the star of the hospitality sector. Yet consumers remain, at best, largely indifferent to the […]
For centuries, winemakers in Bordeaux have blended Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc to produce whites of impeccable balance and finesse. However, until very recently, it was only the Australians who routinely used Semillon to make great dry wine without a supporting act; the Bordelais have a powerful cultural attachment to blending, partly as an insurance policy […]
Gewürztraminer presents a conundrum. From one perspective, the grape has all the necessary credentials for global fame: one of the world’s most pungent white varieties is both attractively priced and innately food-friendly. Its spicy bouquet, with aromas of rose petal, face cream, lychee, and grapefruit, is instantly recognizable and hard to dislike. Moreover, as Sauvignon […]
The French Basque Country holds many secrets, not least a smattering of indigenous varieties that seldom make international headlines. Chief among these is Courbu, known as Hondarrabi Zuri on the Spanish side of the border. In the verdant hills of Hondarribia and beyond, the grape is used to make Txakoli – this tongue-twister of a […]
You can smell a glass of New World Sauvignon Blanc a mile off: a pungent concoction of tropical fruit, blackcurrant leaf, and freshly cut grass. This modern-day exemplar was established by the grape’s most powerful advocate – New Zealand. The Kiwis took a long-established European wine style and propelled its flavors to another dimension; “it’s […]
Burgundy myopia is a long-established trait amongst the world’s collectors and connoisseurs. Indeed, a wealth of superlative white wine is being made across France today, yet the secondary market has traditionally remained aloof. Just ask fine wine expert Olivier Gasselin, who observes that: “I haven’t seen much evidence of market diversification in recent times. There […]
Pinot Gris has been unfairly typecast as quaffable weekend drinking: bland, inoffensive, and unfailingly polite. Its reputation was made as the second-cheapest option on the wine list – hardly a ringing endorsement. Unfortunately, some blame must be laid at the door of our Italian friends. Pinot Grigio (as it’s known in Italy) is one of […]
Known for a good reason as the King of Cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano is a major protagonist at dinner tables worldwide. Although little has changed since it was first produced over a thousand years ago, its popularity, versatility, and relevance to current-day dinner tables have never been greater. History We owe a lot of thanks to […]
Jancis Robinson MW describes Pinot Blanc as “useful rather than exciting.” This is hardly a controversial view: the grape has never been treated with any particular reverence in the vineyards of western Europe. In Alsace and Trentino Alto-Adige, it was historically cropped at high yields and used to produce a very innocuous, if somewhat bland […]
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Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).