Our Culinary Wine Cruise was a great success and we really enjoyed everyone who joined us for this adventure! We all met up in Barcelona in early September and boarded the Liberty of the Seas for our 7-night Mediterranean cruise.
In Barcelona many came in a few days ahead to enjoy the city. We joined Maureen and Ray and Josie and Ken for a Tapas dinner with probably 15 different dishes plus Sangria!
Our first vineyard tour and tasting of the trip was at Chateau d'Aqueria in Tavel in the Provence region of France.
How often does the vineyard owner pick the warm grapes off the vine, hand them to you for a taste, let you walk the catwalk to peer into the vats of grapes as they are being fermented or watch the bottling and labeling machine in action! What a great experience this was followed by a brief but interesting visit to Avignon, home of the 11th century Pope.
We were on to other ports and had a most memorable visit to the Nozzole Vineyard in Tuscany as we went around and around the Tuscan hills of grapevines to the storage areas, barrel and bottle rooms and then to the villa for our tasting and lunch. This was the highlight of the trip for all!
The Villa was stunning! We were led
to a giant room with a long table covered in delicate linens and lined with wine glasses. We sampled multiple wines and listened intently to the commentary about Nozzole's history and the wine making process.
Then a relaxing walk in the sun around the breathtaking villa with amazing views, dangling our feet in the swimming pool, taking hundreds of pictures of the sunny Tuscan countryside before our lunch.
Lunch was served on the second floor of the villa around yet another expansive table (note the Murano Glass chandelier) overlooking the far hillsides of Tuscan villas and the vineyards in the distance...a gorgeous view. We were served a first-course of delicious meats, fresh tomatoes and crunchy garlic laced Italian bread with the vineyar'ds olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This was followed by a pasta with a rich tomato sauce, then a thinly sliced roast beef with fresh peas and finally a pistachio studded Biscotti that we dipped into a lucious dessert wine. Each course was paired with wine and the history of the wine, the grape varietals etc. were shared with us. This was a spectacular day!
On to other ports we visited including NIce, Rome and Naples. We toured Pompei, visited the Vatican, the Colliseum and the Sistine Chape;, took pictures throwing coins at the Trevi Fountain, shopped in St. Paul Defence and Eze, visited a perfume factory in France, dined al fresco while being serenaded in Sorrento and went to Capri! We even had time to squeeze in a visit to the cameo factory near Naples.
We finished off the trip with a restful sea day aboard the ship. We tried out mini golf, the casino, spa treatments, basking in the sun by the pool and had more wine and tapas in the Vintages wine bar. Our final treat was a private wine tasting aboard the ship before saying good bye over dinner the last evening.
Special thanks to Ken for your wine expertise, arranging our vineyard visits and your stunning command of the French language!
Amazing experiences, wonderful memories, delectable food and wines and most importantly, great friends to share this journey with! We hope you will join us again for our next adventure.
Colby Hill Inn