Archive for the ‘wine tours’ Category

ConsciousWine gives away an all-organic eco-foodie dream trip for two to Oregon Wine Country

March 7, 2012

McMinnville, Oregon – On March 31st, ConsciousWine, America’s greenest online wine shop, will hold a Facebook Livestream drawing to win an eco-foodie’s dream trip for two to Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine region this May. Residents of the continental United States can enter to win for free through March 30th at ConsciousWine.com/contest.

Jeff Weissler, better known to his fans as “The ConsciousWine Guy”, will personally take the lucky winners on guided tastings and tours of some of the top organic and biodynamic wineries, restaurants, and farms in the verdant viticultural region. The trip includes rare opportunities to share one-on-one time with some of the leading winemakers, chefs and farmers at the forefront of Oregon’s emerging eco-culinary scene. Weissler will give winners a first-hand look at on-the-ground practices that set the green food and wine scene apart from its “conventional” counterparts.

Three night stay at the Youngberg Hill Inn

The whirlwind tour, valued at $2,750, includes a 3-night stay in a queen suite at the luxurious Youngberg Hill Inn. Set on a 50-acre hilltop overlooking the estate’s 22-year-old organic vineyard, the inn offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the lush Willamette Valley beyond. Best known for its Pinot Noirs, Youngberg Hill’s operation has been organic since 2003. The family estate is certified sustainable by LIVE and certified Salmon Safe.

Wining and dining the Willamette

In addition to tasting some of the Willamette’s finest green wines, the winners of the ConsciousWine contest will also experience a culinary tour de force of organic Oregon fare.

Day one includes a private, multi-course demonstration dinner prepared by Red Hills Market, using their mobile wood-fired brick oven. The dinner will be paired with Youngberg Hill’s award winning wines made from 100% organically grown grapes.

Day two features a family-style 8-course feast at Thistle paired with wines from the Demeter-certified biodynamic vineyards of Dominio IV. The intimate 20-seat gourmet eatery in McMinnville has earned Chef Eric Bechard and co-owner Emily Howard a well-deserved reputation for working hand-in-hand with local vintners, farmers and fisherman to source the finest, freshest local ingredients available.

Day three finishes out the trip with a 3-course cooking class at the Wine Country Cooking Studio with Chef Wendy Bennett, featuring the biodynamic wines of the eco-conscious Brooks Estate.

Winners will also enjoy tastings and tours at Lūmos Wine Company, Dominio IV, Archery Summit, de Lancellotti Family Vineyards, Briar Rose Creamery and the Oregon Olive Mill and other surprises.

For more information, visit: http://consciouswine.com/contest.

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www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

European Wine and Bike Tours Merge Best of Two Worlds

July 30, 2011

Dual interests of biking and wine tasting come together in Tuscany, Italy. Bike Tours Direct serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Europe has long been a top destination both for travelers interested in its fine wines and for bicyclists wanting to explore countries at a leisurely pace. Increasingly, travelers are merging those two interests thanks to a growing number of wine and bicycle tours. For travelers interested in experiencing the best of European wines and country roads, BikeToursDirect offers several wine and bike tours in some of the top wine-producing regions of the world.

The trips provide special access to some of the best vineyards and wine cellars and most breathtaking cycling landscapes in the world. Offering dozens of wine and bike tours in 2011, BikeToursDirect works with locally-based tour operators who can provide special access to off-the-beaten-(bike)-path vineyards and producers.

“A wine and bike tour offers both the intimacy of a bike trip and the fun of visiting a vineyard or winery,” says Robert Heiss, co-owner of teatrekker.com and a wine and food connoisseur who has participated in several wine and bike tours. “There is nothing like arriving at a vineyard on a bicycle—it makes you feel, just for a moment, as though you might really live in the village down the road and are just stopping by for your regular wine purchase.”

“Another bonus of exploring a region by bicycle: guilt-free dining,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “And nothing goes better with a fine meal than a fine wine!”

With a variety of terrain, food, wine and cycling options, bike tours in Tuscany are a top choice for cycle tourists interested in wine and cuisine. Every tour BikeToursDirect offers in the region spotlights vineyards, wine and food in some way, with several tours that have a more concentrated “wine and bike” focus. Two popular options include the “Tuscany Wine Classic” or “Tuscany’s Crown Jewels” tours, which wind through the enchanting Tuscan landscape, incorporate wine tastings at several vineyards and feature authentic Tuscan food.

“The connection you make with the countryside from the seat of a bicycle can never be replicated in a car,” says Dominick Cerisano, founder of Best Tuscan Tours, LLC and Chief Cycling Officer. “The sights, the smells, the way the Tuscan sun reflects through the vineyards—these are the sensations you can only feel on a bike. Also there are no fines in Italy for cycling after enjoying a few glasses of Chianti. You can’t do that in a car!”

“For cycling wine lovers we provide special access to the best producers both large and small,” says Cerisano. “Our on-staff sommelier can further assist wine connoisseurs with purchasing advice and even assist with expert packaging and shipping right to your home.”

Fine wine is plentiful in France, another top choice, with tours in the Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire Valley and Provence regions that include visits to some of the best-known wine producers in the world. Bike tours in Provence are especially popular because of the unique regional wines, historic medieval architecture and landscape that inspired artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse.

Other popular choices include tours along the Mosel, Rhine and Main River Bike Paths in Germany, which feature vineyards at almost every turn.

Hungary, a country not as well known for its fine wines as other countries—due to lower exports rather than lower quality—features “Wine and Bike in Hungary’s Balaton Uplands,” which includes two or more wine-tastings and vineyard visits every day and unlimited wine with dinner!

To help cycle tourists find wine and bike tours that fit their interests, BikeToursDirect offers a “Wine and Bike” page that spotlights several popular tours. BikeToursDirect also has a TourFinder that provides a detailed search of more than 200 tours offered on its website. With just a few quick clicks, a cycle tourist can create a list of tours based on key parameters (such as a wine and bike focus, country and level of difficulty) to help narrow down the search for the perfect wine and bike vacation.

About BikeToursDirect

BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at www.biketoursdirect.com. Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email: info@biketoursdirect.com.

For more travel features, visit

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin