Posts Tagged ‘culinary travel’

4-Star Villa le Barone, Chianti, Italy, Features Wine-Tasting & Cooking Lessons

July 31, 2014
The charming 28-room hotel Villa le Barone is set amongst the timeless landscape of Chianti, and has been in the famous Della Robbia family since the 16th century.

The charming 28-room hotel Villa le Barone is set amongst the timeless landscape of Chianti, and has been in the famous Della Robbia family since the 16th century.

Villa le Barone, the four-star luxury hotel in Panzano, Chianti, in the heart of Italy’s scenic region of Tuscany, offers guests the chance to enjoy a day of wine tasting and cooking lessons while vacationing in one of the most glorious and scenic regions of Tuscany.

What better place to enjoy a Chianti wine than in Italy’s own Chianti Region? Villa le Barone offers a memorable “Gastronomia Toscana” (Enjoy Wines and Tuscan Gastronomy) package which includes a welcome bottle of Prosecco and fresh flowers in the guestroom, an itinerary with or without a driver to explore the Chianti region, a large buffet breakfast, Tuscan dinner and a complimentary bottle of Chianti Classico or a free bottle of local grown extra virgin olive oil (agroqualità) as well as an option to take a local cooking class.

“When Villa le Barone was a farm at the beginning of the 20th century, it produced Vin Santo, and the grapes were hung in what is now the Garden House,” explains Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, proprietor and descendent of the generation of family who have owned the historic hotel since the 1600s. “The traditional dessert wine possesses a beautiful amber color and touched with a lovely smell of dried fruit, apricot, honey and acacia flowers.”

“A good meal in Tuscany concludes with Vin Santo (Holy Wine) and Cantucci (sweet almond cookies) and is quite a treat,” adds Corso Aloisi de Larderel, co-proprietor of the 28-room historic villa. “Dinner under the chandeliers of our restaurant or on the terrace of our hotel is the right time to dip the cantucci into the Vin Santo in the Tuscan tradition.”

Set in the heart of Tuscany, between the historic cities of Siena and Florence, Chianti is noted for its wine, food, landscape, culture, and its inspiration for poets and painters, with its rolling hills of vineyards, olive trees, woods, farmhouses, and castles. Individual churches are surrounded by dark cypresses and impressive monuments throughout the quaint villages of the area.

From July 15- August 31, 2014 and October 1 – October 13, 2014, the Villa le Barone’s Gastronomy di Tuscany (Enjoy Wines and Tuscan Gastronomy package) ranges from €960 (approximately $US 1,305/$CA 1,340) for a classic room to €1160 (approximately $US 1,580/$CA 1,680) for a Historic Room or Junior Suite, for two people for three nights.

From September 1-30, 2014, prices range from €1000 (approximately $1,360) for a classic room, to €1210 (approximately $1,645) for a historic room or junior suite for two persons for three nights.

The cooking course is an additional €100 Euros (approximately $136) and includes two hours with a Tuscan cook, a souvenir apron and the meal that you have actually prepared to enjoy. Car and driver for a day trip through Chianti is an additional €380 (approximately $517).

Rich History

Villa Le Barone was built as a tower in the middle ages and was the seat of a Baronetcy, hence the name “Le Barone.” During the Renaissance, the tower was torn down and converted to a Villa, surrounded by its agricultural estate, where the renowned Della Robbia family spent summers.

After the World War I, Marchesa Maria Bianca Viviani Della Robbia managed Villa le Barone as a wine and olive oil estate. Maria Bianca was the granddaughter of François de Larderel, a French 18th century industrialist, who discovered and developed the use of geothermal energy in Tuscany.

Marie Bianca’s daughter, Duchess Franca Visconti, converted the Villa into a charming boutique hotel, keeping the refined and elegant atmosphere of a private house, while offering all the contemporary comforts and amenities.  Villa le Barone is now the property of Duchess Franca Visconti’s heirs, whom you will meet when you stay at Villa le Barone.

The charming 28-room hotel Villa le Barone is set amongst the timeless landscape of Chianti, and has been in the famous Della Robbia family since the 16th century. The swimming pool, tennis court, fitness trail, fitness room and terraces are set amongst large rose gardens, with views over the surrounding countryside, olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti Classico. In the old winery, the restaurant serves traditional Tuscan food and of course, the world-renowned local Chianti wines.

For more information about the “Gastronomia Toscana” (Enjoy Wines and Tuscan Gastronomy package) or to simply learn more about the local wines in the area, to book a reservation, or to learn more about the variety of recreational activities one can enjoy at Villa le Barone, visit www.villalebarone.com.

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CellarPass Offers New Online Search for Tasting Room, Food and Wine Events, Reservation and Ticketing Service

June 19, 2014

You know “you have arrived” when you show up at a trendy winery or artisanal distillery tasting room and your name is listed on the plaque out front.

That’s the “cherry on top” of a great vacation, and it’s one of the fringe benefits of an innovative web-and app-based service called CellarPass, the first online tasting room and food and wine events search, reservation and ticketing service.

Visitors need never again be turned away or forced to wait to taste at the most in-demand wineries, breweries and distilleries. The CellarPass service allows users to book their own experiences when it suits them, right from a computer, tablet or Smartphone in advance or even on-the-go. CellarPass member destinations greet their reservation guests in their own special way, too: some offer a special bottling with a tasting flight, add chocolates to a tasting, or announce their visit on a plaque out front. CellarPass gives visitors an instant “in,” and they love it.

The best part – the service is free to travelers.

How CellarPass works: With just a few simple clicks or swipes of a finger, wine, beer and spirits lovers can search the venues they want to visit, consult actual visitor reviews, reserve tasting and tour times, map locations, and even navigate directly to the destination with turn-by-turn directions delivered right to their devices. More of a last minute planner? With CellarPass’ “Nearby” function, iPhone and iPad users can view offerings within a specified distance from their exact location and book on the go.

With the recent launch of CellarPass’ ticket service, users also have access to a menu of special tastings, pairing dinners and other exclusive wine country events – all in one place.

CellarPass helps make a dream food and wine vacation hassle-free. Check it out at www.cellarpass.com.

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Savory Affair Introduces Behind-the-Scenes Food-Wine Tours of Napa Valley and Tuscany

February 14, 2014

The Savory Affair, a New England-based boutique event planning and design firm, is offering two extraordinary food and wine travel experiences for 2014. Combining the service of The Savory Affair with the vineyard connections and wine knowledge of sister-company, The Savory Grape, each trip offers a personalized, behind-the-scenes look at the epicurean worlds of Napa Valley, California and the Tuscany region of Italy.

The Napa Valley trip is August 1 – 6, 2014, a perfect time of year to escape the heat of the East Coast and enjoy the comfortable temperatures of Northern California. In order to provide a more tailored, individualized experience, this trip will host only 10 guests and be personally guided by The Savory Affair and The Savory Grape proprietor, Jessica Granatiero.

“This will be an amazing opportunity to go behind the scenes to meet the families and vintners, while learning more about the intricate process of winemaking,” stated Granatiero.   “From the accommodations to the daily itineraries, we have designed a first-class experience and will show you Napa in a way few experience.”

Accommodations will be provided by Andaz, a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Napa and walking distance to many great shopping and restaurants.

The Napa trip includes:

  • 5 night, 6-day stay in the Andaz Napa
  • Breakfast daily in the Andaz Farmer’s Table Restaurant
  • Lunch daily, except travel days
  • 2 organized group dinners-welcome dinner at Carpe Diem and closing dinner at the home of Rob & Kat MacDonald
  • Hands-on, interactive pesto-making demonstration and class with wine, at the Culinary Institute of America
  • Insider visits, tours and tastings at six different vineyards
  • Transport to and from all vineyard activities and dinner

Then in October, Granatiero is partnering with Chef Kaitlyn Roberts, founder & owner of Easy Entertaining Inc. for Savorying Italy tour of Tuscany that promises to be an insider’s guide to the best vineyards and dining in Italy.  Guests will experience an epicurean education with cooking classes and wine tours lead by Chef Roberts and Granatiero.

The six night, six-city tour will start on October 5, 2014, with guests arriving at the Villa Daniella Grossi, a restored 17th century luxury villa located in the hills of Lucca, on the morning of October 6. The trip includes an elaborate breakfast each morning prepared by Chef Roberts, followed by a tour and tasting at top Tuscan vineyard lead by Granatiero. Each afternoon, guests will return to Villa Daniella Grossito enjoy hands-on cooking and wine pairing lessons from Chef Roberts and Granatiero.  At night, guests will dine on five gourmet dinners, including three at the villa with custom wine pairings, two off-site in the city of Lucca and one in the beautiful city of Florence.

The Savory Affair has been organizing and hosting unique local, national and international travel experiences for two years.

To view a downloadable brochure for either trip, visit www.thesavoryaffair.com/vineyards.

To book, contact Ann Petronio, at Annie’s Escapes Custom Travel Planning at 401-270-4834.

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Sugartooth Tours Offers Special Valentine’s Day Programs in February Made Sweeter Still for Donation to Local Charity

February 4, 2014

What could be sweeter than spending the day with your Valentine and tasting a variety of New York City’s finest decadent treats? And how about giving back to a great cause? Do both this February with Sugartooth Tours’ Valentine’s Day tour. This annual seasonal tour features a plethora of tasty treats, as well as an equally sweet donation to House of the Roses, a local non-profit that offers homeless and at-risk children free weekly on-site dance workshops at partner outreach facilities, such as homeless shelters and community centers throughout New York City, as well as performance opportunities at outside locations. For each tour ticket sold in the month of February, $1 will be donated to the charity.

“We’re very excited to include a charity contribution with the Valentine’s Day Tour,” said Allyson Tolbert, co-founder of Sugartooth Tours. “February and Valentine’s Day is all about showing love, so this is the perfect opportunity to tie-in a charity aspect for House of the Roses, which makes a significant contribution to local youth. Also, myself and Sarah are both trained actresses and dancers, so this non-profit hits close to home.”

Featured on this year’s tour are six tastings, including chocolate truffles, hot chocolate, cupcakes, cookies and more. Also included is the option to add a wine/beer paring at the tour’s final destination to allow for more one-on-one time with a special someone.

The tour, which starts in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood, lasts approximately 2- 2 ½ hours and covers 1.5 miles of walking with stops along the way. Guests walk down the High Line, and end in the West Village. In addition to scrumptious sweets, guests will also learn culinary and cultural history at each stop, and a few tidbits and facts about Valentine’s Day and it’s history.

To keep it fresh, Sugartooth Tours has changed the route completely from last year’s Valentine’s Day tour to keep the selections, and the experience new. Last year’s tour featured the company’s Hell’s Kitchen route, and this year is an entirely new neighborhood!

“At Sugartooth Tours our goal is to create experiences that allow customers to come back for more than just one tour. We frequently change up our tours to feature new neighborhoods and desserts. This keeps the experience fresh and evolving,” said Sarah Rolleston, co-owner of Sugartooth Tours. “Plus, with New York being so large, there are always hidden gems that we discover when researching for our tours.”

This year’s Valentine’s Day tours are scheduled for February 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th. Tours run at 5:30pm. Tickets are $50 without the pairing, or $70 with the pairing and can be purchased by visiting www.sugartoothtours.com.

Sugartooth Tours specializes in dessert tasting food tours in New York City. A perfect excursion for all ages, and for locals and visitors to the Big Apple alike! The company’s tours are small in size with no more than 16 people per group for an intimate experience. Sugartooth Tours are dedicated to appealing to the sweet tooth in everyone, providing high quality tastings, superior customer service, and friendly and informed licensed tour guides.

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Gift of Travel: Food & Wine Trails Offers ’12 Trips of Christmas’

December 18, 2013

Looking for the ultimate holiday gift for the food & wine lover who has everything? Food & Wine Trails, a 29 year-old culinary travel company based in Sonoma County, is offering 12 food and wine focused vacations as gift-giving ideas. Each of the “Twelve Trips of Christmas” include culinary activities or extra amenities, such as a free wine tour, cash to spend on culinary shore tours, a private car and driver shore excursion, or even a free hotel night.

“Culinary travel is more than just eating and drinking on vacation. It’s about immersing yourself in the culture, cuisine, and traditions of a particular region,” says Food & Wine Trails President Larry Martin, “Each experience is unique: you could take a private cooking class with a local chef, dine on food prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, have a guided tour and tasting at the region’s best wine estates…the possibilities are endless.”

Food & Wine Trails “Twelve Trips of Christmas” list features both cruise and land tours all over the world. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a sophisticated home chef or wine collector, we have a vacation that any food and wine lover would love.” promises Martin.

#1 Trip 12-Night New Zealand wine cruise hosted by three top Oregon wineries with airfare, complementary gratuities and a $100 shipboard credit.
#2 Trip 7-Night cruise on Portugal’s Douro River with a $400 shipboard credit.
#3 Trip 9-Night “Flavors of Italy” land tour with first class hotel accommodations.
#4 Trip 14-Night Trans-Atlantic “Golf, Wine & Food” theme cruise from London to Boston with $500 shore excursion credit .
#5 Trip 10-Night F&WT’s President’s cruise with winery host Rochioli Vineyards with up to $440 in free benefits.
#6 Trip 5-Night biking tour through Northern California wine country on custom titanium bikes.
#7 Trip 8-Night Southern Spain cruise with daily wine tastings and two free wine tours.
#8 Trip 6-Night land tour discovering the delicacies of the Spanish region of Andalusia that includes wine with meals and a hands-on cooking class.
#9 Trip 7-Night Bordeaux wine cruise hosted by a Napa Valley’s Conn Valley Vineyards with up to $308 in free benefits.
#10 Trip Travel package to 2014 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival with free hotel nights.
#11 Trip 11-Night South African Winelands tour with special visits to former homes of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.
#12 Trip 10-Night “Pearls of China” wine themed cruise with free private car and driver shore tour.

For more information about F&WT’s “Twelve Trips of Christmas,” call 800-367-5348 or visit http://www.foodandwinetrails.com. Please note some offers are time sensitive.

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Handpicked Adventures Tour Company Offers Artisan Cuisine and Culture Trip to Piedmont, Italy

July 19, 2013

Handpicked Adventures, a San Francisco, California-based, artisan food-focused travel company, is offering a one-of-a-kind trip to Piedmont, Italy, September 18 – 25, 2013. Anchored by the popular Bra Slow Food Cheese Festival, the Piemonte and the Bra Slow Food Cheese Festival trip promises an intimate immersion into the region’s unique culture via the food, drink and artisans that define it.

The agricultural tour offers travelers the rare opportunity to sample and taste the area’s wealth of foods while interacting with the farmers and artisans who lovingly produced them. Trip highlights include:

  • Visiting with chocolatiers in their Torino-based salons – yes, there will be ample tastings;
  • Tasting vast arrays of handcrafted cheeses at the festival, which brings together hundreds of Italian and foreign cheese producers;
  • Lodging and dining on a working farm and vineyard in Sinio;
  • Participating in a hands-on cooking class with a classically trained chef – in his own restaurant; and
  • Sipping and savoring at exclusive meetings with winemakers.

Handpicked Adventures’ trip also includes a farm dinner at a local truffle ground, a visit to a snail farm in Cherasco, an Italian brewpub tasting – yes, there’s beer in those hills, too – and a daytrip to the base of the Italian Alps to visit a working dairy farm where the famous Castelmagno cheese is made (FYI: Castelmagno dates back to the 12th century).

For Handpicked Adventures co-founder Heather England, a food-centric tour is the perfect way to learn about a new place. “So often people head to a new destination with an itinerary packed with landmarks and historic sites,” she says. “We approach travel a bit differently at Handpicked Adventures. We believe that the best way to experience a culture is to slow down, savor local foods and engage in worthy conversations.”

Her business partner, Terry Cosola-August agrees. “The history of a place really comes alive when you start talking with the people who have worked on or drawn from the land for generations. Getting up close and personal with regional foods and local cuisine is truly the best way to experience another culture.”

Cost is $2,500 U.S., double occupancy (excluding airfare), if deposit is received by July 31, 2013. After July 31, the cost is $2,750 U.S. (excluding airfare). Package includes all lodging, private motor coach transport, activities translated in English by a multilingual guide, seven breakfasts, festival entry, all group events listed above, plus one additional group dinner. All group dinners include wine and gratuity. The trip is limited to 12 participants. For more information, visit www.handpickedadventures.com.

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Sample Caribbean Cuisine, Win Prizes at ‘Taste of the Islands’ Festival, June 29 at Hyatt Regency, Miami

June 25, 2013

Experience Caribbean cuisine and culture at the Taste of the Islands festival, presented by Ask Me, Inc., taking place Saturday, June 29 from 6 – 9 pm at the Hyatt Regency, Miami. Gather information about your favorite Caribbean destinations, sample gourmet appetizers, desserts and signature cocktails, and listen to authentic Caribbean music. Participants at the festival have the opportunity to win prizes including a three-night all-inclusive stay at the Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in St. Lucia.

Presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Taste of the Islands is part of the Taste of the Caribbean competition between chefs and bartenders from the region with teams from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Taste of the Islands highlights the street foods that are common throughout the region. Each competing team is given a “protein mystery basket” with a large selection of ingredients in a common pantry. From these ingredients the teams create two savory dishes, one dessert item and one rum-based cocktail. The event is scored by the judges and counts for 20 percent of the team score in determining the medals for the “Caribbean Team of the Year” recognition.

During Taste of the Islands, consumers can vote in the “People’s Choice” awards to select their favorite culinary creations from participating teams. Consumers who vote in the “People’s Choice” awards will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a three-night all-inclusive stay at the Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in St. Lucia, provided by Ask Me, Inc. as well as a double magnum of Henkell Dry, courtesy of Henkell & Co.

In addition to the 10 competing teams, tourist boards from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be exhibiting in the pavilion with vacation information about their respective countries. Event-goers will be treated to authentic Caribbean music that will be played throughout the festival. Rums of Puerto Rico will have a sampling bar for event-goers to try the different brands that comprise the Rums of Puerto Rico. Award-winning, nationally recognized Chef Allen Susser, who is also the author of The Great Mango Book, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

Additional hotel stays will be given away throughout the night courtesy of Media Blast.

Tickets for Taste of the Islands are US$30 per person and can be purchased via www.chtatasteofthecaribbean.com, email events@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com or call (305) 443-3040 ext. 110.

You can also participate in a series of seminars on June 29, 2 – 6 pm to hone your at-home culinary skills including:

Mango Session:Presented from 2 – 3 pm by Chef Susser who will provide insight on cooking with mango, one of the Caribbean’s top fruits, which he has used in developing a tropical cuisine that led to the created of new world cuisine more than 30 years ago.

Preparing Classical Cocktails At Home – A “Hands-On” Seminar: During this seminar, participants will learn the use of professional bartender tools and how to prepare the most famous classical cocktails from Mojitos and Brazilian Caipirinhas, to the Cosmopolitan and the WW I Sidecar. Presented by Trinidadian cocktail master and 2005 Caribbean Bartender of the Year, Raakesh Madoo, this seminar will be a “hands-on” so registrants should come ready to shake, stir and strain their own cocktail creations. The session is scheduled 3:15 – 4:15 pm on June 29.

Rums of Puerto Rico Seminar: During this seminar participants will become true rum connoisseurs as they learn about the different types of rum that comprise the Rums of Puerto Rico brand. Representatives from the Rums of Puerto Rico will provide an insider look into rum’s history, rum making process, varieties of rum including light, dark, flavored and gold, and cocktails that are made with rum. The session will be held from 4:30 – 5:30 pm on June 29.

Other programs include the Junior Chef of the Year (from 8 am – 12 pm), Pastry Chef of the Year (8 am – 12 pm), Bartender of the Year – Rum (10:30 am – 1 pm) and the Ice Carving competitions (4:30 – 5:30 pm) on June 29.

Tickets for Saturday’s combined morning and daytime program, including the seminars, are US$35 per person. Purchase tickets for all of Saturday’s events, including Taste of the Islands, for $65 per person.

Follow Facebook.com/CHTATasteoftheCaribbean and Twitter.com/CHTATasteCarib.

For more information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com. Follow CHTA on Facebook Facebook.com/CaribbeanHotelandTourismAssociation and Twitter Twitter.com/CHTAFeeds.

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‘Taste of Caribbean’ Culinary Competition & Festival Set for Miami, June 26-30; Air, Hotel Deals Available

June 7, 2013

Caribbean culture will be on display at the annual Taste of the Caribbean where chefs and bartenders from the region take center stage to compete for the Caribbean’s top culinary honors. Presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) from June 26-30, the event will host a gathering of culinary enthusiasts and experts at the Hyatt Regency, Miami.

“The Caribbean is united in the promotion of the region’s indigenous flavours and products. From the world’s best spices to the best coffee, rums, beers and tropical fruits, our national cuisines are an important part of our destination marketing,” said Josef Forstmayr, chairman of CHTA and chairman of Taste of the Caribbean. “Our distinct cuisines are part of our national identities and Taste of the Caribbean showcases our region in a very powerful way,” Forstmayr added.

There are currently nine Caribbean culinary teams registered for the event including Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each participating team represents a Caribbean country that has held individual competitions to select their national team, comprised of two senior chefs, one junior chef, one bartender, one pastry chef and one manager. The participating team members represent hotels, restaurants or educational institutions in the Caribbean which are members of CHTA.

The teams are vying for top honors including Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year, Caribbean Chef of the Year, Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year, Caribbean Bartender of the Year and Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.

This annual Caribbean food and beverage event is designed for culinary professionals to network, polish professional skills and cheer on colleagues in competition. Taste of the Caribbean also provides education through seminars, workshops, tastings and demonstrations, created to enhance performance, style and profitability in food and beverage operations.

This year’s program includes an enhanced “Taste of the Islands” festival for consumers on Saturday, June 29 from 6 – 9 pm featuring a pavilion of tourist boards where consumers can experience Caribbean culture through a variety of gourmet appetizers and desserts, sample signature cocktails, listen to authentic Caribbean music and gather information about exhibiting Caribbean countries. The Taste of the Islands highlights the street foods that are common throughout the region.

“Consumers participating in Taste of the Caribbean will be treated to a world-class experience as they sample the unique cuisines and beverages of our region,” said Richard J. Doumeng, president of CHTA. “The participating teams have worked hard to hone their skills and are culinary ambassadors for their countries as well as the Caribbean region,” Doumeng added.

Taste of the Caribbean also includes an International Caribbean Culinary Team Competition Lunch and Dinner which features a three-course meal prepared by the competing teams. Each team in the competition meals are given a “mystery basket” of ingredients (the provisions for the competition consisting of a meat, fish, poultry or game) which they must use to develop a three-course menu. The chefs have one hour to create and submit the menu and three hours to prepare and serve an appetizer, entrée and dessert for attendees at the luncheon or dinner.

Registration

Registration for Taste of the Caribbean is open and can be accessed via: http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/events-taste/event-taste-about.php. The full event fee for hoteliers, government entities and food and beverage professionals is US$175 per person (CHTA members) and US$225 for non-members. Students with proper ID are charged US$75 per person. Prices for the competition events are US$30 for Taste of the Islands and US$50 each for the Competition Lunch and Competition Dinner. CHTA is also offering two package options for the competition events: US$85 per person for the Competition Lunch and Competition Dinner or US$110 per person for the Competition Lunch, Competition Dinner and Taste of the Islands festival.

Trade Show

Taste of the Caribbean also features a unique trade show for event participants which provides a one-stop forum for gathering practical information, sampling, purchasing, strengthening supplier relationships and meeting new vendors.

Exhibitors will be able to promote their products and services to delegates by purchasing a tabletop display at Taste of the Caribbean. Tabletop display registration with one delegate is $750 plus $175 for each additional delegate.

Hotel and Airline Discounts

Registrants can take advantage of discounted hotel rates available at the Hyatt Regency, Miami starting at US$139 per night, plus tax and service charges, based on single or double occupancy. The group rate is available until June 3 and can be made via resweb.passkey.com

CHTA has partnered with American Airlines to provide event attendees with a 10% discount for travel to Miami between June 12 – July 3, 2013. Reservations can be made via aa.com or 1-800-433-1790 using promotional code 7263BX.

For more information about Taste of the Caribbean visit http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/events-taste/event-taste-about.php or contact CHTA at (305) 443-3040. Follow Facebook.com/CHTATasteoftheCaribbean and Twitter.com/CHTATasteCarib.

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Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Winery to Host 4th Annual FOOD & WINE Voyage Aboard Oceania’s Riviera

January 24, 2013

Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, one of Italy’s most lauded wineries, will be the winery host on FOOD & WINE Magazine’s fourth-annual Wine Voyage. This seven-day cruise will be on Oceania Cruises’ newest cruise ship Riviera, which leaves from Monte Carlo on October 11, 2013 and arrives into Civitavecchia, the port of Rome on October 18.

The Riviera is a mid-sized cruise ship specifically designed for the food and wine lover, with Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pepin overseeing seven no-extra-charge restaurants, the cruise industry’s first restaurant collaboration with Wine Spectator magazine and the first at-sea hands-on cooking classroom.

Onboard will be Leonardi Raspini, Ornellaia’s general manager, who along with FOOD & WINE’s long-time wine expert Anthony Giglio, will preside over a series of private events that include a vertical tasting of multiple Ornellaia vintages and a five course gourmet, wine-paired dinner.

As Ornellaia is one of Italy’s highest-rated and most expensive wines, the cruise affords a rare opportunity to cruise the French and Italian Riviera in luxury, while tasting multiple vintages back-to-back and mingling with fellow wine enthusiasts and top wine experts.

Ornellaia’s hospitality will also be extended when the ship visits Livorno, the port of call for Tuscany. Here, the estate normally closed to the public, will open for an optional and opulent private group luncheon and tour.

The Fourth FOOD & WINE Wine Voyage includes other opportunities for the food and wine lover to experience the culinary terroir of the regions they visit. From the French port of Marseille, an optional tour of Chateauneuf-du-Pape is offered, with a wine-paired luncheon cooked by a Michelin-starred chef and a private tasting Domaine de la Janasse, another highly rated winery. In Sorrento, the group has the option of visiting the Stabiae Villas, thought to be the home of the regions governor which, like Pompeii, was buried by Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. Following a tour led by a local archeologist, the group drives up the volcano’s slopes for a private tasting and lunch at Azienda Sorrentino Winery, featuring varieties of grapes and wines not found anywhere else in the world.

Rates of the Fourth FOOD & WINE Wine Voyage begins at $2,624 per person double occupancy and includes Oceania Cruises’ free airfare* from 26 major US airports. All bookings are to be made through Food & Wine Trails, one of the nation’s oldest and largest wine-travel companies. Bookings made before March 31, 2013, will receive a complimentary $100 shipboard credit and prepaid gratuities.

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Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine Adds Six-Night Culinary Ski Vacation in Dolomites for March

November 23, 2012

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine has added a second six-night ski and snowboarding experience to its 2013 line-up of active culinary vacations in the Dolomites region of Northwestern Italy.

Offered March 10-16 and March 17-23, 2013 and priced $3995 per person, based on double occupancy, the programs invite winter sports enthusiasts to explore the snow-capped Alto Adige region of Italy, where they can ski and snowboard the majestic Dolomites and immerse themselves in the rich Austro-Hungarian history, cuisine and culture of Sudtirol. The small-group tours are led by ski and snowboard instructor and mountain guide Vernon McClure, and PSIA-certified ski instructor, cooking instructor and chef Kathy Bechtel. Together, they offer two decades of experience in the region. www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com/index.php/bike-tours-italy-ski-holidays-italy/ski-holidays-italy-ski-trips

Trips include accommodations, guided ski tours, meals, daily wine tastings and activities; equipment rental and air are additional. Daily routes include shorter trails and groomed terrain for novice and intermediate athletes as well as off-piste explorations for the advanced skier, allowing groups of mixed interests and abilities to enjoy the region’s offerings. At the end of each day, Chef Bechtel introduces participants to locally produced wines from the regions of Trentino and Alto Adige including Schiava, Lagrein, and Vino Santo. Dinners are enjoyed in charming osterias and more refined ristorantes.

Additionally, tours of five days or longer can be customized for groups of four or more. Set at a variety of price points, these private tours includes daily wine tastings and activities tailored to all ski levels, and offer bespoke alternatives for families, groups of friends and ski clubs.

For all programs, Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine crafts a custom itinerary providing a balance of activity, rest and relaxation. A maximum of 12 persons per group allows daily itinerary refinement, based on participants’ interests, pacing, and real-time “finds.” In any given tour, novice or intermediate skiers can enjoy daily lessons while expert skiers can enjoy steeper slopes and ungroomed terrain. Other outdoor activities can include snowboarding, cross-country skiing, winter hiking, or snowshoeing. For those interested in non-slope activities, day excursions to Verona, Innsbruck and other cities can be arranged for shopping, museum visits, guided walking tours and other cultural activities.

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine is an owner-operated private guide service, creating and guiding active culinary tours in Northeastern Italy. Unique in their ability to combine active biking, skiing and hiking adventures with world-class culinary programs, Italiaoutdoors customizes vacations for groups of 4 to 12 people. Italiaoutdoors has more than 15 years of recreational programming experience in the region, plus formal culinary and wine training. Programs also include cooking classes, wine tastings, and restaurant dining which explore the best in local regional cuisine and undiscovered wines. Itineraries are rounded out with city visits, shopping, cultural excursions or just relaxing. The owners — experts in fitness, food, and the region — personally lead each tour.

For more information or to receive Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine newsletter, recipes and wine information, visit www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com or Chef Bechtel’s blog at www.chefbikeski.com. 1-978-270-5774. Twitter: @italiaoutdoors Facebook: www.facebook.com/foodandwineitaliaoutdoors. Discounts are available for ski clubs and other groups.