Wednesday, February 1, 2012

World's first complimentary Sommelier, Car and Driver

The epicurean travel company, FOOD & WINE TRAILS of Sonoma County, California, announces the world's first Sommelier, Car & Driver program for the cruise industry. To launch this new land program, Food & Wine Trails is offering it complimentary onboard select Silversea Cruises' 2012 Mediterranean sailings.

What makes the Sommelier, Car & Driver program so unique is having one's own sommelier as a private guide for half a day touring the region's premier wineries. The sommelier will provide the wine lover with unparalleled insight and access to top wineries near the cruise-ports of Livorno, Marseille and Barcelona.

"Many cruise programs offer a free car-and-driver incentive" says Food & Wine Trails' President Larry Martin. "But wine-lovers are left on their own to find and gain access to the best wine estates. We're able to offer this completely new, complimentary benefit to food and wine lovers due to our years of experience in arranging sommelier-led wine-tours around the world, and because of our long relationship with Silversea."

Martin points out that Silversea's reputation for fine cuisine attracts the kind of traveler who wants to learn about a region's food and wine. But not every cruiser wants to join a group, which up to now, was the only convenient way to arrange a wine tour. "We are taking individual travelers to the wine-regions of Bolgheri, Bandol and Penedes, not only because they can be toured in a half-day, but because they're producing some of the most exciting wines in the world."

Bolgheri is a medieval village near the port of Livorno, Italy, and the home of the Super Tuscan wine appellation. Here Food & Wine Trails' guests can visit such well-known wineries as Michele Satta, Fornacelle, or Ca Marcanda, Angelo Gajas latest venture.

Near Marseille is the beautiful region of Bandol, one of the most prominent wine regions of the Cotes de Provence. One of the wineries that put Bandol on the map is Domain Tempier, made famous by the best-selling cookbook Lulu's Provencal Table. Guests here can visit Lulu's winery, and if they're lucky, enjoy some of Lulu's homemade cookies with their wine.

Barcelona is one of Europe's most exciting cities, and the Penedes wine region is only a half hour drive past the city outskirts. Penedes is normally associated with Spanish Cava sparkling wines but the region is now gaining fame for producing quality red wines as well. Penedes wineries that can be visited through the Sommelier, Car & Driver program are Albet i Noia, Miguel Torres, Jean Len and Pars Balt.

The promotion is available exclusively for travelers who book one of fifteen select 2012 Silversea Mediterranean voyages cruise directly with Food & Wine Trails. The Sommelier, Car & Driver guest chooses the day's itinerary depending on preference and availability. Travelers who wish to extend to a full day wine-tour can do that for a fee of approximately 200 euros per person (approximately $300 US).

Silversea cruise prices begin at $2,999 per person double occupancy, for a 10-night cruise departing April 17 going from Barcelona to Rome on the 298-passenger SILVER WIND. The price includes accommodations in a spacious 240 square foot Vista Suite, all meals, entertainment, $1000 onboard spending credit, and the complimentary private Sommelier Car and Driver package. The price does not include any onshore meals or wine-tasting fees (not all wineries charge tasting fees).

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