ROME & TUSCANY 14 NIGHTS
'Hard to forget such a memorable and wonderful time and experiences that began Timingly and continued right through that terrific stay in the suite which secretly looked into the chapel, save for a small piece of fabric! The night before we had saved some of that special Tim gift and enjoyed it as we overlooked the city from our rooftop terrace and then…not actually knowing that the window was part of the church below…we just hope there was not too much blasphemous activity, though Rome is a city that has experienced much over the years!
So here is a bit of a recap/review for you. Since you asked, I may get carried away. Wonderful properties all. Our hotel in Rome was superb in terms of service, style and location. The hotel in Florence was so elegant and not at all snobby. The night we had to cancel dinner, it ended up raining and we had one of the most wonderful romantic dinners on the patio while we dined under the rain. By the way, the mattresses we slept on in both Rome and Florence were probably the best we have every experienced. We have found European mattresses to be so superior to American.
The lodge in Chianti was terrific, in the wonderful suite overlooking the vineyard and the mirrored art installation (the art was almost as good as their wine). The breakfast was crazy wonderful as Paola made us breakfast cakes and tarts and hand squeezed fresh juice with fruit, yogurt and and and…as if she was cooking for a full house of guests as opposed to just us.
Lunches – pretty much big hits every place – especially when they finally got the message that we wanted smaller courses and less meat. We did much better this time trying to figure out how to eat…but have to say the lunches were terrific. A huge standout was Paris Boheme in Lucca. The guy who runs it is certainly is part of the show that features just wonderfully creative and amazing food. Just thinking about it, Suzanne and I could actually just run to the airport now to buy a ticket to Italy and walk to Luca just to taste that ravioli with strawberry champagne cream one more time. La Cantinetta di Rignana was beautiful location and food as was Boccon Divino. The meal with your young sommelier Giulia in Montalcino was great and the wines were superb.
Dinners – La Pergola now joins the list next to Duomo as one of the most superb and sublime food and dining experiences ever. So glad we did that as our dolce at the end of our wonderful journey. Of course, the dinners in Rome with you were super fun, especially the local neighborhood patio and pizzeria. Palagio was good, slightly marred by a distracted staff and room due to a disruptive family. Not sure we would rush back as we would with Pergola and Duomo. Pitti Gola was such a wonderful night. Eduardo was a wonderful host and Shannon stopped by to say hello. Cooking class in Florence was fantastic, it was such an end to end terrific experience. The cooking demonstration was also fun at Brolio as was the tour.
Guides - Kathryn, Cristina and the driver in Rome were wonderful. Sandro is sandrorific.
Wines…we had a few of those I think. Standouts: Guido is the man. Loved him. His story. His rickety fiat. His knowledge of food. His bread. His olives and some amazing wine where the winemaker says he does nothing to it, but let it hang out in the dustiest, gnarliest, spider web covered cellar and let it turn itself into wine. It does that well.
Really like the wines at Casato Prime Donne and of course the story, the man and the wines at Paradiso di Frassina. We very much liked the wines at San Felice and La Serena, of course Castello di Ama. Meeting Assunto himself at Bellaria was a treat as it was to see Gianni, the grandson take on responsibility of family and tradition. Also, I so wanted to applaud the young scion of Castello Tricerchi.
'And by the way; Wherever we went, we heard people whisper - Robertson Wine Tours (of course, with an Italian pronunciation and linguistic flair Robertson sounds almost like a regal passport to adventure as they rolled rrrs and son became SONE) at which point they would look at us with kindness in their eyes and with the most elegant sweeping hand gestures, would start falling all over themselves in graciousness. '
Thanks again for all you and Cris do to make the time and experience so special.
Love and Kisses
WorldTrailBlazer (Tripadvisor) names withheld
Encino, California. USA Oct 2016
15 Days Southern Italy.
Tim & Cristian,
Bruce and I just wanted to thank you for the fabulous trip you put together for us in southern Italy. Having worked with Robertson Wine Tours in South America, and agreeing that it was the best trip we ever took, with Cris' attention to detail and Tim's superb wine knowledge and contacts, we just couldn't wait to travel with you again, and boy, we were not disappointed.
From our initial and continuing contacts, you helped put together a 15 day food and wine experience of Amalfi, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia and Sicily that could not have been more perfect. From our pickup in Rome and delivery to Amalfi through Naples, as well as our 4 day stay and discovery of the beautiful Amalfi Coast with Katharine (who is special in so many ways and made us so comfortable at all times - we hated to leave her in Matera), we knew that we were in for a very special experience. We were excited to finally meet Tim and benefit from his expertise during our discovery of special wineries in Campagnia and Basilicata (staying with Pierluigi and Nerina Zampagagline at Casa Rose Farmhouse in Calitri), and he is a delight to be with and a wealth of knowledge about all things and people wine!
Our trip took us to Matera (where we finally met Cristian and had a fabulous lunch at a private home in Sassi), and Lecce (spending a day picking out food at a local market and preparing a meal with Gianna at the Cooking School of Lecce), before we flew to Sicily and toured 5 small and innovative wineries on Etna - Benanti, Ciro Biondi, Giuseppe Russo, Destro & Wiegner - with Ben (and shout out to Paolo our driver/guide), a wine maker, journalist and sommelier. We fell in love with these wines and the Sicilian people. Staying in Taormina at Villa Schuler, with a great view of the sea and Etna and made to order breakfasts, capped off our continuing pleasures.
No matter how knowledgeable you are about wines, or willing to put in the hours and sweat to put together a trip on your own, you could never get to the places we were shown or have access to the experiences which filled every day of our travels. From the great small hotels/B&Bs we stayed in, to the small winery owners we tasted and dined with, to the great restaurant recommendations (and private home dining experiences) and city/historical site tour guides (in Pompeii, Capri, Alberobello & Ostuni, Matera, Lecce, Siracusa & Piazza Armerina) who opened our eyes to what this area has to offer, steeped with history and amazing architecture and craftsmanship, we could not have been better taken care of. Tim and Cristian continued to check up on our well-being and satisfaction throughout our trip, giving us the comfort and assurance to know that they would take care of anything that arose that may not have been up to par. I can tell you that almost everything was perfect, and we cannot speak highly enough of their attention to detail and caring.
If you love food and great wine, and want the trip of a lifetime, Robertson Wine Tours will deliver. We can't wait to plan another trip with them! Thanks so much guys for taking such good care of us, and for proving to Bruce that southern Italy really does make good wines! Until next time. Ciao!
Margo Newman & Bruce Brymer,
Toronto Canada September 2016
PIEDMONT 9 Nights.
I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful second trip with your company; we hugely enjoyed it, thought the area was beautiful and had unforgettable wine and food experiences. We greatly appreciated the fact that our 20th wedding anniversary was generously marked by several of the vineyard owners and by our fellow wine-lovers ( whose company we greatly enjoyed), making the whole thing very special. Villa Crespi was a lovely experience and the cookery lesson was great. Everyone was very kind and accommodating on the trip Thank you again and best wishes
Sally and John Chawner
Bangor/ London UK. September 2016
VENETO & BOLOGNA
RWT helped us arrange the particular itinerary we requested even though the particular areas we selected are not among the primary wine regions of Italy. The wine-related events RWT planned were enjoyable and informative and helped open new vistas for us. Despite our having to make last-minute changes in plans, each element of our trip was handled precisely and came together seamlessly through the ongoing efforts and exceptional attentiveness of Cristian Brisacani and Tim Robertson. This is our second trip with Robertson Wine Tours and we would definitely recommend RWT to others planning to visit Italy in order to learn more about the country's wines and foods.
'Le Calendre—Without a doubt, this was one of the best and most enjoyable dining experiences we have been fortunate to have over the years. The food and wine were wonderful. The service from the head waiter and sommelier (both of whom were incredibly knowledgeable, charming and approachable) was in a class by itself.
Mr and Mrs Goyne
Dallas, Texas USA. September 2016
PIEDMONT 9 Nights.
I have been on three Robertson Wine tours in the last three years - Puglia, Sicilia, and most recently Piemonte. Each of the experiences has been memorable, and quite different from the others. Tim and Cristian have a knack for locating really down to earth wine makers, who seem to truly enjoy having visitors, and sharing their passion for wine making. I even had dinner with one of the winemakers we met in Sicily when he was visiting Chicago. Ialso appreciate the combination of quality and value in the wineries we have visited, and feel that I have acquired a good deal of new knowledge about the process of winemaking.
But that is just the foundation. We have had consistently excellent meals (some actually quite fantastic) and the accommodations have been very carefully chosen. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to visit historical and cultural attractions, even though this is not the main focus of the trip. We had an extremely knowledgeable guide in Turin, where we visited on of the most amazing museums I have ever encountered.
Probably the most enjoyable difference in this experience, though, has been meeting the wonderful people who have been on these trips. The groups are small and congenial. Everyone shares a significant interest in wine, and many are repeat participants. The chemistry on each of these trips has been very pleasant, and I am looking forward to the Friuli experience in October. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Cristian and Tim do all the work.
K D Flachsbart
Chicago/San Francisco USA. Sept 2016
PIEDMONT 7 Nights
Dear Tim and Cristian: Our recent Piedmont trip, in brief terms, was fantastic. Since we enjoyed our South America trip last fall, we had high expectations for Piedmont, and you delivered. Once again, the choice of hotels was excellent-the Grand Sitea in Torino was charming and in a good location close to the center, while Il Giardino Da Felicin in Montforte d'Alba was quiet and spectacularly situated with great views.The selection of wineries was varied, with each having unique characteristics, histories, settings, and tastings. Our hosts were very knowledgeable and generous. We had a nice representative sampling of the wines of Roero, Barolo, and Barbaresco regions, which provided us with a good understanding of this part of Piedmont. We appreciate the fact that many of these small and family run wineries are actually farms first and wineries second.Our Torino guide Monica was energetic and full of information, and our tour of the Museums with her was definitely worthwhile. Our wine country guide Sandro was special. His depth of understanding of the local wine industry and knowledge of wine in general was enormous. He conveyed an incredible amount of information to us, and he patiently answered our questions. He brings a unique quality to the tour as a sommelier and quality taster, as well as having lived in NYC. The Cooking School and lunch was nice, but we would have preferred to use the time to explore more of Torino and its understated charm. In retrospect, we should have arrived a day or two earlier to discover more of Torino. Likewise, we would have liked to "hang out" longer in delightful Monforte d'Alba-the shops were closed when we returned each afternoon. We feel the pace of the wine tasting was perfect, the restaurant selections were great, and the food was, of course, always fantastic! We will look forward to another Robertson Wine Adventure.
Mille Grazie, and Arrivederci.
Cindy and Jim Schopp
Wacoma, USA. July 2016
PIEDMONT. 29 Passengers
University of the Third Age. Wine Appreciation Group Tour of Piedmont.
A friend and I volunteered to organise a wine tour in Italy for members of our U3A Wine Appreciation Group. We were comfortable we could get our members to and from Italy, and the suggestion was Piemonte. But how to set such a trip up, when neither of us knew the area, or indeed, spoke much Italian?
Robertson Wine Tours were the answer. Having told Tim Robertson what we had in mind, he went away and came back with a two-centre proposal for us which, after discussion, led to a one week tour for 29 of us. Robertson Wine Tours organised it all for us, including airport transfers, and private luxury coach travel between wineries, tourist sights, and our hotels. Our superb guide and sommelier, Sandro, joined us in Turin, for our welcome dinner. The next day's sight-seeing tour, by coach and on foot, brought this beautiful city, which none of us had visited before, to life with his excellent descriptions of its development and place in Italian history. With time to explore ourselves as well, we loved it.
Next day, we moved on to Alba the regional capital of the Langue, and a centre for truffles, wine and food, via the first three of the ten wineries we were to visit, including a memorable lunch with excellent wines at Tenuta Montemagna. In Alba, we were free in the evenings, and on Sunday, to explore the lovely old city, and try out Sandro's top ten favourite restaurants out of the huge choice available. Through the rest of our week we enjoyed more excellent wine and food, with stunningly beautiful views over this Unesco World Heritage area from charming hill top villages including La Morra, Barolo and Barbaresco . The chosen wineries gave us variety in size and operating methods, allowing us to experience the methods and philosophies behind the creation of some excellent wines. The passion displayed by all of the people we met for their wines was impressive, and Sandro's own boundless enthusiasm and depth of knowledge, left us enthralled.
We have been very impressed at the professionalism, knowledge, and interpretation of our requirements shown by Robertson Wine Tours. As a company, they were easy to deal with, and their expertise shone throughout. In particular, we should like to thank Cristian, whose attention to detail has been exemplary, and Sandro who was absolutely superb. His response to various small crises was instant, caring and reassuring, whilst, as indicated above, his ability to explain the history, culture, food and above all, wine, made this tour a huge success.
We have had lots of people, both those who came, and those who have heard about it from those who did come, asking about the next trip, so it must have been good! So thank you Tim, Cristian and Sandro – you did everything we had hoped for! Would we ask Robertson Wine Tours to help us organise another tour, or recommend them? Absolutely!
Cranleigh, Surrey UK. June 2016
When I learned that Roberson's Wine Tours was serving Matera and surrounding region I could hardly wait to jump on the first plane out of California. Having experienced Robertson's careful attention to the desires, needs, and budgets of their clients on wine tours in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Piedmont, Sicily and Sardegna I had no hesitation in turning my itinerary over to them. This is not your mother's wine tour! Nor is it a tour for the faint of palate. State of the art, high-level wine tastings are assembled for the discerning wine lover. Not only in wineries, some tastings are done in fine art galleries surrounded by the best of local art, some on terraces overlooking the sassi of Matera. In addition to wine Matera a world Unesco site, has several must sees. Robertson obliged us by seamlessly weaving those sites into our tour. I can hardly wait to go back for another.
Davis CA. USA. June 2016
SOUTHERN ITALY (Campania, Basliicata, Puglia and Sicily) 10 Nights
Tim it was so good to see you again. Cristian it was very nice to meet you too. I personally was deeply touched by the quality you guys delivered in every way imaginable. I will never consider entering Europe or the World in travel without employing Robertson Wine Tours. Truly amazing trip with a outstanding team. The memories I will never forget! Thank you.
Dr T. Wilkey
Georgia USA June 2016
SOUTHERN ITALY (Campania, Basliicata, Puglia and Sicily) 10 Nights
Dear Tim and RWT Team
We had such a fantastic trip, and I can't thank you and Cristian enough for making it possible. Every aspect of our trip was thoroughly enjoyable. You both gave us so much personal attention in planning the trip we dreamed of taking, and it was better than I ever imagined it could be. We really appreciate the time you spent with us as well. You are one of those people who seems like an old friend after a short acquaintance and that is a real gift. The accommodations, guides, food and WINE'S [ emphasis intentional!] were superb and will be forever remembered. Thank you for pairing us up with Katherine. She was such a pleasure to have with us. Be sure to tell her we said hello and send our thanks for putting up with us! This was somewhat of a first for me, but I don't think I would ever want to do this type of trip any other way in the future. Lindsay really enjoyed the trip, and that means a lot to me.
I am certain we will be requesting your help again, and I hope it won't be long either! In the meantime we will definitely let our friends know what a great service you offer and how to contact you.
Dr J Mcmullen.
Georgia USA. June 2016
I recently returned from a wine tour of Salento with Tim Robertson. I can't recommend his company highly enough. The tour was fun, informative and included plenty of time to take a deep dive into the various wines of the region. I'll definitely contact Tim on my next trip to Italy and I recommend everyone interested in a fantastic winetour do the same.
Florida USA. June 2016
Nearly three years ago, I stumbled upon Robertson Wine Tours on the Internet, and Tim Robertson planned the most amazing honeymoon for us in South America. When my husband asked me to join him on business trip to Venice and told me we would be entertaining two of his clients and their wives, I immediately thought of Robertson Wine Tours. When we contacted to Tim, we were disappointed to hear that many of the local wineries were not possibilities because of a local wine festival. However, the alternative Tim planned for us was amazing, and he did not disappoint. He arranged for 2 local glass artists to take us on a tour of Murano, and they showed us not only a wonderful glass blowing demonstration, but also the most incredible glass museum that was not yet open to the public. They also took us to a really amazing glass bead shop where I picked up a beautiful and unique necklace at a great price.
My husband and I have traveled extensively, and we both can say that this museum was one of the most incredible spaces we have seen. A very old building with incredible glass displays. Following our tour of the museum, the wine tasting began. We had a wonderful local seafood lunch with delicious wine pairings. After lunch we ventured back to Venice, and we enjoyed a tasting at a local bar. Overall, the day was spectacular, and my husband's clients were happy and impressed. If you are looking for a unique experience in Venice and Murano paired with wonderful wine, then this is the tour for you.
Sarah and Jake Porter
Philadelphia USA, March 2016
WINE TASTINGS IN MATERA
I was lucky to assist the Robertson wine tasting on a couple of occasions here in Matera. I must say that Tim swept us off our feet with his amazing knowledge about wines all over the world and fascinating approach to products and the industry. The tasting started off with a small group of strangers in a room, by the end of the evening it seemed like we were old friends.
Truly an experience. Can't wait to do it again!
Matera Italy. Jan 2016
PIEDMONT and TUSCANY 9 NIGHTS
Hello team RWT This was our first tour with Robertson Wine tours and it wont be our last! We've been researching and planning to visit Italy's Piedmont wine country for quite some time and Tim Robertson and his team did not disappoint us. We chose several vineyards we wanted to visit in Piedmont and Tim was able to accommodate a lot of them. Together with a few of the unknown treasures he chose for us in Barolo and Barbaresco it made for a wonderful 3 days of winery tours and tasting. Hotel recommendations were within our budget and the accommodations were wonderful.
Our tour guide Sandro found everything we wanted to see and more. He's from the region and his local knowledge together with his passion for wine made our visits all the more enjoyable. If we wanted to stay a bit longer to talk with the winemakers, or learn a little more about a special wine or vineyard, he was very accommodating. Some of the best times on the tour were spent talking wines with the owners or walking with them in their vineyards. We didn't feel at all rushed and still accomplished everything we set out to do. And we learned a lot. Well done Sandro! Robertson Wine tours put together our tour with the cities we wanted to visit, the wines we wanted to discover, together with some special treasures as well. And a very scenic tour throughout our journey. We were well taken care of and still had a lot of time for ourselves. A wine tour we would repeat again in a minute. All in all we were extremely pleased and will talk to you again about another wine tour maybe in 2017.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Norma Mallory
Toronto Canada Dec 2015
Il nostro hotel a Matera ci ha suggerito di contattare Robertson Wine Tours visto che volevo fare un regalo a mio marito e ho pensato che una interessante degustazione di vini poteva fare al mio caso. Robertson Wine Tours ha organizzato una fantastica degustazione di sei vini provenienti dal Sud Italia con una selezione di affettati di alta qualità e formaggi locali. La degustazione è durata più dei novanti minuti previsti e avremmo potuto trascorrere molto più tempo con loro. Abbiamo comprato alcuni vini da portare a casa ed è stata un'esperienza molto particolare da raccomandare a chiunque. I prezzi erano alti, ma in realtà quando penso a quello che abbiamo imparato, bevuto e mangiato, posso dire di aver speso bene i miei soldi.
Chuisi. SI. Italy Nov 2015
VENETO AND PROSECCO 7 NIGHTS
Thanks again for everything! We just finished our fifth tour with Robertson Wine Tours, and it was as always a complete joy. The professionalism and attention to detail were superb. In this case, we toured some of the finest, small family-run Prosecco houses in the Veneto in Northern Italy. With the current popularity of Prosecco, it was a pleasure to bypass the industrial-scale producers to find these small producers making Proseccos of the highest quality in the traditional way. We can recommend Robertson Wine Tours with the greatest enthusiasm and without reservation.
J Shackelford (UC Davis)
Davis CA USA Nov. 2015
PIEDMONT AND TUSCANY 14 NIGHTS
We needed the perfect combination of relaxing hotels, interesting wine tours, and great recommendations for excellent restaurants and I'm so glad we put ourselves in the hands of Tim and his team. Nothing we asked was too much for them, and we had one of our best holiday experiences enjoying the hospitality and sights of Piedmont and Tuscany as a result. In particular the variety, depth and breadth of the winery visits made sure that we came away with an appreciation of Italian wines that we are seriously enjoying building on back in the UK … not to mention our memories of the incredibly generous vineyard owners and their passion for their craft, and the infinitely knowledgable guides who ferried us everywhere, took us to wonderful eateries, and answered all our amateur questions with enthusiasm and humour! We loved every minute and really hope to be back soon!
Mr. and Mrs. Hayward
East Molesey. Surrey Oct. 2015
SOUTHERN AND NORTHERN ITALY WINE AN FOOD EXPEREINCE 15 NIGHTS
Reflecting on this makes us realize how much we love what we do. 'If I had to describe the experience on our recent Southern and Northern Italian holiday with Robertson Wine Tours in one simple thought it would be - "Every moment was a once in a lifetime experience." And as I read my one sentence, instead of wanting to roll my eyes at the hyperbole, I find myself looking up, recalling and then remembering even more moments that will be with me always. With online travel resources, anyone can book a stay at incredibly scenic and amazing properties. Do enough research and you can find terrific restaurants and make your own reservations. Study for the travel test and you might even find places on earth that even the most seasoned traveller might find novel and wondrous. Wine lovers with enough correspondence might even be able to visit a few interesting wineries. Travel widely and you will surely come across some interesting people who can help you soak up some local culture. But contacting Tim Robertson and Cristian Brisacani of Robertson Wine Tours is not just the beginning of a very special passage to adventure, but in the immoral words of Humphrey Bogart at the end of Casablanca - it is 'the start of a beautiful friendship.' For us, it all started with a test. I know you hate tests. Go ahead, take the test online. Tell Tim what you are looking for in his questionnaire, don't hold back. He asks about your expectations and level of wine interest and knowledge as well as how you prefer to travel. And then the dialogue and fine-tuning begins. Robertson Wine Tours is less a Wine Tour operator than a matchmaker intent on creating your dream date - moment to moment, day after day. We had more than a little bit of back and forth - as I did, in fact , do a lot of research and "studied for the test." Over the course of our correspondence and few phone calls, it was apparent that instead of thinking me a pain in the butt, Tim wanted, needed and really appreciated my interest in the details because Robertson Wine Tours is all about getting them right. Planning the perfect series of days with wines, culture, breaks, sights and FOOD is their number one goal. Its not just you will eat well, it's – well, you will eat like you have never eaten before. Many of our best food adventures were included within the price of the tour and perhaps some the best restaurants we ate in were part of his recommendations (we ate in a virtual galaxy of Michelin star restaurants including 2 that were among the top 50 in the world). Did I mention that this was a wine tour? We wanted to experience the wines of Southern Italy as well as Piedmont and had 15 days to spend. We have visited wineries all over the world. We live in California and are used to tasting in tasting rooms that are mostly about selling wine. We have tasted in Bordeaux at the great grand Chateaus and were duly impressed with the over the top grandeur and even got to meet some folks who were almost involved in making wine. But tasting in Italy (in the South with Tim himself) and in the Piedmont region with one of the most knowledgeable and charming wine guides, Sandro was all about understanding wine at the most personable levels. While we tasted amazing wines, what we really tasted was about history and family - legacy tied to the land and to its future. There was deep insight into what made winemakers want to make wines. We were invited into caves, homes, farms, cantinas (Italian cellars), but most importantly invited into the lives of amazing people who helped us understand their wines and the Italian concept of "familia" in a way that was personal, special and real. We encountered many wine makers who were very concerned that when we wanted to buy some of their wines were worried that we felt pressure because they literally spent hours with us and opened up their private reserves for us to taste – just because they enjoyed the conversation. This happened time and time again. While we could have tasted all of these wines at the various tasting rooms and wine bars throughout this region, due to the deep respect in which these winemakers hold Tim and Sandro, we were invited into conversations filled with Italian to English gestures, revelations and meals that lasted hours and those memories that will never fade. We came away from each of these encounters understanding how the current generation of Italian winemakers are taking what their great grandfathers, grandfathers and fathers did into the modern era. We came away feeling the land, the love and humanity that made our days of tasting more about connections.
We take our vacations to relax and to experience. We have never experienced more – relaxing – well, it was jam packed with attention to detail and we would not have had it any other way. The whole time we were there – in every hotel and every restaurant, we could feel the guiding hands of Tim, Cristian and Sandro to the point when there were a few little this's and that's along the way, something in the background from the 'Robertson home office' set everything not only right, but made us feel like royalty. Robertson Wine Tours were our "handlers" and we felt like rock stars on tour. Now let me say, all of this does not come "cheap," but then again there is something called "worth" and compared to other tours we have taken including cruises and in the style in which we like to travel - there is an amazing value for the services provided. Whether you have done it all before – or are looking to experience food and wine travel for the first time – or you just want a travel experience like no other, there is a test to take…and then there are some friends waiting for you in Italy – to help create many once in a lifetime experiences. Tim, Cristian and Sandro will make it so.'
WorldTrailBlazer (Tripadvisor) names withheld
Encino, California. USA Sept. 2015
SICILY 10 NIGHTS
If you want to visit wineries that are not generally available to the public; if you want to taste a wide variety of representative wines. If you want to eat local outstanding meals; i If you want to stay in top tier lodging;. i If you want a stress less holiday, ROBERTSON WINE TOURS IS FOR YOU. After visiting Chile with RWT, we decided to tour Sicily. As great as Chile was, and it was, with a great guide, personalized wine tasting, good food and warm friendly lodging, Sicily was even better. We cannot say enough about the trip. From the airport meeting to the superb itinerary all went smoothly and seamlessly well. Tim was an exceptional host, with his knowledge of not only wine but the winemakers behind the wine, the restaurateurs and chefs, and locals throughout the trip. and our driver/tour guide, Giorgio, navigated the Sicilian countryside and lent his local expertise to the mix. In addition to great wine and food, as part of our overall program we saw the sites we wanted to see and new things we didn't expect as part of our overall program, with added direction from two local guides. The prime purposes of our the trip were to experience Sicilian wines and food. Both were outstanding and amplified by meeting so many local people that Tim knew.. We have been spoiled and now we must upgrade our wine cellar and create new dinners. Both wine and food will bring back positive memories of Sicily thanks to the RWT crew. We are anxious to schedule another trip with RWT and look forward to working with Tim and Cristian again. We know that even if they are not physically with us on the trip, the people that they know and work with will be knowledgeable, organized and accommodating. You will hear from us again with more Kudos I am sure.
Alvin Frank and Barbara Lippe
Los Angeles USA. Sept 2015
SICILY 9 NIGHTS
We have been fortunate to know Robertson Wine Tours for some time now. My wife works in the wine industry and we have been speaking with them for several years now.. We enjoyed a short but wonderful immersion into the wines of Piedmont a few years back and we wanted something that balanced the wines, with the culture and the foods of another Region of Italy that is unknown to us. Tim, the company's owner seemed to think Sicily was the way we should go as we have 9 nights available. We travelled the island in style, with the emphasis on the wines of Etna which Tim has quite rightly identified as one of the most exciting and unique wine regions of the World. The Wines are unique and if you like Pinot and or Nebbiolo you are in for a real treat. We loved the intimacy with the winemakers, having lunches with the owners and really getting to understand more than just the wines themselves, but the history, where the industry is going. These are not tours for the wine novice; Tim will give you an experience as focused on wine as you want. The hotels (small family owned), expert guides and drivers and transport were all faultless and we felt terrifically looked after and cared for all the way, its apparent Robertson wine tours has deep and trustworthy contacts and providers. The food; well it really is quiet an extraordinary mix of so many influences from all the colonizations that have taken place in Sicily over the millennia. Not only are we foodies but my wife loves to cook and she cooks very well, We asked for some serious cooking experiences, not just the Pasta and Ragu or pizza type things that are just too basic, we also wanted fun and not a didactic experience. The cooking days were one of the best we had ever experienced; The school in the center of the Island at the winery Tasca d'Almerita was just exceptional as was the stay. Our Sicilian tour was one of the best holidays we have ever had and we certainly plan to go back by ourselves now we have the lay of the land, it's a fascinating island. Thank you to robertson wine tours team for your faultless communication and perfectly planned itinerary. We will recommend you to our friends and wish anyone travelling with them a wonderful holiday.
Mr. and Mrs. James Sweeting
Tewkesbury Gloucestershire UK August 2015
TUSCANY AND PIEDMONT
Tim and Cristian organized a fabulous wine tasting experience for us in Italy. We spent 15 days travelling thru Tuscany and Piedmont. Through their incredible connections, we visited small hidden gem wineries and some larger establishments. Our guide Sandro's knowledge of wines is vast as well as his detailed historical facts about regions. We learned a great deal during our time together. Sandro really made this trip a great experience. From our first e-mail inquiring about a wine tasting tour Tim was very responsive and accommodating. His focus was clearly on customizing an incredible trip based on our preferences and budget. We highly recommend Robertson Wine Tours to anyone. The trip is guaranteed to be enjoyable,educating and relaxing.
Robert and Toni van de Wetering
Sherwood Park Alberta, Canada August 2015
Tim, I had a lovely time-- all the regions we saw where just beautiful and Katharine was delightful! I will certainly give out your name to my friends! Mardel
Katharine is great and we loved the new Vineyard you are working with. Mardel even ordered some of the Vecchio nobile. Our train was late and lunch ran long but was excellent... so we didn't cover everything. Turns out Katherine and I have a wonderful mutual friend. Plus, She showed us the Chianti region exactly as we wanted to see it. Thank you. My research to find you paid off..... Mardel was very happy and I am glad I inked you to plan these details of our trip.
Mardel Fraivillig and Bari Rubin
Seabrook TX and NYC USA July 2015
Hi Tim, Yes we enjoyed our stay. Things were nice. We liked Sandro he is a nice fella who is passionate about wine and food. We loved the restaurant in Treso (spelling?). The Castello di Guarene had very nice staff and we enjoyed our stay, Breakfast was grand but could use a few more healthy options to balance so many pastries. The restaurant in the hotel was great food and beautiful room. We hope to make it back to Italy next summer targeting Tuscany but likely has to be in August. We have fallen in love with Portofino and can't wait to return. Thank you for all of your help.
Mr and Mrs. M Bressler
NYC USA July 2015
PUGLIA & BASILICATA
My trip with Robertson wine tours was one of the best holidays I've ever had. Booking onto a group tour, one of the risks is the company you'll be keeping for the week. I needn't have worried as my fellow travellers were of a like mind; all united by a love of wine, food and travel. The trip was a perfect balance of activity and free time. We managed to pack in a thorough tour of the region, getting to see the real highlights. The benefit of travelling with Robertson WT is that they live in the region and so have inside knowledge not otherwise available to the tourist. They are very caring and will make sure that you are happy with the details, sorting any problems promptly and efficiently. As a solo traveller, I felt in very good hands. The first part of the trip took us to the stunning Matera in the Basilicata – a special place. Made more so by the fact that we gained access to great venues including a wonderful lunch at the house of a local. The wine tasting throughout the trip was informal, fabulous and fun. Tim himself is a real personality and a delight to be with. The second part of the trip took us toward the coast into the countryside where we stayed on an organic farm – a truly magical and relaxing base from which to explore the many beautiful towns and villages of Puglia. What was particularly good was that we got to sample both fine dining (including Michelin star) and rustic home and farm to fork cooking all while gaining insights into local food and wine production. After a week, we had all bonded so well over good food and wine that we have already booked a reunion trip and are discussing a second. All in all a holiday where I discovered amazing food, wine, made new friends for life and got to see a side of Italy otherwise unknown to me. All of this thoughtfully choreographed and curated by Tim and his excellent team. Amanda Menahem London UK.
London UK. May 2015
Fantastic Trip to Tuscany - Robertson Wine Tours worked with us to design a custom trip to to Florence and the Tuscan countryside for two couples last Fall. It was absolutely a wonderful top-class experience all the way around. We appreciated the attention to detail that went into the planning, allowing us to work collaboratively to design a tour that met our budget and our varied interests — including private sightseeing and museums with wonderful and knowledgeable guides, wine tastings and tours, cooking classes and fabulous dining experiences. Would use Robertson Wine Tours again in a heartbeat!
George & Sandy Apter
Honolulu, Hawaii April t2015
Well Tim, you've done it again! After a trip to Mendoza two years ago (that we still rave about), we got to reach out to you again. This time we were taking a trip to Piedmont and asked your expertise for all things food, wine and hotel. Was this trip ever special... Your hotel recommendation was spot on -- absolutely beautiful, wonderful service. We felt like special guests there. The restaurant recommendations were fabulous -- each meal was a treat. Sandro, our guide, is quite possibly one of the kindest, most knowledgeable people we've met. He immediately picked up on our style, speed and preferences and was able to tailor which winemakers we went to. This was especially key as we had a winemaker cancel at the last minute. Sandro didn't miss a beat and we were the beneficiaries. We hope he comes to NYC to visit so we can open up some wines with him on our home turf! Lastly, the winemakers themselves -- wow. These men and women were all so warm and welcoming. Their generosity with their time, their wine (superb!) and the experience and care they gave us was a treasure. We believe Sandro was integral to this as he seemed to be a good friend with the winemakers and a celebrity around town. Thanks for making our second Robertson Wine experience so spectacular. Look forward to more trips in the future!
Laura & Justin Yagerman
NYC. USA January 2015
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
My third, but not my last RWT trip, to Puglia and Basilicata defied perfection. RWT uses, knowledgeable and insightful local guides, teases out the most delightful wineries, delectable food and local experiences. If you want to travel beyond the ordinary, choose RWT.
Greenwich, CT Jan 2015
EMILIA ROMAGNA AND MARCHE
Tim, sorry for my delay in getting this to you. Yes being back home is good after such a long trip to Europe however getting back into lifes routines has its pleasures too, Certainly happy to write a few words for you, We found the itinerary you organized for me and my friends was very well planned and executed, Certainly seems to us you have good friends in the wine business and whereever we went we were treated so very well, The choices on the hotels were brilliant, perhaps a little more luxurious then we are used to but nothing but praise for the hotels, I think next time we would opt out of some of the 25 euro breakfasts and grab a coffee and Croissant as we found 3 meals a day too much, especially in Bologna where the Hams, Salamis and breads just never stopped throughout the day. Loved the cooking experiences and think you gauged all our interests well for everyone to have felt interested and involved. We loved Parma and Bologna and yes Ravenna was just lovely but we left our hearts in Ferrara, what a magical place. Exploring Marches hill top towns and wineries was very picturesque and I can know see why these wines have such an advantage pricing wise, Shame we cannot get anything interesting back home. Both Georgio and Rafael were terrific, great English and passionate about their wines and foods. All in all we are extremely impressed with your company and will certainly be recommending you to all our wine loving friends.
Dr. S. Livermore and friends.
NYC Jan 2015
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
Témoignage sur un voyage mémorable sur le vin en Puglia et Basilicata avec Robertson Wine Tours en novembre 2014.
Tim Robertson de RWT a un connaissance profonde sur le vin italien. Il avait organisé une semaine exceptionnelle comprenant des dégustations de vin variées et intéressantes. En outre que l’aspect sur l’oenologie, RWT a su agencer dans un même périple tous les ingrédients du parfait voyage: art culinaire, histoire, culture. Les souhaits et les besoins des voyageurs étaient toujours prisent en compte. En plus, des logements très comfortables et des guides de haut qualité ont ajouté a faire une belle réussite du voyage.
S.W. France and Stockholm Dec 2014
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
I have been working with Tim Robertson of Robertson Wine Tours for over 5 years now, I travelled to Argentina and then Uruguay and have recently returned from a Jetsetter tour they ran in Puglia and Basilicata in November. I have recommended many of my friends to them as they really do what they say, They care about everything each step of the way and they design everything from scratch, their guides, transport and restaurants and hotels all appear to admire and enjoy working with this company, I think it is their professionalism that people respond to. It is apparent they have deep contacts with the wineries in all the regions they work in. Joining a group of people I had not met before was a little outside of my comfort zone but the beauty of course is the considerable discount that going on a jetsetter tour offers. Tim was sure I would gel with the group so off I went.
In 5 years the knowledge they have acquired about Italian wine industry is impressive, and that was one of the attractions of this tour that we were tasting wines from Sicily, Piedmont, Friuli and Campania as well as incredible examples of Aglianico and Negroamaro and Primitivo. Tim always brings out some rare varietal or an unheard method of winemaking for people to discuss. The group was wonderful, I made new friends and saw this southern part of Italy that I really knew very little about. The thousand year old olive trees the incredible oil, the food and the cooking classes were my favorite parts. Next trip is already in the making with a culinary and wine adventure in Sicily, Its great to have something so exciting to look forward to.
New York USA Dec 2014
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
'So Many wines' 'So little time' All the Riches of Basilicata and Puglia. Its land and its people Experienced under the loving Guidance of Robertson Wine Tours. DELIGHTFUL! The food and preparation were the best I have had from any of my trips to Italy, Spain, France! Just amazing! And of course - the WINES!!! I loved it most when they were paired with the foods! A special "thank you!" Tim for watching out for me
New York USA November 2014
JETSETTER Puglia and Basilicata
Superb Attention to detail Caring and concerned staff, wonderful interaction with the locals, informative wine discussion equaled a truly unique experience, look forward to doing it again.
Tim thank you very much!!!
Miami USA November 2014
Our experience with Robertson Wine Tours was beyond all of our expectations! The wine tours were exceptional picks... from the tour guide to the tastings to the food pairings. We could not have been more pleased! We also had the great pleasure of booking two cooking classes through RWT. Each one was uniquely informative, incredibly delicious and best of all... great FUN! Thank you RWT for making our trip to Italy the trip of a lifetime!
Charlotte USA Sept 2014
Robertson’s Wine Tours did it yet again for us on our most recent wine pilgrimage. Having toured with them several times including Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Sicily and Piedmonte, we knew we were in safe hands when we decided to let them plan our tour of the Sardinian Cantinas. Once we contacted them, we had a prompt return with information on restaurants hotels, sites to tour and of course the cantinas. We poured over it all. We were given a tour that included everything from major cantina such as Argiolas to family run such as the Guiseppe's: Sedilesu and Gabbas, to the more cultish as Leda d’Ittiri: the perfect spread for getting the bigger picture not only on the industry, but on the great tastes as well. Thanks to Robertson’s!
Penelope and James Shackelford
UC Davis CA USA Oct 2014
Naturally we would like to thank you and your team for a superb introduction to the wines of Piedmont with Paul. The days you set out in Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero were splendid, just the right amount of wine and we thought your lunches were spot on. I appreciate Piedmontese food can be rich and we did think we should have made some lighter lunches as the dinners were just outstanding, Ciau del Tornavento was our favorite and would travel to the zone just to dine there again. Its obvious you and your company are well regarded and we are sure to think about a South American Adventure in the future. Until the thank you and Paul for a faultless tour of this wonderful region.
James and Sylvia Bentley
Fareham U.K. Oct 2014
Another testimonial to the outstanding service and attention to detail during a most enjoyable Robertson Wine Tour! Dionisio (Baco!) was a great guide, very informative and entertaining. Salvatore a most competent driver. The trip to L'Astore Masseria will be a lifelong memory of good fun, cooking, wines and hospitality! Claudia, the food was delicious! Lee Ann, ditto with the wines! Robertson is indeed a high quality service organization.
Steve Casey and Freinds
NYC. USA Sep 2014
Thank you for a wonderful Italian experience ! We can't say enough good things about the people, wine, food and sights. It was very nice to meet you both. We truly enjoyed wine tasting, at your home. Kyle is perusing the internet, in hope to buy some of the wines! Consider us references. We had a great time.We are slowly settling back into routines (with kids)!
Winnie & Kyle Fukuda
Granite Bay, CA USA Sept 2014
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
'After a decadent trip to Piemonte in the fall of 2013, I spent day after day wondering why I am only Italian by a little bit of blood and not actually Italian, by virtue of living in Italy. Life, indeed, seems better there. Flipping through my photos constantly, day dreaming of each wine, each meal, each landscape - each moment meticulously planned by Robertson Wine Tours - like no vacation I'd ever experienced…. how can I make this happen again, I'd think - how can I get back there…but no - that was certainly once in a lifetime.
And then one day out of the blue a text from Tim Robertson: I have a trip for you in May, you must come. I'd only met Tim once - on my trip that fall - but that was enough to understand that one should just do what he says when it comes to travel. I pretended for a few days that like rational people, I would look at the itinerary, consider the cost, look at my schedule - but once you know RWT - you trust RWT - and unless you have an exaggerated sense of know-it-all-ish-ness…. you understand you should show up and it will be worth your while. As soon as I received Tim's text I put in for vacation at work and blocked my calendar. At RWT, they are perfectionists and their business - whether you think of it as tourism, as wine fanaticism, as relationship building, as smile making - is their passion - they leave no detail to chance... (in so far as one can be a perfectionist and avoid chance in travel in italy).
Thus begun my trip to Puglia/Apulia (and Basilicata) - regions of Italy I'd heard of enough to understand they were south - but knew nothing about. The trip started in Lecce… I had never heard of Lecce…. now I'd like to move to Lecce. After my first experience with RWT - I knew that every last moment would be tended to such that all I would need to do was show up. And that I did. I got on a flight at JFK knowing I'd ultimately land in Brindisi - relatively certain there would be someone there to pick me up (maybe they'd have a sign or something?), and somewhere in my email there was a meticulously planned itinerary in case anything went wrong - hopefully i'd be able to get into my email….maybe i should have printed it?…... That is how profoundly I trust Robertson wines - I flew across the world with only the vaguest clue where I was going and nothing in writing because I knew everything would not only be fine - but perfect. That is not to say they hadn't put blood, sweat and tears into ensuring I had every piece of information I'd need for my stay - day by day schedules, addresses, restaurant recommendations, etc. But I knew I didn't need to think about it until I got there - that's how relaxing of a vacation Robertson provides - literally not a detail to worry about. For me, nothing could be better than that.
While knowing the trip itself would be amazing - I did feel a bit uneasy about traveling with a group….I actually love strangers - but it can be stressful enough going with people you do know - what if these people were crazy? I got myself around it by realizing that I was going to be there with Italy - and just like anything else I may do in Italy with other people around - the other people were just other tourists and I only had to spend as much time with them as I chose…..as it turned out, this group of 10 had what has to be the perfect chemistry for a group to travel with. Enough different complementary personalities to keep things fun and interesting - all warm, kind, generous and fun - I now have 9 new friends who I miss and look forward to seeing again. Whether that's Robertson being discerning about their clients - or me having exceptionally good luck - I can not know until the next time.
Puglia herself was interesting - a different kind of Italy than I'd seen. Less touristed, fewer familiar american voices. Same feeling of warmth and kindness emanating from her people. Same fresh quality ingredients in food. Quality in wine. But still reflecting uniqueness of a region and culture not yet exported to the States and commercialized. Making it interesting and special. I think Robertson could take me to any region of Italy and make me feel that way of it, though. If I challenged them to take me to a Tuscany no one had ever seen before they would deliver in spades.
Reflecting the difference in the more affluent, travelled north - while cooking experiences in Piemonte (all exquisite) - were with famous chefs (with tv shows, professional kitchens or michelin stars); cooking experiences in Puglia were with women who were chefs in their own homes, going into this business for themselves to teach us to cook. The best meals I ate all week were the meals we made with these women in their kitchens. The wines - Negroamaro, Primitivo, were wines I knew very little of before the trip - and some (Malvasia, and my personal favorite Susumaniello which loosely may translate to something like giddy up donkey)…. The people I came into contact with at each winery, at each cooking experience, on each guided tour, each taxi driver!! - were people so genuine and engaging I'd take them in my own family…
A great highlight of the trip - that puts into perspective the adaptability of RWT despite all I just said about leaving non moment unplanned…. we got caught in a huge rainstorm at the end of our trip in the town of Matera. The afternoon was scheduled to be a walking tour of the town with a guide to explain its history… as soon as we started out the sky opened and the downpour was to intense to walk around in. Even RWT can't control the weather, but right away Tim had us under cover at a cafe with cabs on their way - taking us back and forth in groups to the art studio/home of our tour guide and her husband. What could have been an afternoon ruined - turned quickly into an intimate gathering of now good friends - drinking wine, admiring art, chatting with these locals about this town, it's history - as well as their own. One of the most special afternoons there was out of a rainstorm.
I could obviously write a novel on this topic. Thank you Tim, thank you Cris, thank you Robertson Wine Tours for what have now been the best 2 1/2 weeks of my life - many more to come.'
Atlanta. USA Aug 2014
¡Qué buena experiencia recorrer el sur de Italia de la mano de Robertson Wine Tours! Los hoteles escogidos, los viñedos, los tours guiados, la comida, todo estuvo de primera calidad. Un paseo que queda en la memoria llena de buenos recuerdos.
Maria Ines Agudelo
Bogota Colombia. Aug 2014
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
Lynn and I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how very much we have enjoyed recounting with friends and colleagues just how wonderful your wine and food tour of Puglia was for us.
As you know, much of my motivation was professional since I import wines from the region. My goal was to acquire a greater knowledge of Puglian wines ;meet producers who might be interested in doing business and generally enjoy the region's many attributes. You delivered on all counts. Thanks to visits included in your tour, I was able to acquire import rights to two of the region's finest producers. Ivan of Tenute Rubino will be joining me in Seattle this coming September to introduce his wines to my customers.
On the social side, we found the small group to be absolutely perfect. As a result we now have 8 new friends who we are sharing experiences with on a near weekly basis. I hope you are well. We look forward to scheduling another Robertson Wine Tour in the coming year.
Penn Cove Wine Company
Seattle, Washington USA July 2014
TUSCANY AND ROME HONEYMOON
Yes, we have been crazy busy since coming home. The trip was wonderful. The scenery, the food and the accommodations - all were terrific. To call out a few notables:
We liked the range of restaurants, from La Pergola to small pizzerias we found on our own in Rome. We really liked the dinner at La Cantinetta de Rignana - great food, casual atmosphere with spectacular views. Similarly, the wine-tasting lunch that you pre-arranged for us in Montalcino was lovely too, with amazing views. We can't think of one sub-par meal we had for the entire time! Dan and I took home names of some of the wines we particularly enjoyed and will ask our local wine store to investigate for us. The wine tours / tasting were great. We particularly enjoyed Castello di Ama - perhaps it was the leisurely pace, the picturesque setting … and we loved the modern art woven into the workings of the winery. Lunch was lovely and delicious too.
We really appreciate having some flexibility in the tour - which was easy given that it was just us. Katherine was great about helping us evaluate the planned schedule of each day to make sure it wasn't too much.
Speaking of Katherine - she was terrific in every way. She was professional, smart, accommodating, interesting and informative. We would recommend her without hesitation to anyone. We spent a lot of time with her and she really made the trip so enjoyable. I don't think we would have enjoyed Tuscany nearly as much if we were driving ourselves. And we certainly wouldn't have learned as much about the region. Katherine's tour of Florence, off the beaten path, where we saw parts of Florence that we wouldn't have known about. Just what we like.
The hotels were terrific. We loved the location of Donna Camilla Savelli - what a great area the Trastevere Section is. We loved roaming around the streets at nights. Castello del Nero is a spectacular location and the room was huge and lovely. The Villa Cora Grand Hotel in Florence was amazing in terms of level of service and amenities.
All in all, we had a fabulous honeymoon, and would highly recommend your services! We will certainly do so on your website. Next time, perhaps the Amalfi coast for us.
Susan and Dan
Boston USA July 2014
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
Trip through Puglia and Basilicata I have and will continue to recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in seeing Puglia and the surrounding areas of Italy in a most unique way. Tim and Cris arranged not only a tour but a true experience that could never be duplicated travelling on your own or with a traditional tour company. You become totally immersed in the local life. While the focus of the tour is on the wine and food, it is all in a most relaxed way where you are free to go at your own pace and actually enjoy being a part of the beautiful surroundings. No knowledge of wine or food necessary – believe me, just a love for delicious, fresh, ingredients, and a willingness to try innumerable wonderful wines, with great company in some of the most beautiful settings in the world! Tim and Cris gave us all the unique opportunity to get to know and spend time with local wine-makers, wonderful cooks, artisans, and guides who welcomed us like family and shared their amazing talents and intimate knowledge of the wines, ingredients, and local history. From the time you arrive at the airport until you are escorted back for your flight home, every detail has been thoughtfully arranged for your comfort and pleasure. I enjoyed every minute, from the organized cooking classes, to spontaneously riding bikes to the sea during free time. It was an amazing trip that brought a lifetime of memories and friends I will cherish.
Farmington, CT USA July 2014
Just back in the door and wanted to say Wow that was just a wonderful trip, Peggy and I had always known Sicily would be something so very special and you and your team really did us proud. You had obviously listened very carefully to everything we had asked for and I really thank you showing us Sicily through the eyes of her wines and foods. Etna as you said was the highlight and it appears you have great freinds in the winemakers up there. Yes no problem we are happy for you to use this as a testimonial and once we have a nice chunk of Italian Travel Funds we will be in touch, Once again thank you.
Carl and Peggy Allen
MN / USA June 2014
10th Wedding Anniversary Southern Italy
Tim and Cristian,
We made it back safe and sound to our three lovely little girls. They were all so excited to see us that it made leaving Italy much easier to bear. Shelley and I had the greatest trip we could have imagined. Your planning and attention to detail simply astounded us. I can honestly say that the trip was nothing short of perfect. It is so hard to pick any particular day that was the standout as every day was so different and so wonderful. We truly appreciate all of your efforts in planning the trip and making it come together so wonderfully.
Looking back on our trip and thinking of all of the arrangements you made I decided that you two aren't at all in the travel business. I wouldn't categorize either of you as travel agents or vacation planners. I think that the clearest way to describe what you do is that you are in the business of making memories. You've created beautiful and magical memories that will last our lifetime. We absolutely loved so many things that we did on our trip and will be able to look back on them with a gracious smile.
Thank you for sharing your home, your stories and your friendship. We had so much fun drinking wine and eating dinner with both of you. I’m very glad we were able to make such great friends in such a short time. We wish you both years of health, wealth and happiness. Thank you.
John and Shelly Mossman
July 2014 Vinton Iowa USA
When reading a review it's often difficult to associate that persons view with your own standards. So with that I give you perspective .. I am considered "High Maintenance" by my closest friends. It's true...I have very high expectations of service providers. I have no problem asking people to stretch and customize their offerings to suit special needs. Once that is agreed to I expect to receive what I am promised. With that I will simply say..Robertson Wine Tours has exceeded my highest expectations every time, at every turn. My husband and I first worked with RWT several years ago on a wine experience in South America. Tim Robertson put together an itinerary that was customized specifically to the experience we wanted. We were met with English speaking drivers and guides. Our tours and accommodations were first class. When Tim moved to Italy we knew we would follow. We invited several friends to join us on another RWT trip. These friends are also world travelers with "High Maintenance" leanings themselves. When you invite others on a trip you can worry .."will things come through? will they be happy?...Not with Tim Robertson. I had no doubt they would be more than happy with their experience because I had no doubt about Tim, Cristian and their team. It actually made planning the trip a pleasure in itself. I won't go into the details of what made our trip so wonderful because if you are considering a trip with RWT I won't spoil it by telling you.
I will say a few objective things I think its important to know about RWT. Here's what you can expect: - To be treated like an individual - There's no cookie cutting with them - Honest feedback - If there's a place not up to expectations he will tell you, if there's a place he endorses..trust it. - Above and Beyond- Once you are in his hands his team will do all they can to make sure you are getting the best experience possible. If adjustments need to be made they will work with you. - Value- Whatever the cost of the trip you design, you will feel like you got what you paid for and more..That's pure value - No Stress - RWT designs tours to take the stress out so you enjoy the experience...drivers, guides, hotels.. all high quality Last but not certainly not least - WINE- if your goal is to experience wines and everything we love about wines- the makers, the regional differences, tasting them, talking about them, learning, wines with food...Ahh.. just thinking about how much fun a high end wine tour can be makes us want to head to the airport... If you love wine like my husband and I do then look no further. If you are beginning to love wine then fair warning...RWT will turn you into a wine lover for sure!!! Enjoy the wine and cooking experiences Tim and his team have to offer. These are special places with wonderful surprises and touches everyday.....RWT will create a wine experience you won't soon forget!
Philipelphia USA / May 2014
JETSETTER. Puglia and Basilicata
'Grazie Mille from Louisiana!' Yes, we are home! The return trip is always harder because of the long hours and saying 'goodbye for a while' to new friends! What a unique and memorable trip! We came home with 'little pieces of Italy' and BIG memories! I truly believe it is the people we meet on life's journey that make the difference. You made that difference! Tim, your desire to continually improve and your belief that 'it can be better', are the foundation of each great trip. I feel the same way! I guess we are kindred spirits! Cristian, I really enjoyed our conversation at dinner. We are alike in our optimism. The most important difference we make may be in the small connections we make with people each day. Like the waves in a lake, each ripple touches another and so do each of our connections with people touch others. I will be back and look forward to planning my next adventure in Italy! Ciao!
Baton Rouge, Louisiana. USA May 2014
Their Passion--Our Fortune! The dilemma: How to do justice to the experience provided by Robertson Wine Tours while not sounding awestruck. The experienced traveler may be tempted to discount superlatives. There are plenty of glowing reviews about RWTs online. I won't try to outdo them. Instead I'll try to focus on what made our experience unique and superior to other high end well known international travel experiences. Almost a year ago, some friends invited us on a wine and cooking tour. Little did we know that It would end up being a life travel highlight. Tim Robertson and Cristian Brisacani's passion for what they're doing allows you to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you're considering a RWT then you're probably familiar with the upscale tours provided by the companies whose appealing brochures grace your reading space at home. Take all the positive attributes of these travel experience providers and add tour organizers afflicted with an innate compulsion to 'get it right'. 'To be correct' as Mr. Robertson, an amalgam of the ultimate British man abroad and the warmest human being you can imagine, would say. Robertson Wine Tours is driven by a sincere desire to show a culture; to present a lifestyle, to share a life experience with others. If you've ever been in a foreign land and seeing something special thought: 'I wish my roommate Nate could be here', then you'll understand the business plan behind RWTs. It's just a brilliant group of people doing their best to make you say-Wow, wasn't that amazing!? I can unequivocally attest to the fact that their motivation is as pure an intellectual/emotional pursuit as one could possibly hope to achieve.
Our tour: Robertson Wine Tours focuses in Italy and South American wine experiences. Our trip focused on the Italian regions of Puglia and Basilicata. The towns of Lecce and Matera served as local hubs for each region respectively. Our tailored trip, as are all RWT trips, included local cuisine, wine and cultural explorations of these regions. We learned as much about olives, their history, the culture that surrounds them, even how to taste them and gauge the antioxidant properties and appropriate uses for each type of olive oil as we learned about wine. We cooked communally. From morning trips to the local markets to cooking and the enjoying the fruit of our labor with our travel-mates and all those who had participated in the production. We visited Masserias, (the local term for farmhouses, haciendas), olive oil producing groves, historic towns such as Gallipoli and Otranto on the Ionian and Adriatic seas respectively. The masserias in Puglia replaced the vineyard in "A Good Life" as my wife's new fantasy retirement setting. From the Greek-influenced experience of Southwestern Salento, the unusual dwellings (trulli) in Alberobello and millennially-inhabited Matera, the relatively compact area of Southwestern Italy we visited delightfully surprised. The wines: Nero Amaro (varied spellings) and Primitivo are the two defining autoctonous varieties of the Salento. Aglianico is predominantly representative of the regions of Basilicata and Campania. Mr. Robertson also introduced us to a version from L'Astore which some referred to as Aglianico ellenico (because it comes from the 'Italia grica' area of the Salento). Mr. Robertson emphasizes organic wines with no added sulfites. My wife and I are now converts. Concepts such as bio dynamicity are best learned on the ground with an unassuming expert such as Mr. Robertson rather than studies on wine magazines. Tim (Robertson) emphasized typicity: 'What makes an Aglianico from Basilicata an Aglianico from Basilicata'. We also sampled wines from other regions of Italy such as Nebbiolo based Barolos and Barbarescos and personal favorite Etna Rosso wines from Sicily. There were informal wine themes: Volcano slope wines, pure varietals v. blends, etc. An experience that is hard to match because of RWT principals personal passion and their absence of 'conflict of interest'. I won't spoil the surprise of how the wines are presented and explored.
The value case: I've been a travel aficionado for 4 decades and have tried everything from 100% self-planning (which I enjoy because of the cultural learning challenge) to pampered tours. Although this isn't what makes me recommend Robertson Wine Tours, even a travel junkie like myself can't come close to matching the value provided by RWTs. The intangibles: The following is but one example of the flexibility; the 'we care' attitude that made this trip special. One day in Matera we had unseasonably bad weather. On the spot, Tim and Cristian rearranged the schedule, instead of our planned museum tour, we met a local couple, Ann DeMay and Donato Ricci. They're experts in history and he's a world class artist. As I returned home, I found myself unexpectedly reading an article on Smithsonian magazine, February 2014, on their paradigm-shifting discoveries in archeology. They received us in their home with warmth usually only received from family. Their generosity was impressive. They shared knowledge of art, history and their sense of community. Nothing expected in return. They just want to let the world know what they've learned. No museum visit could have matched this experience. Later that evening, as the bad weather continued, we were hosted at the company principals' home. Mr. Tim Robertson is blessed with a fast creative mind and an innately wired capacity to connect deeply with others. He puts this to use to your benefit. My wife and I can't say enough good things about him.
The team: Simple, The RWT principals have very high standards for themselves and uphold the same standards for everyone that comes in contact with their guests. They accept nothing but stars. Everything else is coda. The purpose drive: Reasons for travel are plentiful and complex. Travel can be about service, cultural connection, aesthetic fulfillment or meeting other needs. After traveling with Robertson Wine Tours I felt that their company supports local proponents of global initiatives. If you believe in the best of globalization, the best of local (Km Zero), pancultural acceptance, bringing local service to world class (and I mean world class) standards by sheer force of leading by example, then a RWT is for you. Tim and Cristian, principles at RWT, have the natural gift for making all those around them want to give their best. Even as a tour participant I felt a part of something special. This may be the ultimate reason to select Robertson Wine Tours for your next travel experience. Perfect for the individual or group traveler. Already planning my next RWT Tour to Sicily.
Carlos A. Rivera,
M.D. Savannah, GA. USA MAY 2014
JETSETTER Puglia and Basilicata
Can't get any better...thank you Tim and Cristian for a lovely, unforgettable experience and for sharing these beautiful places, charming people, great food, and fantastic wine.
Paula Christian Jones
Baton Rouge, Louisiana May 2014
PIEDMONT and LOMBARDY
At the end of a long trying day in the office, a stroll through my local wine shop here in non-descript american town USA, I scream out in joy spotting on the shelf a bottle of Forteto de Luja's 2009 La Grive… the sales clerk looks up at me in … I guess fear - "I've been here!" I yell. I've been here! I start to tell her all about Marco, his farm, his designation from the world wildlife federation because of the orchids and the truffles and the butterflies and the….. she thinks i'm crazy…. But here again, I know I am so overdue in sending my testimonial and note of sincere thanks & gratitude to Robertson Wine Tours for the best - vacation, experience, week - of my life to date. I spent 10 days last October traveling in the Piedmont region of Italy under an itinerary designed for my party by RWT. I was skeptical at first, as I'd never done such a thing… was our trip too scheduled? Would there be enough down time? What if there was something specific I wanted to do that wasn't planned for - would i be able to do it? Would it be too much wine?? (While in principle I don't believe there is such a thing as too much wine - I recognize i'm not a wine connoisseur and a tour like this might be above my wine sophistication - particularly with the focus in Piedmont where a more sophisticated palate may be necessary to truly appreciate the rich and complex varietals….) But the time spent by Tim & his team getting to know us, understand our interests and wishes in a vacation proved invaluable to give us exactly the perfect mix of what we were looking for - history, culture, sightseeing, food, food, food, wine, wine, wine, wine and wine. For the sophisticated wine connoisseur undoubtedly the expertise, as well as the connections with the vineyards, that we witnessed from Tim and his colleagues in Italy delivered a wine experience second to none. From the selection of vineyards to the quality of interactions with Tim & team & the winemakers- the trip was fit for the most expert among us and allowed access to experiences we would not have had were we traveling on our own. My step mother spends parts of her year in the Napa Valley and has a comprehensive and sophisticated knowledge of wine - she was looking to see, taste and purchase new and interesting things and the trip far exceeded her expectations with the interesting variety of wineries we visited - each unique from each other and from experiences you'd find elsewhere. But what I was most impressed by is that somehow the tour met the needs of everyone in my party from my step mom the expert, to me - an avid wine enjoyer and lover of all things Italy (but who'd never spent time in the Piedmont region and doesn't know a ton about wine), seeking to learn and understand more about it all. To my younger cousin, who grew up in a small town and had never left the states. For her first trip abroad to be on a tour of this nature rather than your more commonly traveled Rome, Venice, Florence etc. was somewhat of a risk to take.
From our first night meeting Tim he - and his team - somehow were able to connect with each of us, and make us each feel like we were experiencing a tour molded to our own needs and own perspective. Tim and his colleague - a wine expert in Piedmont who literally wrote the book on Piedmont wines - were neither condescending and dismissive to those of us who were less knowledgeable in wine, nor did they dumb-down our tour to solve to the lowest common denominator. They treated us all as if we had the same expertise and worth in the journey and through this we were all able to get the most out of the experience. The wineries we visited, mostly small and family owned - were each gems in their own right and after days of wine tasting still stand out separate and unique from each other rather than the blur i often have when recalling a trip to Napa. And finally, the non-wine attributes of the trip - the cooking classes, city tours, exquisite restaurants we never would have found on our own - were clearly planned with care and attention specific to our own unique needs and not routine accommodations made for all visitors to the region…. this was a truly remarkable experience in which I was made to feel like dear friends who knew me well had designed a dream vacation specific to my interests where i drank the best possible drink, ate the best possible food, met and engaged with fantastic, warm, engaging locals and learned history and toured towns with remarkable guides (matteo in Torino; elena around the lakes), who let me in to pieces of italian history and culture that i would not have otherwise seen. Contrary to my initial reservations about being scheduled and having too much wine- I left for home feeling as if I had seen and done everything - our days were packed with experiences - but also rested, relaxed and happy at the same time. I wanted many more days of wine and of course that piemontese food. We simply couldn't have done this on our own. Would hire Tim & team to take me anywhere in the world, on a trip of their design.
Katie Vizas. Atlanta.
PUGLIA and BASILICATA
"We had an incredible trip planned by Robertson Wine Tours. Tim and Cristian created a tour that fit us perfectly – which is no easy feat! The attention to detail and personalization was what stood out for us. Tim kept in contact from the moment our feet touched the Italian soil, to the day we landed back in San Francisco. Along the way he was willing and able to make changes and accommodate our needs. The local guides we worked with were special. They really knew the area, and we felt like we were able to experience the Puglia region like a local. Every guide was exceptionally helpful and gracious – they truly wanted us to have the best experience possible. The wineries we visited were great, and we had intimate and unique experiences at each location. The food and lodging were high quality, as with the transportation. The trip ended with meeting Tim in Matera, which really made our trip. It was fabulous meeting the guy behind our adventure. We had a great experience, and I would recommend them to anyone."
Kara Maiko & Friends.
San Francisco CA / USA. April 2014
CHILE and ARGENTINA
Our Wine Society travel group would like to thank Tim Robertson and Robertson Wine Tours for providing an exceptional experience in Chile and Argentina. We were all very impressed with the selection of wineries and wines, especially the variety in the different kinds of wineries. Being able to meet many of the wine makers was very interesting and most informative. Needless to say we learned a great deal. This was a well-traveled group who have been to many wineries around the world and yet there were new and innovative methods introduced to us. One highlight in Chile was Antiyal Winery with their dedication to biodynamic methods as well as their use of the egg-shaped concrete fermentation tanks. Everyone was charmed by Maria Luz Marin at Casa Marin Winery. She visited with us the entire morning describing her excellent wines as we tasted them and answering our questions as she told us about her acquisition of her vineyards and her dedication to producing fine wines. The dinner and wines served the night with the MOVI group was very interesting. We met several of the small independent producers from this group and were impressed with their dedication as well. In Mendoza, we had an equally interesting variety of wineries and experiences. The view of the Andes from the vineyards was spectacular as well. We are all familiar with the Paul Hobbs collection of wines and we definitely learned a great deal about Malbec at Cobos Winery where he is a part owner. The Wine Maker competition at Norton Winery definitely brought out the competitive spirits as we were divided into two groups each to blend its own wine to be judged with prizes to the makers of the winning blend. There was not a winery on the entire trip that we would have wanted to miss.
RWT’s choices were perfect for our group as were the hotels and the restaurants in Santiago and Mendoza. On our first night in Santiago, the dinner a Puerto Fuy was exceptional. The restaurant was newly renovated and had not opened to the public yet. They served us a wonderful 6 course dinner and had set all the other tables in the restaurant although they were only open for us. The lunch at Casa del Bosque Winery with its beautiful setting was very enjoyable as well. In Mendoza, the dinner our first night there at 1884 was also a wonderful experience. Lunch at Melipal Winery was another great meal in a beautiful setting as was Cavas Wine Lodge Restaurant. Everyone said they would love to go back to stay at the Lodge. Our final dinner at Nadis OF Restaurant capped off a wonderful trip, greatly enjoyed by all. We must also thank you for providing excellent tour guides as well as providing us with expert wine guides, especially Lucile and Leticia in Mendoza. And we really appreciate all that Cristian did for us – above and beyond. Those of us who were on the extension to Iguazu Falls want to thank RWT for another amazing experience.
Tim and Robertson Wine Tours were wonderful to work with and they provided an exceptional experience. Their attention to detail could not have been better and was much appreciated. We hope to be able to tour with you again in the future.
Governors Club Wine Society Travel Group
Carol Smithwick President, Chapel Hill. Dec/2013
"We have to say Superb job Tim, Tuscan wines and great company with Robertson Wine Tours. You provided an excellent choices of vineyard sand overview in Montalcino, Bogheri and Chianti. We are pleased to be home none the less and thank you once again.
Cambridge UK / September 2013
Total Relaxation. We traveled to Buenos Aires and Mendoza for our Honeymoon and everything was managed 100% by Robertson Wine Tours leaving us to relax and enjoy our time together. I never opened a door to a car or lifted a bag myself! Tim was very giving of his time to discuss and carefully recommended hotels and experiences that he felt would help us to most enjoy our experience and he was right on point. Each hotel was a different and wonderful experience. Recognizing the occasion, they each provided special upgrades or surprises to make our honeymoon even more special. The wine was great and the food even better. We look forward to traveling to Italy next to experience what Robertson Wine Tours has to offer there as well!
Emilie and Micah Delo.
December 2013 Pittsburgh PA USA
PIEDMONT AND ROME
Let me start out with a disclaimer – myself and my travel partners are not wine or culinary experts so this review is intended for anyone who simply love wine, food and travel. Do we drink a lot of wine from around the world? Do we love all food, be it a Pizzeria down the road or the French Laundry? Do we love travel, the experience of local culture and people? Yes to all. So given these stated interests why did we choose Robertson Wine Tours (RWT) when there is simply a world wide web of choices? Well frankly we did not know anything about RWT’s and discovered them on a web search as we started to piece together plans for a trip.
My wife and I along with friends (3 couples) travel on annual wine tours but we had no experience in Northern Italy specifically the Piedmont region. We wanted to know the area and of course the wine and food but did not feel organizing a trip with limited knowledge of the area would be fruitful. We determined that bringing in a travel company was the only option but we had one issue that was a showstopper – we don’t like crowds, large groups and the standard tourist experience. We simply love the experience of travelling together and wanted to ensure this was not compromised. Many of the travel companies we looked at where immediately out of the running, as they did not suite our preferences. We did find a few who dealt with personalized travel plans and to the destination that we wanted so the vetting began. Through all the companies we looked at RWT’s was the most promising as they outlined a business philosophy very close being exactly what we wanted – personalized travel plans with focus on local expertise and a balance of local culture thrown in. Basically they claimed to know the region intimately and that they where wine experts and of course knew how to pair that experience with local dining.
My friends and I had a healthy scepticism about promises made as we have been had some poor experiences in the past. So often in the travel business when you hand over your cash, the service falls apart from that point. I know, sounds a little negative but it is a reality. In this case RWT’s delivered on everything they said they would deliver. No hype with these guys, they deliver and they do know their business. The trip we had them organize included our initial stop in Turin with a local guide Matteo Gazzarata. Call out to Matteo who was the most pleasant person and with a massive knowledge to the area and its history. His quite, professional demeanor was balanced by his willingness to engage in any topic, as he was not on script. Ask anything and he was right there with the answers. What an engaging person, we all very much appreciate his involvement. This part of the trip was primarily to gain familiarity with the area and its culture. A big call out to one dinner experience at Ristorante L’Birichin in Turin. Nicola Batavia, the Chef and proprietor took care of us personally right down to the choice of wine. What an experience, this man is a master chef and a real gentlemen as well. Another call out to Enoteca Parlapa in Turin - great local experience, a lot of fun.
Next we moved to the areas of Roero, Barbaresco, Barolo, and Tortonesi & Monferrato. This was now a move into the hard-core wine experience for our group. We have always tasted great wines from this area but have never developed a great sense of the area and its geography. Some wine areas in the world are pretty easy to develop an intimate understanding of the geography and wine; Napa, Burgundy, Tuscany has always been pretty easy to encapsulate but Piemonte has always been illusive, (keep in mind our disclaimer).
This part of the trip matched us with a new guide, Paul Balke, basically a renaissance man, Journalist, Author, Barolo Specialist and to our surprise and pleasure a concert pianist. We found ourselves so fortunate to have Paul with us as his knowledge and experience was remarkable. Paul was not only brilliant when it came to understanding the region but he knew everyone, the producers, the local restaurateurs and there was a incredible mutual respect between them all. We could not imagine a better guide. Paul is a quite gentleman but wow did he have our backs so to speak. He was so well prepared with insights into the area and winemakers that we never would have gained via travel by ourselves. Paul organized so many great vineyard tours and dinning experiences for us that I would like to list them all but this is not the venue for such a long list. We started out with a fabulous local vineyard, Bruno Rocco Winery in the Roero region. Over the next few days we visited some of the most honoured and or favoured wineries in the regions of Barbaresco, Barolo & Monferrato. However one area and winery in particular stood out, Walter Massa Winery in the Tortonesi region. Firstly who has ever heard of the Tortonesi region. Wow was this an experience. Walter Massa was brilliant, enchanting and totally in his own zone. We had the feeling we were in the presence of the future of wine in Italy. A remarkable innovator and artist and his wines spoke volumes. If we had one experience that left an indelible impression that was it.
One other aspect that generally would go unnoticed was out Driver. RWT’s arranged a private driver to get ours around from morning to night. This young man was not only a very good driver but he was polite and always had a smile for the team despite some early mornings and late nights. Other travel companies take notice, pay attention to details like this as it does make a difference. All in all we loved the trip and RWT’s delivered everything as promised and more. Tim Robertson calls out his company’s attention to detail and this was evident on the whole trip. The choice of guides, the selection of visits and right down to the detailed attention to the dietary needs of our group, they did not drop the ball. Would we recommend RWT – absolutely! We are already thinking about organizing a Tuscany flavored trip with RWT’s as well.
Wine, Food and Travel Enthusiast
Alberta Canada Dec 2013
PIEDMONT AND LOMBARDY
I was in an Italian restaurant here at home the other night, and as I picked up the wine list I KNEW that I could knowledgeably make a selection -- at least from the Piedmont wines on the list! Thank you Tim Robertson for teaching me so much about Barolo, Barbaresco, and Barbera wines!
I highly recommend arranging a tour through Robertson Wine Tours Tours. In the fall of 2013 three of us enjoyed a ten day custom tour with Tim and his local wine expert, Paul Balke, in the Piedmont region of Italy. Although two of us speak halting Italian, none had ever been to Piedmont. We chose Robertson because we did not want a large "tour;" we wanted a specialized itinerary. We wanted to do wine tasting, have cooking classes and also explore some of the beauty of Piedmont. Tim helped us arrange for all these things.
First, the wines. We focussed on the Langhe region, and with Paul's assistance, were able to visit many small wineries that we would never have been able to see on our own. Between Paul, Tim and the hosts at the wineries, we were in good hands and gained extensive knowledge about local winemaking. From small, family owned wineries where our guides were the owners themselves, to larger well-established vintners, we got a broad range of wine experiences.
Second, the cooking classes Robertson arranged for us were a lot more fun than we had expected, and were taught by well-known, experienced working chefs. The focus of course was food from the region and we learned not just how to cook these dishes, but about the history and origins of the food in Piedmont and in other regions of Italy.
On Lake Orta, Robertson arranged for a charming local guide for us, who was very flexible about what we wanted to see and do. We said good-bye to Tim when we arrived there, but had a lovely last two days with our new guide. Through it all, Robertson made the planning easy by reserving for us the best hotels, and guiding us toward the best restaurants.
Robertson provides the personal touch that big tour operators simply can't do. I highly recommend designing a tour in Italy with Tim, especially if learning something about wine and food is also on the agenda!!
San Francisco. CA USA / October 2013
I was meaning to write earlier but you piped me to the post. Yes I did get back safe and sound. The tour was great, absolutely perfect and what I wanted. Sandro did a excellent job of educating me and my palate. Both you and him picked some great wineries. It is a pretty amazing place with some real genuine producers. I had such a good trip you'll probably see me next year or I imagine a few of my teammates would be interested. Thanks again Tim for everything and say Hi to Sandro from me. Do I speak to you or him about sending wine to me here?
Germany / November 2013
Excellent. Couldn't have asked for a better trip, especially for visiting Italy for the first time. Thanks for my once in a lifetime experience!
Sayre, Pennsylvania October 2013
"We have to say Superb job Tim, Tuscan wines and great company with Robertson Wine Tours. You provided an excellent choices of vineyard sand overview in Montalcino, Bogheri and Chianti. We are pleased to be home none the less and thank you once again.
Cambridge UK / September 2013
ARGENTINA and URUGUAY
Dear Tim & Cristian.
Thank you for organizing the wine tour for the 19 members of the Slovenian Club KLP (of Wine Enthusiasts of Sparkling Wine 2013) in Argentina and Uruguay. Great choice of wineries, restaurants, hotels and local guides. Clients were impressed by the quality of wine in the wineries visited. Travel to Hacienda de Molinos and Colomé Winery was not easy but great journey and with the good weather we had to top it with good food and wine experience. I must say that all clients liked Salta a lot. I am sure that the local guide Yaco added a lot to the pleasant experience. Uruguay was also very interesting regarding such a different climate and their wine cannot be compared with high altitude wines of Argentina. Good and interesting Tannat.
I hope that we will have the chance soon to organize another tour like this.
June 2013 Ljubljana Slovenia
"Don't make a travel decision without RWT, my second trip with them in six months to Peru, is proof positive of their excellence".
Prue La Rocca
Greenwich CT USA / June 2013
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
Serendipitously I stumbled upon Roberson Wine Tours -- had never heard of you, but after a few emails back and forth, it felt so right to jump in and chance celebrating one of the big milestones of my life and travel to Puglia with you. You say 'discerning' and its true -- impeccable, yet warm and intimate -- an experience where every detail was thought through and seamlessly taken care of. To be spoiled by someone who, in a short time, understands what are the sweet spots for you is an impeccable skill. Tim, you spoiled me in so many ways. The special touches whether it was greeting me at the airport; checking in on me throughout the week to see how I was doing, and helping me celebrate my birthday with roses and the beautiful cake -- you so warmed my heart. And of course, my stay in the Trulli -- after all, not everyone gets to sleep in one! You've given me an experience and memories that far exceeded my expectations and, at a time of my life, when it was so needed. And with the perfect combination of wine, culinary and richness of great history came new friendships; a new appreciation of wine and the longing for my next trip --
Grazie mille il mio amico . . . Fino a Sicilia
Chicago IL USA / May 2013
JETSETTER Puglia & Basilicata
It is difficult to describe our impressions of the Puglia and Basilicata Food and Wine Experience tour in only a couple of lines! First of all, we want you to know that the trip exceeded our expectations on many levels. The area of Southern Italy that we toured was captivating; the cities and the countryside were unique and fun to explore. We learned the culture of the area through it's food and wine-both excellent. We were treated like VIP's at our wine tastings and the olive oil tasting. While all the cities and hotels were beautiful, the city of Matera and our accommodations there were a highlight of the trip and we didn't want to leave!
Thank you for planning such a unique experience and we would never hesitate to book a tour with Robertson Wine Tours again. We are looking forward to receiving the cooking lesson recipes and news of future tours.
Mike and Sandy Ruesewald
Minnesota MN USA / April 2013.
Hi Tim We are home again and had a wonderful holiday. Thank you so much for all that you and your staff did to make our visit to Puglia so very special. The people who we met were terrific and will be remembered with a smile. I hope to meet you sometime soon and until then, happy travels. Cheers Elaine
New Jersey USA / April 2013
ARGENTINA and CHILE
Tim put together a two week wine tour of Argentina and Chile for us and three friends who joined us in Chile. The result was fantastic. We had the opportunity for private visits, including tours and tastings, of nearly thirty wineries and had a number of great wine-oriented lunches and dinners. Tim and his associates obviously have established great relationships with many of the top wineries in the region, as we were treated royally and given the opportunity to taste some of their best wines. This was a truly private tour and during each segment we were accompanied by a very knowledgeable guide who assured that things ran smoothly. Moreover, the guides were all delightful, listened to our comments and occasionally adjusted the tour to meet our desires. We would happily use Tim to arrange a future tour for us and would strongly recommend him to anyone else who wants a high-end wine tour.
Phil & Linda Becker with Mr & Mrs A Frank
Los Angeles CA, USA / April 2013
ARGENTINA and CHILE
Quiero agradecer la realizacion de este maravilloso viaje a Tim J B Robertson y a Cristian y a todo el equipo que nos recibió en cada lugar visitado, pasando por Iguazú, La Patagonia, Buenos Aires, Mendoza y Chile...quienes añadieron valor a los lugares visitados con la experiencia, la buena atención y cuidado de detalles¡¡¡ ALTAMENTE RECOMENDADO para su próximo tour de viñedos y lugares fantásticos de Suramérica...
Tamara Kassab & Luna Pinto.
Caracas, Venezuela / April 2013
ARGENTINA and CHILE
I stumbled across Robertson Wine Tours on the internet and I’m so glad I did! Tim organized a trip for four of us in Chile and Argentina that was truly magical. He arranged everything from the moment we arrived and provided access to experiences we would have never have had otherwise. The result was one of the most amazing vacations we’ve ever had (and we’ve traveled all over the world). Tim was easy to work with, always responsive and we felt extremely well cared for. If you’re into food and wine and want a very special trip that you’ll always remember, Robertson Wine Tours is for you!
Lorri Jean with three friends.
Los Angeles CA USA / March 2013
ARGENTINA and CHILE
Dear Tim. I wanted to take a little time and give you a review of everything we did while the trip is fresh on my mind...Let me start by saying there is absolutely nothing we would have changed! Everything you suggested and organized was perfection. This trip was arguably the most relaxing, and might I add, delicious trip I have ever taken. To me relaxation is defined by a 3 hour lunch and we had one of those every day! Lapostolle - What a view! The service was, as always, great! Pilar at one point was walking by the pool sometime around early evening and I stopped her to ask what time dinner was. She looked confused then said... "Whatever time you say dinner is, Mr. Duncan." Love it! The food here was unbelievable. Clos Apalta, The private cellar underneath the barrel room, When our guide opened the glass table to expose the staircase, I thought I was James Bond. That might be the coolest room I've ever had the privilege to stand in! Casa Coupage . That entire evening changed the way I will look at food and wine forever. Park Hyatt Buenos Aires - Amazing! In conclusion, I just want you to know that you made our vacation a magical experience. A million times, Thank You.
San Antonio TX USA / February 2013
Dear Tim, We are now safely home and reacclimatizing to winter conditions. Our holiday was completely fabulous and we were bowled over by the way we were looked after by both Karen and Alwin. In particular we were impressed by Karen's great attention to detail and her evident knowledge of the Chilean wine scene. Our itinerary was excellent, with a good balance between plenty of winery visits, all with something different to offer, and time to relax, which made the programme manageable for John. We tasted a great range of super wines and learnt a lot about the industry and how it is developing in Chile - however much you read I always find it only comes to life when you visit a region and see it for yourself. Thank you very much for all you did, with best wishes.
Sally & John Chawner
Bangor U.K. / February 2013
ARGENTINA and URUGUAY
Yes. All is fine in snowy Toronto. I will say, Tim, that you and your team were absolutely terrific in all ways, and made this trip so special for both me and Bruce. We had a fabulous time and can't wait to share the highlights. The one bad thing is that you have totally spoiled us for any other type of vacation - I think we are sold on the driver/guide formula for the future - it made life so much easier and our time so much more enjoyable. We will give you some time to develop your business in Italy before we come knocking on that door (you can count on it), but you can be sure that we have already been talking you up to everyone we meet and will continue to do so.
Talk soon, and thanks for always looking over our shoulders..
Margo & Bruce Newman / Brymer
Toronto Canada / February 2013
7 Nights in Buenos Aires and Mendoza with Robertson Wine Tours. PERFECTION.
Wall street NYC USA / February 2013
Honeymoon in MENDOZA
as we mentioned, it was absolutely fabulous . We haven't stopped raving about the trip yet and have already told people that if they're planning on going down to Argentina, you're a "must" to speak with. We had great guides/hotels/etc, but it was nice to check my phone and see that you were checking in. Thank you. It was a small touch, but appreciated!! We enjoyed the vineyards you chose and by the end, knew why you picked each one. The two wine lunches were amazing -- truly special. I think Justin liked Melipal more, I liked Andeluna. Both were very wonderful experiences. Lucile our Mendoza guide was a dream and we recommend keeping her as a "go to" person. She was the perfect mix of friendly and available without being all over us. Overall the trip was magical -- truly a wonderful experience for both of us. We got engaged just a few days for the trip, so this was extra-special. Your team was great and again, we really appreciated hearing from you throughout the event. As two adults under 35 (not in our twilight years), you've convinced us that a great guide is well worth it. THANK YOU.
Justin Yagerman & Laura Kowalcyk
NYC USA / January 2013
Six years ago, when we decided to tour Salta, one of Argentina's major wine regions, a friend recommended that we contact Tim Robertson of Robertson's Wine Tours. We called Tim and he drew up a plan that turned out to be complete, well organized, and scheduled appropriately. Although we have traveled several times with him since, our recent tour of the Sicilian wine region more than fulfilled our expectations. Not only did we enjoy hearing the local history of winemaking, we came away with a sense of the terroir, knowledge of the varietals, and a real respect for the winemakers, not to mention a love for the wines. For those who are looking for the finest experience possible experience in wine touring, we highly recommend Tim Robertson.
Dr. James & Penelope Shackleford
Davis USA / February 2013
Unparalleled perfection describes our trip to Buenos Aires and Mendoza with Robertson Wine Tours. The team fulfills every request and helps realize each dream. A wonderful experience, we can't wait for our next trip with RWT.
Prue La Rocca
Greenwich CT USA / January 2013
We were very favorably impressed with the travel arrangements, the winery selections and appointments, the hotel accommodations, and your professionalism. Your continuous engagement was important to the pleasure of our experience. We would recommend you most highly to any other travellers to Chile and Argentina. Thank you very much for a most enjoyable experience.
Hugh Bell & Eileen Crowley
Atlanta, GA USA / December 2012
MENDOZA and URUGUAY
We offered Tim a challenge of coming up with a tour that not only included wineries and gourmet food but also included some adventure and shopping! He set up a tour that exceeded our expectations. Tim was very flexible, listened to what we were saying and kept changing the itinerary until it was exactly what we wanted. He set us up with experienced tour guides and drivers who went above and beyond every day with us. Tim's selection of hotels, wineries and restaurants was impeccable. Thanks to all for a memorable trip..
Valentina Litichevsky & Patricia Fitzgerald
NYC USA / October 2012
PUGLIA and MATERA
Tim Robertson had been recommended to me through dear friends and we are very pleased to have made his acquaintance. My wife and I have been to traveling to Italy for many years with various companies and sometimes under our our steam. The 5 days wine touring in Puglia especially on the Salento coast were marvelous, Tim Robertson personally guided us and we thoroughly enjoyed Lecce and the White Cities especially Martina Franca. There is no doubt in our minds that the huge steps forward in wine making techniques and also Puglia developing an identity for themselves is going to pay huge dividends. Looks like Tim and his company have arrived at the right time. Best of luck and Sicily awaits us. Thank you again Richard and Rose.
Richard and Rose Hollingbrooke
Cambridge United Kingdom/ September 2012
The Robertson Wine Tour team designed a wonderful two day tour of Montalcino in Tuscany. We wanted something outside of the usual big names and they came through for us. They have a great relationship with the wineries and we felt we were attended especially well due to this. The Brunellos are a minefield and we are carefully guided through it by Tim and his Team. Without a doubt the highlight was the visit to Altesino with the vertical of 'Montosoli' that will stay with us forever. Giuseppe our chosen guide was punctual, intelligent, worldly and gave us great insight. All in all a wonderful experience.
Steve and Janice Patterson
Laguna Beach CA USA / July 2012
"We feel very fortunate to have located Robertson Wine Tours for our trip to Chile. From beginning to end, Tim was always very responsive and attentive and our guide and driver were extremely professional, knowledgeable and cheerful. We feel that we could never have done such a tour on our own and the team came up with a wonderful variety of wineries and experiences. We felt that we learned so much about the process of making wines, the wine regions of Chile and about the wonderful people of Chile. Tim, Karen and Victor, thank you for a memorable trip!".
Rick & Linda Goyne
TX USA / March 2012
"Tim Robertson is the consummate wine expert and tour operator. We were seeking an incredible sightseeing / wine touring experience in South America and that is exactly what we received. This was not basic wine 101 (which he also arranges) but rather advanced vino505 for the wine connoisseur. In Mendoza for Vendimia (for which Tim secured us tickets) whether through good timing or happenstance, we met winery owners an wine makers during this wine harvest festival week. Tim’s chosen guides personalize the journey- from Airport pick up, drop off and check in to full knowledge of their respective city's, sites wineries and restaurants. We were so well attended on this private, detail orientated itinerary. Thanks for such a voyage of Discovery. Salud!"
DR FRED AND SHARON KLEIN
TUCSON AZ USA / March 2012
ARGENTINA and CHILE
"Just a note to thank you for making our trip memorable. We didn't know what to expect and found that you and your team made our trip much more enjoyable and relaxing then we thought. Every tour guide was experienced, knowledgeable and very professional. The wine facilities were first class. we never worried about a thing. that was a real treat given how many places we visited. I was particularly impressed when you were able to work with us on the very last minute change and it was as if we planned it all along!!! Great Job and I would recommend you to all of our friends!!!"
PA USA / Feb 2012
CHILE and MENDOZA
“We were very fortunate to settle on Tim Robertson of Robertson Wine Tours. He did an exceptional job of putting together our trip that exceeded all our expectations and, even though he was out of the country at the time of our trip, he made an effort to keep in touch with us via email, making sure everything was going according to plan. I thank both Tim and Lorena for making our trip very special.”
BILL AND BRIAN BLAIR
USA / January 2009
CHILE and ARGENTINA
“I wholeheartedly recommend Robertson Wine Tours for any touring you might consider or recommend to other friends and clients for getting first rate visits and introductions to the wines of Chile & Argentina. Thank you so much for all your kindness and efforts to assure us a wonderful and unforgettable trip. It truly was a great experience for all of us. I hope we can see you some time in Napa if you will visit our area in the future. I will be pleased to provide a reference / testimonial for you and your services to friends and any of your potential clients as well.”
DR J. AITA
USA / March 2006
PIEDMONT and TUSCANY
“ I thank you both Tim and Cristian for the extremely well planned and executed tour of Italy for us. I felt at all times well looked after, stimulated by your obvious deep knowledge and passion for wines. This then enabled us to enjoy our trip all the more so as we felt especially well informed with regards to the culinary / gastronomic and wine. We never expect to eat as well for a long time after Piedmont and Tuscany."
Ted and Dawn Chatsworth
USA / June 2011