FOCUS


Dear Governors Wine Club:

Naturally, we are thrilled you have selected Robertson Wine Tours again to travel with you to Sicily. We think Sicily is one of the most exciting and interesting places to visit in Italy. We have invested more time and energies in this zone than any other, as we 100% believe in the destination: the wines and the foods are in a league of their own, especially if you enjoy seafood.

I realise that we are still 18 months out, as we are looking at the first week of October 2016 to be the first day of the tour. The reason we have already designed the tour for you is we would like to try to get everything in place as soon as possible for this tour, why? Well the first reason is May and October are the best months for visiting Sicily and as such, hotel prices are high and the availability is not so easy. The second reason is that whatever way you look at it, Sicily is expensive and we think if we can move quickly and get our reservations in soon enough, we can achieve some favourable pricing on the hotels, upgrades and extras, which will really help. Naturally, we can work with you to tweak this tour, but in our mind it is exactly how we would like to run with and knowing you from the South American tour we think we have the right mix here.

With the guidance of Carol Smithwick, we have listened to the feedback thus far and have designed the tour accordingly. Sicily is big island: at its widest point, Sicily measures 175 miles east to west and about one third that distance north to south. This means that to set a relaxed pace and to enjoy Sicily, you need time. Roads are not what they should be and there is just so much to see. With this in mind, we have designed the tour to be 7 nights as asked and then a further 3 nights trip extension. We do know what is achievable in Sicily in 7 nights and it is impossible to do the whole island in that time. This is why we will concentrate on the east and the south-east of Sicily for the 7 nights of the tour and then move west and north for the following 3 nights of the trip extension. We really do appreciate not everybody is able to commit to more than 7 nights on the ground, but we certainly want to encourage members to make this trip extension as it will give you the full immersion of Sicily. If you did not travel back to Sicily after this tour, you could certainly say you have seen the highlights of this magical island.

It will certainly be my (Tim Robertson) pleasure to be the tour director on this tour. I am thrilled I am going to get to travel with you all and get to meet you in such wonderful settings. I am really going to look forward to showing you the best of the island. The tour will have me as the tour director and we will have specialist local guides jump on and off the tour, as we need them. Outside of wine, we have kept the mornings for sightseeing and we will naturally make tours of Toarmina and wind our way up the hills of Toarmina to visit the stunning town of Castelmola, often considered one of the most beautiful towns in all of Italy. We will also spend a few hours on a private boat that we think is a wonderful way to see the gorgeous coastline. There will be time to visit the UNESCO town of Siracusa, its amazing island of Ortigia and the Neapolis Archaeological Park. We will take a look at the late baroque towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa and then finish the cultural side with a visit to the incredible mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale.

As per instructions, we have a welcome and farewell dinner and we have organized some fabulous lunches at wineries or with winemakers, most of the other dinners will be suggested. As for the wine, you will return veritable experts and understand exactly what is going on in Sicily. We will have plenty of private pre- dinner tastings to wineries and regions we are not visiting to complete this 360 degree understanding. Now, let's talk about the food. Well it is simply one of the most interesting cuisines of Italy, as it has so many influences due to the massive amount of invasions and immigrations that Sicily has enjoyed through its history. Expect deserts from Middle East, cous cous, wonderful fish and raw seafood, haute cuisine in some world-class restaurants: simply you are going to eat extraordinarily well. When tasting wines, it is important to have a sufficiently large lunch and we have a couple of world-class restaurants that we will be booking a la carte as non-included dinners.

Our second zone (that we will be moving to) is Ragusa, which gives us easy access to the south-east of the island and we have two lodges to think about. Eremo della Giubiliana is our go to accommodation in the zone and is a small intimate Knights of Malta keep.

In 7 nights, this is what is achievable. We should never be more than 3 hours in our transport per day and the pace is a perfect balance of being active without being hectic. Flights for those who are only making this part of the tour would return to Catania, which is closer and has more flights than Palermo.

Trip Extension to Valley of Temples Park & North-West of Sicily

This will be a further 3 nights, giving you 10 nights on the ground in total. Once we have enjoyed the south-east of Sicily, on Day 08 we will pack up and move to Palermo via the truly impressive Valley of Temples, coupling this with one of the best restaurants in the region (Il Re di Girgenti) that enjoys views over the main temple, all in all a total joy. Following Agrigento, we will then move into Palermo, Sicily's capital. It is a very bustling and frenetic city, a veritable melting pot of cultures, decadent and fun. We have some wonderful dinner recommendations for you, but we will be keeping you on your toes as we have a lot to see and do in these two extra days. Palazzo Brunaccini is our choice for Palermo. It is newly renovated, well run and in the centre of everything. On Day 09, we rise up to Monte Caputo to the beautiful village of Monreale with its spectacular cathedral and cloisters. Our final winery visit will be to Ceuso, where we will enjoy a vertical of their top wine while we enjoy lunch. Finally, we will drive all the way up to Erice and enjoy some of the finest views in Sicily overlooking the island of Favignana and Trapani below. Our last day is quiet a treat as we will be seeing Palermo and also making the most wonderful cooking experience with the ambassador of Sicily’s Slow Food movement, Bonetta Dell'Oglio. This experience will turn into a farewell dinner for those who have made this extension. It is fair to say that you will have a fantastic overview of Sicily and were you not to ever return you will have enjoyed some of the main attractions and will have left Sicily with a great understanding of the local wines and you will have eaten incredible and typical food all the way through the tour.


Why CHOOSE Robertson Wine Tours?


The reason for choosing us is very simple: we are wine lovers and want to share with you our insights and the things we love most: outstanding wines with excellent food, great company and stunning landscapes. Our main objective is for you to gain a great understanding of Italy and its people while tasting amazing wines and superb cuisine in the time you have available. RWT has 10 years of experience and excellence. Italy is a country you can return to often, so let us try to show it to you from a new perspective: through its foods and wines. Many of our guests have been to other great wine regions in the world. Italy sometimes surprises our guests with what appears to be backward technology and time tested winemaking techniques, which seem to be in big contradiction to all the New World's winemaking bells and whistles. It is fascinating to speak to winemakers about their perspective on the wines of Italy, the wine industry and global markets.


Table of contents


Tour Day by Day – Sicily – Group tour for the whole of the Island. Luxury Wine and Food Experience – 11 Nights


BREAKFAST, LUNCHES & DINNERS


In this itinerary, we make it clear where meals are included:

(B) Breakfast

(L) Lunch

(D) Dinner



TOUR DAY BY DAY


DAY 01 – Monday 10th October 2016

Arrival IN / Taormina / Welcome Wine Tasting & Dinner / Villa Schuler


Flight IN at Catania Airport (CTA)

Reception at Catania Airport with Driver of Robertson Wine Tours

Private Transfer to Taormina

Arrival & Check IN at Villa Schuler

Afternoon Free Acclimatizing & Enjoying Villa Schuler

Welcome Wine Tasting & Tour Orientation at Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Please Note: Focusing on the Wines of Messina & Etna.

Welcome Dinner with Wines at Nero d’Avola Restaurant in Taormina

Please Note: Transfer Included / Chef Turi Siligato.

Sleep at Villa Schuler / Room Category: Superior with Sea View


(D)


DAY 02 – Tuesday 11th October 2015

Sightseeing Taormina & Etna: Wine, Food & Cultural Experience


Departure from Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Guided City Tour of Taormina

Private Transfer to Viagrande

Lunch with Wines at Benanti Winery

Visit at Benanti Winery

Private Transfer to Taormina

Arrival at Villa Schuler

Afternoon Free Walking & Discovering Taormina On Your Own

Wine Tasting at Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Please Note: Focusing on the Native White Wines from Sicily.

Suggested Dinner Not Included a la Carte at Tischi Toschi Restaurant in Taormina

Please Note: At Walking Distance.

Sleep at Villa Schuler / Room Category: Superior with Sea View


(B) (L)


DAY 03 – Wednesday 12th October 2016

Sightseeing Taormina Coastline & Etna: Cultural, Wine & Food Experience


Departure from Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Private Transfer to Giardini-Naxos

Guided Boat Tour Experience on Taormina Coastline

Private Transfer to Solicchiata

Winemaker Lunch with Wines at Terra Mia Restaurant in Solicchiata

Please Note: Focusing on the Wines of Giuseppe Russo Winery / Chef Leonardo Cuscona.

Visit & Wine Tasting at Destro Winery 

Private Transfer to Taormina

Arrival at Villa Schuler

Wine Tasting at Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Please Note: Focusing on the Wines of Sambuca di Sicilia.

Suggested Dinner Not Included a la Carte at Rosso di Vino Restaurant in Taormina

Please Note: Transport Included.

Sleep at Villa Schuler / Room Category: Superior with Sea View


(B) (L)


DAY 04 – Thursday 13th October 2016

Sightseeing Castelmola & Etna: Cultural, Wine & Food Experience


Departure from Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Private Transfer to Castelmola

Guided Tour of Castelmola & Surroundings

Private Transfer to Linguaglossa

Winemaker Lunch with Wines at Shalai Restaurant in Linguaglossa

Please Note: Focusing on the Wines of Frank Cornelissen Winery / Chef Giovani Santono.

Private Transfer to Castiglione di Sicilia

Visit & Wine Tasting at Passopisciaro Winery

Private Transfer to Randazzo

Visit & Wine Tasting at Tenuta delle Terre Nere Winery

Private Transfer to Taormina

Arrival at Villa Schuler

Wine Tasting at Villa Schuler with Tim & Dionisio

Please Note: Focusing on the Wines of Tasca d’Almerita Winery.

Suggested Dinner Not Included a la Carte at Grand Hotel Timeo Restaurant in Taormina

Please Note: Transport Included.

Sleep at Villa Schuler / Room Category: Superior with Sea View


(B) (L)


DAY 05 – Friday 14th October 2016

Sightseeing Siracusa & Noto: Cultural, Wine & Food Experience / Ragusa / Eremo


Check OUT from Villa Schuler

Departure from Villa Schuler with Dionisio

Private Transfer to Siracusa

Guided City Tour of Siracusa with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Please Note: Focusing on the Archaeological Park.

Lunch with Wines at Le Vin de l’Assassin Restaurant in Siracusa

Please Note: Chef Salvo Malfitano.

Guided City Tour of Siracusa with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Please Note: Focusing on the Isle of Ortigia.

Private Transfer to Ragusa

Arrival & Check IN at Eremo della Giubiliana

Wine Tasting at Eremo della Giubiliana with Dionisio

Please Note: Focusing on the Sparkling Wines from Sicily.

Dinner with Wines at Eremo della Giubiliana Restaurant

Please Note: Chef Vincenzo Santalucia.

Sleep at Eremo della Giubiliana / Room Category: Classic (DUS) & Superior (Double)


(B) (L) (D)


DAY 06 – Saturday 15th October 2016

Sightseeing Ragusa & Vittoria: Cultural, Wine & Food Experience


Departure from Eremo with Dionisio

Guided City Tour of Ragusa with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Private Transfer to Vittoria

Visit at COS Winery

Lunch with Wines at COS Winery

Visit & Wine Tasting at Arianna Occhipinti OR Paolo Cali Winery OR Similar

Private Transfer to Ragusa

Arrival at Eremo della Giubiliana

Departure from Eremo della Giubiliana with Dionisio

Private Transfer to Scoglitti

Suggested Dinner Not Included a la Carte at Il Sakalleo Restaurant in Scoglitti

Private Transfer to Ragusa

Arrival at Eremo della Giubiliana

Sleep at Eremo della Giubiliana / Room Category: Classic (DUS) & Superior (Double)


(B) (L)


DAY 07 – Sunday 16th October 2016

Sightseeing Piazza Armerina: Cultural, Wine & Food Experience / Farewell Dinner


Departure from Eremo with Dionisio

Private Transfer to Piazza Armerina

Guided Tour of Villa Romana del Casale with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Lunch with Wines at Al Fogher Restaurant in Piazza Armerina

Please Note: Chef Angelo Treno.

Private Transfer to Caltagirone

Visit & Wine Tasting at Nanfro Winery

Private Transfer to Ragusa

Arrival at Eremo della Giubiliana

Departure from Eremo with Dionisio

Private Transfer to Ispica

Farewell Winemaker Light Dinner with Wines at Riofavara Winery

Private Transfer to Ragusa

Arrival at Eremo della Giubiliana

Sleep at Eremo della Giubiliana / Room Category: Classic (DUS) & Superior (Double)


(B) (L) (D)


DAY 08 – Monday 17th October 2016

Catania / Departure OUT OR Licata / Agrigento / Valley of Temples Park / Villa Athena


Option 1: Departure OUT

Check OUT from Eremo della Giubiliana

Departure from Eremo della Giubiliana with Driver of Robertson Wine Tours

Private Transfer to Catania Airport

Arrival at Catania Airport

Flight OUT from Catania Airport (CTA)

Option 2: Trip Extension to Valley of Temples Park & North-West of Sicily

Check OUT from Eremo della Giubiliana

Departure from Eremo with Dionisio

Private Transfer to Licata

Lunch with Wines at La Madia Restaurant in Licata

Please Note: 2-Star Michelin Restaurant / Chef Pino Cuttaia.

Private Transfer to Agrigento

Arrival & Check IN at Villa Athena

Departure from Villa Athena with Dionisio

Short Guided Tour of Valley of Temples Park with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Arrival at Villa Athena

Dinner with Wines at Villa Athena Restaurant

Please Note: Chef Antonio Di Caro.

Sleep at Villa Athena / Room Category: Superior (DUS) & Deluxe (Double) with Temples View


(B) OR (B) (L) (D)


DAY 09 – Tuesday 18th October 2016

Valley of Temples Park / Palermo / Grand Hotel Villa Igiea


Check OUT from Villa Athena

Departure from Villa Athena with Dionisio

Guided Tour of Valley of Temples Park with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Lunch with Wines at Il Re di Girgenti Restaurant in Agrigento

Please Note: Chef Salvatore Avenia.

Private Transfer to Palermo

Arrival & Check IN at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Afternoon Free Enjoying Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Suggested Dinner Not Included a la Carte at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Restaurant in Palermo

Sleep at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea / Room Category: Deluxe (DUS) & Grand Deluxe with Sea View


(B) (L)


DAY 10 – Wednesday 19th October 2016

Sightseeing Western Sicily: Cultural, Wine & Food Experience


Departure from Villa Igiea with Dionisio

Private Transfer to Erice

Guided Tour of Erice & Surroundings with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Private Transfer to Calatafimi Segesta

Lunch with Wines at Ceuso Winery

Please Note: Including Vertical Tasting of Ceuso Riserva Rosso Sicilia IGT.

Visit at Ceuso Winery

Private Transfer to Palermo

Arrival at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Wine Tasting at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea with Dionisio

Please Note: Focusing on the Wines of Marco De Bartoli Winery.

Suggested Dinner Not Included a la Carte at Alle Terrazze Restaurant in Palermo

Please Note: Including Transport.

Sleep at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea / Room Category: Deluxe (DUS) & Grand Deluxe with Sea View


(B) (L)


DAY 11 – Thursday 20th October 2016

Sightseeing Palermo & Monreale: Cultural & Culinary Experience with Farewell Dinner


Departure from Villa Igiea with Dionisio

Guided City Tour of Palermo & Monreale with Local Guide of Robertson Wine Tours

Suggested Lunch Not Included a la Carte at Gigi Mangia Restaurant in Palermo 

Arrival at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Afternoon Free Enjoying Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Departure from Villa Igiea with Dionisio

Cooking Experience & Wine Tasting at Palazzo Branciforte

Farewell Dinner with Wines Based on Your Creations at Palazzo Branciforte

Arrival at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Sleep at Grand Hotel Villa Igiea / Room Category: Deluxe (DUS) & Grand Deluxe with Sea View


(B) (D)


DAY 12 – Friday 21st October 2016

Palermo / Departure OUT


Check OUT from Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

Departure from Grand Hotel Villa Igiea with Driver of Robertson Wine Tours

Private Transfer to Palermo Airport

Arrival at Palermo Airport

Flight OUT from Palermo Airport (PMO)


(B)


END of SERVICES


ITINERARY INCLUSIONS


Airport Transfers

07 OR 11 Nights of Accommodation in the Hotels Included in the Itinerary

Overnight Tourist Taxes

Private Transport with Driver & Air Conditioning

Expert Bilingual Guiding

Daily Breakfast

6 OR 9 Lunches & 3 OR 5 Dinners with Wines

Entrance Fee & Wine Tasting at 07 OR 08 Wineries

5 OR 7 Informal Wine Tastings

Other Activities Included in the Itinerary


ITINERARY EXCLUSIONS


International & Domestic Flights

Lunches & Dinners Not Included in the Itinerary

Gratuities for Meals

Gratuities for Drivers & Guides

Entrance Fee to Museums & Sites

Personal Expenses & Others Costs Not Included in the Itinerary

Other Activities Not Included in the Itinerary


Thursday 11th June 2015

Tim Robertson

Director of ROBERTSON WINE TOURS

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