Puglia & Basilicata: Wine & Food Experience in Southern Italy.
Puglia & Basilicata: Wine & Food Experience in Southern Italy. Tim, When my friend Laura Hamilton sent me a link to the trip you were offering through Jetsetter and said "This has us written all over it" and asked if I was in...I very quickly responded "Hell ya!". It didn't take long to realize that this trip would be like no other... I really liked the smaller group and we were so blessed to have a fantastic group of people who I now consider friends. I learned a lot about the wines and the delicious food of the region...While there were many great experiences, one of my favorites was the cooking class with Gianna, John & Sara at Cooking Experience Lezioni di Cucina Salentina, Lecce, South Italy. The food was fabulous and I enjoyed learning to make orecchiette pasta along with everything else we made that day, DELICIOSO! Last weekend, I shared part of that experience with friends where we made my sauce and meatballs paired with fresh pasta using the recipe from our class. I only made about 10 orecchiette before switching to cavatelli, soooo much easier but we were pleasantly surprised how good it was! Our second cooking class at L'Astore Masseria, also fabulous and what a setting...beautiful!! The wine tastings were plentiful and very, very good! MORELLA was one of my favorites and it was really great to hear Lisa's story. I even made it home with one bottle of Old Vine but for how long, we shall see. Thank you Tim & Cristian for planning and delivering on the trip of a lifetime and the memories!!! I look forward to travelling with you again! Baci a tutti!
Meredith Sullivan Kensington, Connecticut USA
Wine experience in Chile and Argentina for I.W.F.S.
“Excellent accommodations, premier venues and knowledgeable guides, all made for a wonderful wine experience in Chile and Argentina with Robertson Wine Tours. It truly was like having a friend in the industry.”
Curt and Kay Botko Naples Florida - USA
Uruguay and Buenos Aires. Great wine and food for three Dentists from Atlanta
“Tim, Terry Wilkey here. Robin and I loved the job you did for us in April in BA and Montevideo.
We will be back. Now we are going to Cape Town this week 6/22. We want to know if you have any knowledge of wineries or wine tours there. Ciao Terry”
TERRY WILKEY Atlanta USA
‘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!
Sondra Pilgreen Baton Rouge, Louisiana. USA
BASILICATA AND PUGLIA. Exclusive tour with highlights of the region
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!
D. Smithson. Philadelphia USA
Sparking wine club and winemakers from Slovenia come to 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. Best Regards.
Borut Sraj Ljubljana Slovenia
Two week wine tour of Argentina and Chile including Torres del Paine national park
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 Los Angeles CA, USA
2 Venezuelan Sophisticates come to Argentina and Chile for a life changing adventure
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
Awestruck by Robertson Wine Tours in Puglia and Basilicata
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,
Carlos A. Rivera, M.D. Savannah, GA. USA
Chile / Mendoza / Iguazu Falls / Buenos Aires
USA March 2014
CHILE / MENDOZA / IGUAZU FALLS / BUENOS AIRES "The itinerary for our South American vacation as put together by Robertson Wine Tours was superb. The food, wine, accommodations and sightseeing exceeded our expectations. Best of all was the personal attention given by our local guides and drivers who were all very knowledgeable and attentive to our needs. Looking forward to our next opportunity to work with Tim and Cristian, perhaps an Italian wine tour". Thanks for everything, a very enjoyable vacation.
John Sobojinski Duluth, MN