Sparkling Wine Tours in California

If you are interested in taking a wine tour, but are just not in the position to leave the United States for weeks at a time, consider one of many sparkling wine tours in California. These tours offer you the chance to experience wine tasting, wonderful food, and a relaxing atmosphere, while still keeping you close to home. We can help you select a wine tour you’ll cherish your entire life.

The first thing to consider when planning a sparkling wine tour in California is what type of tour you are interested in. Some wine tours are full service. The tour guides will book your hotel, plan out your meals and transport you to and from wine tasting outings and other activities. These are a great option for anyone who is unfamiliar with the area or does not want to do a lot of work to plan their vacation.

On the other hand, many sparkling wine tours in California are a little less involved. Some of these tours will offer you the chance to find your own hotel and dining experiences, but still plan out and provide transportation to each wine tasting. This is a great option because you get the best of both worlds. You can spend time on your own, but still have an experienced professional show you all California wineries have to offer.

Finally, you may choose to experience the wines of California all on your own. You can easily set up your own sparkling wine tour in California. Find a book on the local wine tasting options and book them in advance so you know you aren’t missing anything. You can find a great hotel online or ask friends for recommendations. And don’t forget to make a list of great restaurants to experience while you are there.

Senior Group Travel Tours in Wine Country

In the rolling hills of Northern California, Napa Valley is picturesque, making it a prime vacation destination. During the fall, the mountainous terrain is covered with various hues of yellow, orange, and red-the perfect autumn setting. For food and wine lovers alike, Napa Valley, the food and wine capital of America, has the best of both to offer. From countless restaurants and bed and breakfasts set between wineries and vineyards is the perfect setting for a senior trip.

One convenient way to enjoy the best of Napa is taking a wine tour. There are many companies that offer discounted senior group tasting tours. The specifications for the tours vary by company; most, however, stop at five wineries by way of private car, bus, or limousine. Routes often vary-some tours begin with a ferry ride from San Francisco while others begin in Sonoma Valley. Public and private tours are both widely offered for senior tours. Private tours have the advantage of being customized. This may be appealing to those who are making return trips to this senior travel destination.

Another tour offered in Napa Valley is the wine train. This train offers a unique experience to visitors who are able to eat either gourmet lunch or dinner accompanied by fabulous wine while touring wine country.

If tours are not your style and you’d rather take a leisurely customized visit to Napa I have included some of the top rated wineries.

The Kuleto Estate Winery

This secluded estate winery founded in 1992 by restaurateur Pat Kuleto offers tours by reservation only. Tours are led by wine educators that feature current wine releases with cheese pairings. This vineyard is respected for its exclusivity as well as its highly rated wines.

The Beaulieu Vineyard

This century old vineyard has a legacy of benchmark wines. Known for its years of innovation in the wine making process, Beaulieu was responsible for the oak barrel aging process. This traditional vineyard is a must see. Visitor offerings include a variety of tours and tastings fitting every budget. A group may reserve a room or table and select the type of tasting experience they would like to experience, from cabernet tasting to a retrospective reserve tasting.

Domaine Chandon

Primarily known for its sparkling wines, champagne, and restaurant, Domaine Chandon offers many tour and tasting options as well as a package in cooperation with the Hilton and the wine train. Chandon offers many events throughout the year as well. Planning a visit here to taste the sparkling rose Chandon is a necessity.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Founded in the 1970s, the Joseph Phelps Vineyard has already produced 30 vintages receiving ratings over 90. This winery is known for its seclusion and attention to detail and intimacy in the wine making process. Many tour and tasting options are available.

The Robert Mondavi Winery

For those seeking to tour a larger more widely known winery, the Robert Mondavi estate fits the bill. This winery offers several art collections ranging from sculptor to painting collections as well as several exhibits. The Mondavi estate is also a popular event location. Tours and tastings range from wine education to food and wine tours.

There are many wineries and restaurants of interest in the Napa and Sonoma Valley areas. To plan a vacation that you can truly enjoy, be sure to do plenty of research! Look up your favorite type of wine and wineries in the area that are known for its production. Visits to Napa can be very leisurely making it a great destination for seniors who can take their time to relax, eat good food, and drink great wine.

Amsterdam Diamonds – Why Amsterdam Sparkles As a City Break Gem

Amsterdam hardly ever makes the grade in anyone’s hit list of Europe’s top romantic cities. Paris, Rome, Venice – even London – are likely to leave the Dutch capital in the shade. Some frown on Amsterdam’s links with red light sleaze and its drug smoking ‘coffee shops’. Others may think Amsterdam just a little too dull for a decent city break. Whatever the reasons, when a romantic weekend city break is on the cards, Amsterdam rarely turns up trumps.

What a pity! Despite what you may hear, Amsterdam is not all cannabis and carnality. Amsterdam also turns out to be a gem of a city break destination that could win the heart of the one you love. And what gives this city a romantic gloss?   Amsterdam, in fact, is one the the diamond capitals of Europe. And what surer way to win her heart than a glitzy tour of its diamond workshops? It’s a glittering jewel in this tourist city’s crown. And what’s more – it’s free! One of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions is the diamond factory tour.  

The Gassan diamond-polishing factory in the city centre is itself considered a jewel in the city’s tourist crown. Factory tours are free – but you should book in advance to be sure of a place. You get to see where diamonds are found, how they are classified, cut and polished. You can even watch the polishers at their craft and wonder how they resist the temptation to drop the odd stone into a pockets. Visitors agree that the tours are every bit as sparkling as the gems themselves.   About 340.000 visitors come to see Coster Diamonds craftsmen at work every year in the heart of the Museum District.

During free guided tours, which are available in more than 25 languages, the process of cutting and polishing a diamond is explained in detail by an efficient and accommodating staff. Costa is the firm that re-cut the 5,000-year-old Koh-i-noor diamond which sits in the British Royal Crown in the Tower of London. As an added treat you can admire their impressive diamond and jewellery collection – a brilliant experience you will not forget in a hurry.   Amstel Diamonds Limited, one of the oldest diamond factories of Amsterdam. They have been polishing gems here since 1876. The factory is found on the Amstel river in an old canal house in the very heart of historic Amsterdam and factory tours are free.   It all makes buying diamonds in Amsterdam a very special occasion for any visitor. This city has been a world centre for the diamond trade since the 16th century. It all began when Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition sought the safety of a tolerant and welcoming Amsterdam.

Many jewelers brought the diamond trade with them and, when diamonds were discovered in the Dutch-colonised parts of southern Africa, the diamond trade boomed   Many rough diamonds have been handed over to the expert tradesmen at the factories and workshops of Amsterdam for polishing and processing. The trade flourished until the Nazis occupied the city in the Second World War and the Jewish community was almost wiped out.   Much of the Amsterdam diamond trade moved to Antwerp in the wake of Nazi atrocities.

But the Amsterdam diamond trade has prospered again in recent years thanks to the city’s large and growing tourist trade, in particular its rising popularity as a weekend city breaks destination.   OK, classy diamonds may be a trifle too expensive for most pockets but there is nothing like window shopping and even trying on some of the most dazzling jewellery to be found in the world. What better way to dazzle that special person in your life with a city break trip that has that extra sparkle?