Most of us require a helping hand with our getaways at some point. Should that judicious guidance result in skirting the Amalfi Coast on a private boat interspersed with sampling artisanal, culinary dishes, or an exclusive tasting at one of Napa Valley’s oldest wineries followed by dinner at a Michelin three-star restaurant, then so much the better; particularly if neither may even turn out to be the ultimate highlight of your trip.
The emergence of Wine Paths has transformed such cosmopolitan adventures into daily recurring events. This online platform has on its books many of the world’s elite wine and spirit producers, deluxe hotels as well as premier restaurants, and not only will Wine Paths usher you in, you’ll find yourself in the inner sanctum.
At the helm of Wine Paths is its CEO Stéphane Tillement, whose thirty years of tourism experience has seen him launch prominent luxury travel agencies in his native France, enabling him to identify a specific type of holiday his customers sought but were unable to acquire: ’I observed a growing demand for bespoke stays in French winegrowing regions which required the organiser to have intimate knowledge of the areas in question,’ he explains. ‘Once I met this demand I was constantly asked why I couldn’t start the equivalent in other countries, so I decided to launch an international version.’
Wine Paths offers its customers two methods of constructing their trip. Should you be comfortable handing over the reins entirely (or the possibility of switching to autopilot is simply too hard to resist) then Wine Paths’ bespoke option will undoubtedly strike a louder chord.
Styled to align perfectly with your wishes and needs, your input extends to deciding on where you want to go, how you’re going to get there and then liaising with Wine Paths’ resident expert who will be your dedicated feet on the ground.
It’s a given that your local expert will be fully in tune with the rhythm of your destination, so it’s the intricate attention to detail and minutiae which can only be absorbed from living and breathing the towns and vineyards which truly raises the bar. It is these qualities, in tandem with Wine Paths’ enviable, substantial address book which draw back the curtains to reveal the plethora of exclusive moments on offer.
Wine Paths has at its fingertips an array of achingly indulgent itineraries laden with such opportunities. A journey through the Douro – in addition to delivering some of the wine world’s most breath-taking landscapes-entails a private river cruise, gourmet lunch and tasting at the cellars of Douro legend Quinta do Noval, plus an exclusive cask tasting of old and rare Ports.
Find yourself in Bordeaux and you’ll soon be on a dedicated tour and tasting at Mouton-Rothschild or Pichon Baron, plus lining up at the Côté Cours Cooking School, then taking in the view of Dune du Pilat (Europe’s tallest sand dune) while spoiling yourself with Cape Ferret’s world-renowned oysters.
Should your compass point towards the New World then what waits is no less stellar, such as a 10-day odyssey which traverses the Andes, incorporating Chile and Argentina’s foremost regions and producers, including Hacienda Araucano, Bodega DiamAndes and Clos de los Siete.
However, such privileged access and experiences are not ring-fenced solely for those who take the option of allowing Wine Paths to shape their entire break, and this is where the second booking method comes to the fore, or The Direct Path as it’s known.
Each treat is also available as an optional bolt-on to work around your own plans. So, with your itinerary as a foundation, Wine Paths hands over its contacts list for you to get in direct touch with its member establishments, allowing you to compile as little or as many as your timetable allows.
‘Our objective is to be the leader in high-end, worldwide wine tourism and to be able to offer a select list of luxury partner offers to our clientele,’ states Tillement. ‘In addition to offering customised tour packages, Wine Paths propose true freedom to the client, allowing them to choose directly with our partners if they desire only one or two particular customised experiences. I believe this is what sets us apart.’
Find out more here: www.winepaths.com