Hi from Rick: A Sneak Peek at 2010
|Wine is fine, but knowing the family behind the label gives it richness.|
I've been inspired by how the pride of a family business or regional specialty stays strong, generation after generation. In Italy's Umbria region, I have long taken my tour groups to the Bottai family vineyard. Cecilia, the oldest daughter, is no longer the little girl that I once knew — she's now one of our tour guides. Today, as her parents are taking it easy, Cecilia shares her family's passion with us, walking us through the vineyard, introducing us to grape plants as if they were her children. As we follow her into the dark, cool tunnels of her vast cellar — dug a thousand years ago — she finds just the right bottles to share. And finally, we gather at the family dining table in a room that has changed little in 200 years, tasting the fruit of their land, labor, and culture. And our hosts were beaming with joy.
Connecting with generations-old family traditions has always been a hallmark of our tour program — and it will continue to create magic travel moments in 2010. To help bring that reality a little closer, in this month's Tour News we're offering a new feature. We've created a '2010 sneak peek' web page where you can sign up to get a special email from us that will allow you to enter our 2010 Tours site, browse and book a tour — a week before the general public.
In this issue we'll also plug you into the energy of guide Jennifer Gouge's upcoming fall Best of Europe tours (Oktoberfest, anyone?), and introduce you to a couple of new, tour-friendly travel bags we've designed.
September is just around the corner. It's a great time to travel in 2009 — and to plan for new adventures in 2010, as we launch next year's lineup of tours. Thanks for sharing the fun with us, and our 'extended family' in Europe.