Q – My girlfriend and I are about to pull the trigger on a wine cruise by river boat. During our online search we discovered this site and were wondering if there is one line you might recommend. We’re in our early fifties, live in northern California, and we enjoy going out to Napa whenever we can. I guess you could say we know our wine stuff and we would really like to choose a river cruise that goes into the most depth. Our particular interest, at the moment, is the Bordeaux area of France.
A – The closest you will come to a true wine enthusiast’s cruise is the new “Bordeaux Vineyards and Chateaux” seven-night itinerary on Uniworld’s River Royale. The cruise covers the Medoc region and includes special tastings, wine pairing lunches, and even an onboard dinner designed by two-Michelin star chef, Philippe Etchebest.
But that said, we suspect that you could be disappointed by the depth of knowledge you might glean on any wine-dedicated river cruise. If you would like to be with other wine snobs, gaining entrance to “closed tot he public” vineyards, and accompanied by a true wine master, you ought to be looking at one of the land programs run by a company called Fine Vintage Ltd. Deal with James Cluen, if possible.
You might also consider a two-week program that combines a river cruise such as Uniworld’s, with a more in-depth custom week of private touring arranged by a top tier travel consultant. We are just concerned that you would find a lack of depth in any of the wine cruises operated by any of the river boat lines.