Experience European Wine & Wineries on AMA Waterways

Wine Cruises

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AMA Waterways

WINE HOSTS

Join expert wine hosts from North America and Europe on AmaWaterways’ exclusive “In Celebration of Wine” cruises on the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine Rivers. Our insightful and entertaining wine hosts oversee tastings of wonderful wine, lead excursions to wineries and vineyards, and explain the nuances of traditional wine-making methods and European wine heritage and traditions. Each qualified wine expert usually brings hand-selected wines on board that are served during meals and at tastings. Some wines come from the expert’s own winery and other varieties are sourced from local wineries located along the cruise itinerary.
 
Plan now for 2017
 
Mar 23, 2017 - Provence & SpainPetaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance, Sonoma County, CA.
  • Ana Keller, Estate Director, Keller Estate

  • Evan Pontoriero, Co-Owner, Fogline Vineyards

  • Alexandre Remy, Winemaker, Agnitio Wines

  • Rickey Trombetta Stancliff, CEP & Co-Owner & Erica Stancliff, Winemaker, Trombetta Family Win

Mar 23, 2017 - Paris & Normandy Dane Stark, Winemaker & Owner, Page Mill Winery, Livermore, CA.
Dane Stark grew up in Palo Alto and attended University of Colorado, Boulder. His junior year abroad he spent studying viticulture at the Universite de Bordeaux III. His first professional harvest was in 1989, and after working as a wine buyer for restaurants and a retail store he joined the family business in 1992. He is a hands-on owner/winemaker of the Page Mill Winery LLC assuring that the Starks’ vision of fine wines that fit your life will be carried forward into the future.

 
Mar 25, 2017 - The Enchanting RhineTo be announced.. Please check back for updates.
Mar 27, 2017 - Melodies of the DanubePaul & Merril Bonarrigo, Owners, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Bryan, TX.
Messina Hof is the most awarded and renowned Texas wine in national and international competitions. In a community steeped in tradition, Messina Hof Winery & Resort holds its own with a 200-year history of award-winning wines. Although the winery itself was officially established when with the first vintage release in 1983, the rich wine heritage of Winemaker Paul Bonarrigo dates back six generations to Messina, Sicily. Merrill Bonarrigo’s family originates from Hof, Germany. Together they have pioneered the Texas wine industry in creating premium wines of distinction and a landmark wine country destination
 
Mar 29, 2017 - Melodies of the DanubeTo be announced.. Please check back for updates.
 
Mar 30, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxTo be announced.. Please check back for updates
Mar 30, 2017 - Paris & Normandy Michael Muscardini, Owner and Winemaker, Muscardini Cellars, Kenwood, CA.
Michael graduated from college with a fine arts degree. After 27 years building a successful construction company he entered the world of winemaking. In 1999 he bought land in Sonoma, planting Sangiovese vines. Within 5 years Michael’s hand-crafted vintages won Best in Class gold medals at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition and a double gold at the California State Fair. His 2008 Pauli Ranch Sangiovese garnered 98 points and Muscardini Cellars was lauded as Best Micro Winery in California. No small achievements for this winemaker! Join Michael on a special voyage down the Seine, visiting some of the most historic and charming villages in northern France. On board Michael will explain the nuances of French and Italian winemaking in contrast with his own New World approach
Apr 1, 2017 - The Enchanting RhineMike Rennie, Co-owner, Leoness Cellars, Temecula, CA.
Mike Rennie is a leading California winery and vineyard operator who has been instrumental in the development and growth of the Temecula Valley as a premium wine region. Mike is an advocate for all wineries and grape growers in the valley, promoting quality, sustainable farming practices and helping to raise standards for wines produced. Mike Rennie is a co-owner of Leoness Cellars, which is one of Temecula’s most consistent 90-point earning wineries. “We’re a farming family and we want to remind people that a great wine’s journey begins in the vineyard. My goal is to continue to refine Leoness as one of the premier wineries in Temecula, California, and the nation, for that matter.”
Apr 1, 2017 - The Enchanting Rhine Julianne Nelson, Oregon Sales Manager and Cellar Assistant for Ken Wright Cellars, Carlton OR.
A Level 2 Certified Sommelier through the Court of Masters, Julianne began working for Ken Wright during the harvest of 2009 primarily in fermentation and white wine cellar management. Originally from Minneapolis, Julianne studied journalism and theater performance before falling in love with the history and science of fermented grape juice. She studied wine service and hospitality in New York City for trailblazing restauranteurs and chefs such as Keith McNally - Pastis, Balthazar, Marc Murphy - Landmarc and Harold Moore - Commerce. Her passion for Pinot noir brought her to the Pacific NW and the integrity of farming, family and winemaking at Ken Wright Cellars has kept her there. Ken Wright changed the game of Pinot noir in Oregon by implementing now common place practices such as hand sorting, crop thinning, single-vineyard designate bottlings and nutrition based farming.
Apr 4, 2017 - Port Wine & FlamencoScott & Lynn Adams, Owners, Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, Healdsburg, CA.
Beginning with a strong technical education through viticulture and enology classes at the University of California at Davis, Scott and Lynn say their real experience comes from being surrounded by a talented winemaking team. And whether they are leaf pulling in the vineyards, doing punch downs or running blending trials, they enjoy taking part in every step of the winemaking process throughout the year. Join them for a Port Wine & Flamenco wine cruise along the Douro!
 
Apr 5, 2017 - The Romantic DanubeDoug Margerum, Owner/Director of Winemaking, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara, CA.
Doug started his food and wine explorations at a young age while traveling with his parents in France. His passion for food and wine was enhanced as he worked in restaurants as a cook and server throughout his high school and college years. Coinciding with his graduation from UCSB in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK – which quickly expanded to include a simple bistro adjacent to wine store. In 1994, the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007 after deciding to devote all of his energies to wine making. Margerum Wine Company began in 2001. His philosophy is to return to wine making in its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal. Doug reassumed ownership in WINE CASK in 2009.
 
Apr 6, 2017 - Provence & SpainLouis Lucas, Winemaker, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, Solvang, CA.
Originally from California’s Central Valley, Louis Lucas is one of California’s premier grape growers. His 1970’s partnership in Tepusquet Vineyards marked his name in the history books as among the first commercial grape growers in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. His vast knowledge and viticultural expertise span over four decades making him a sought after speaker, consultant, and advisor. In 1996, he joined forces with retired Judge Royce Lewellen, with two of his existing vineyards, and they developed premium wine producing properties in the three principal wine grape growing regions of Santa Barbara County: the Santa Maria Valley, the Los Alamos Valley, and the Santa Ynez Valley, allowing them to utilize the 3 different microclimate zones that are unique to Santa Barbara County’s coastal climate. L&L vineyards experience warm days and cool nights with long, gentle growing seasons for their over 400 acres and 26 varieties of grapes
 
Apr 6, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxAnthony Bell, Winemaker, Bell Wine Cellars, Napa Valley, CA.
After growing up among the vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Anthony was sent to experience sherry making in Spain and wine making in Bordeaux. Returning home, he did his undergrad work at the Univ of Stellenbosch, then continued his master’s work in California at UC Davis. Landing a job as Beaulieu Vineyard’s first viticulturist, he became deeply involved in many aspects contributing to modern winemaking in Napa Valley – he drew the map defining the Carneros appellation, he developed Napa’s first grape grower relations program and conducted BVs famous Cabernet Sauvignon clonal studies, as well as making the famed BV Georges de Latour. After 15 years at BV, he founded Bell Wine Cellars, in Yountville, the center of Napa Valley, where he focuses on making wines that proclaim a “sense of place” in every glass. Appellations, vineyards and clones are what Bell Wine Cellars is about, and we look forward to sharing our experience of 40 years of California winemaking with you
 
Apr 13, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxSteve Cass, Owner, Cass Winery, Paso Robles, CA.
Steve and Alice Cass started in the wine business in 1999 with the acquisition of their property in Paso Robles, California that was to become the vineyard and later, the winery. Recently Cass Winery was named “2015 Winery of the Year” by the Central Coast Wine Competition for the most recognized winery that presented the most exceptional selection of wines. “We are thrilled with how well our wines did and how they were received” says Cass winemaker Sterling Kragten. Established in 2005, the winery currently produces 10,000 cases a year with emphasis on producing wines that express their varietal nature and the vineyard. The wines may be lighter in color and body but more complex in flavors and nuances. This is generally referred to as an ‘old world’ style wine. Join Steve and Alice as they take you on a journey, sampling the many “Tastes of Bordeaux”
 
Apr 13, 2017 - Blue Danube DiscoveryPaul Wagner & Madeline Triffon, American Wine Society.

Paul Wagner, Wine Instructor, Napa Valley College
Renowned Wine Expert and Author Paul Wagner, wine expert extraordinaire, has been an instructor for Napa Valley College’s Viticulture & Enology department for the past 17 years, is a regular columnist for Vineyards & Winery Management Magazine and is the president of Balzac Communications & Marketing.

Madeline Triffon, Master Sommelier
Madeline is one of 147 professionals who have earned the title Master Sommelier in North America. Madeline was the second woman in the world, to have passed the M.S. exam. She is a Chairman Emeritus of the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers and has also served as Scholarship Chair.

 
Jun 29, 2017 - Provence & SpainFreddy Arredondo, Winemaker, Cave B Estate Winery, Quincy, WA.
Alfredo “Freddy” Arredondo is a graduate of the Walla Walla Center for Enology and Viticulture. Freddy’s winemaking experience includes working as a cellar master at Cougar Crest Winery in Walla Walla. Prior to becoming a winemaker, Freddy was a professional chef. He started his culinary career at age 13, cooking in his family’s restaurant. It was while working and attending culinary classes in Arizona that he was first introduced to wine. After working as a chef in restaurants across the country, he was drawn to Italy and moved there when he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners. While there, two life-changing things occurred: he met his future wife Carrie Bryan – daughter of Vince & Carol Bryan, owners of Cave B – and he became completely passionate about wine. “I am excited to create wines that marry beautifully and seamlessly with foods,” said Freddy.” I look forward to the amazing things that are on the horizon.”
 
Jul 6, 2017 - Paris & NormandyTo be announced.. Please check back for updates
 
Jul 11, 2017 - Enticing DouroMichael Blaylock, Winemaker, Quady Winery, Madera, CA.
Michael Blaylock of Quady Winery is arguably America’s foremost maker of dessert varietals. Michael has a Master of Science in Chemistry with an emphasis in Enology. He marries Old World winemaking style with New World California panache. A frequent speaker at wine industry conventions, over an impressive 32 year career Michael has created best-selling dessert varietals Essensia, Elysium, Electra and Starboard-Batch 88. The Quady North Winery in Jacksonville, Oregon produces dry wine varietals including popular blend “Pistoleta”; a delightful mixture of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Guests on this Douro voyage can look forward to a fine wine experience combined with an education into Iberian Peninsula wines and winemaking contrasted with New World philosophy and production practices.
 
Jul 20, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxThe Wilson Family: Gerry, Rosie, Mick and Deanna, Owners, Wilson Creek Winery, Temecula, CA.
Wilson Creek is truly a family winery – eight of their family members work there. Wilson Creek is known for its famous Almond Champagne, but it also produces numerous award-winning red and white wines as well. The winery is consistently voted the most popular winery in Southern California Wine Country partially due to the hospitable staff, amazing restaurant, and beautiful winery grounds. On the wine cruises, Rosie and Gerry Wilson host the cruise while Mick and Deanna Wilson facilitate the onboard wine tastings and wine paired dinners. Mick is a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators as well as a Certificated Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers
 
Jul 24, 2017 - Melodies of the DanubeJack & Ann Seifrick, Founding Partners, Cast Wines, Geyserville CA.
Ann and Jack Seifrick have combined their love of the Sonoma County wine country with their energetic, entrepreneurial spirits to create Cast Wines. Both are passionate about the people, food, beauty and active, outdoor lifestyle that they have enjoyed while visiting wine destinations around the world. The opportunity to partner and team up with talented winemaker Mike Gulyash to acquire an absolutely beautiful property in Dry Creek Valley and then craft delicious wines to share in a relaxed and peaceful setting has been both challenging and exhilarating. Starting with the 2012 harvest, a small quantity of wines have been produced annually, with release of Cast’s first wines to the public on Memorial Day weekend 2014. “The name “Cast” comes from the Spell that was Cast upon us when we first visited this vineyard – a spell that we hope to preserve and share with visitors through our wines and our careful use of the land for many years to come.
 
Jul 27, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxTo be announced.. Please check back for updates.
 
Jul 27, 2017 - The Enchanting RhineDarby Tarantino, Director of Tasting Room Operations, Meadowcroft Wines, Sonoma, CA.
A native of the world renowned wine region of Sonoma County, Darby Tarantino has worked within the hospitality industry in various capacities for more than 20 years. Darby is a classically trained chef who graduated with honors from the famed culinary school Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. After her culinary training, Darby studied Wine Business and Enology at both Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University, earning her degree in 2010. Darby was hired as Meadowcroft Wines Culinary Director and Wine Educator when they opened in 2010. She took over as Director of Tasting Room Operations in 2014, but continues to cultivate her passion for food and wine by catering unique events for the Meadowcroft tasting room such as their annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, which sells out every year.
 
Aug 3, 2017 - Provence & SpainMatthieu Finot, Winemaker, King Family Vineyards, Crozet, VA.
Matthieu was born in Crozes Hermitage in the Rhone Valley of France. Coming from a family of viticulturists and wine lovers, Matthieu was predisposed to continue his family’s pursuit of making and enjoying wine. He first studied viticulture and oenology at Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. After graduating in 1995, Matthieu worked in many different wine regions around France including Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Jura. He then worked in Italy and South Africa to gain experience around the world before settling in Virginia. Since arriving in 2003, Matthieu has worked with wineries throughout the state. He enjoys working in the Monticello Appellation most because he likes the excitement of the region’s growth and being close to Charlottesville.
 
Aug 3, 2017 - Paris & NormandyChristopher Silva, President & CEO, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA.
A fifth generation Sonoma County native, Christopher Silva worked in Los Angeles as an attorney before coming aboard St. Francis as the winery’s CEO. The winery is best known for its boldly flavored and fruit-forward varietal wines and was named after St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan order, credited with bringing European-style grape cultivation to the new world. “Our time at St. Francis will not be measured in years. It will be measured by the contributions each one of us makes—as individuals—to constantly improving the quality of our grapes and our wines. ‘Good enough’ is contrary to our mission.”
 
Aug 5, 2017 - The Enchanting RhineChris Williams, Winemaker, Brooks Winery, Amity, OR.
In 2006, Chris Williams joined Oregon’s renowned Brooks Wine as the vineyard’s full-time winemaker. With the unexpected passing of owner Jimi Brooks, Chris organized and led an extraordinary group of Willamette Valley winemakers who donated their time and talent to help Jimi’s vision continue. Chris originally began working with Jimi Brooks at WillaKenzie Estate, later joining him at Maysara Winery. He has brought continuity in philosophy from working closely with Jimi over the years, keeping Brooks Wines consistent; crafted in the traditional, elegant style that has won awards and acclaim across the world of wine.

Aug 8, 2017 - Enticing DouroTracy McArdle, General Manager, Jessup Cellars, Yountville, CA.
Tracy McArdle manages day-to-day operations for Napa Valley’s Good Life Wine Collective; the three wineries of Handwritten Wines, Jessup Cellars and Humanitas Wines. Each brand is carefully produced; crafted in small lots from the finest fruit grown in Napa Valley and beyond, picked at the peak of ripeness. Chardonnays are barrel-fermented and left on the lees until ready for bottling. Pinot Noir grapes are brought in refrigerated trucks, destemmed, and cold soaked for 4 to 5 days; followed by a slow, submerged fermentation process to keep the skins in a constant contact with the wine. The end results are marvelous big Pinots and rich Chardonnays. Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Tracy attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Information and Decision Sciences. She also played golf for the University of Central Florida. She looks forward to educating our guests about her wines and wine production in the Napa Valley

Aug 10, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxTo be announced.. Please check back for updates.

 

Aug 15, 2017 - Enticing DouroAllen & Barbara Balik, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Allen Balik is a noted wine collector, wine educator, author and recognized authority on California and European wines. He also serves as an industry consultant on brand and vineyard development. Allen has toured wine growing areas around the world and hosted wine cruises both in the Mediterranean and France’s Canal de Bourgogne. He co-authored the best-selling Guide to Choosing, Serving and Enjoying Wine and writes Wine Exchange for the Napa Valley Register. In 1990, Allen founded “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters” (www.californiawinemasters.org) benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Today, “Winemasters” hosts 1400 guests, 75 California wineries and 55 restaurants. Raising over $28 million since its inception, the event is one of the world’s largest single-day charity wine auctions.

Aug 17, 2017 - Taste of BordeauxRay & Loretta Falkner, Owners, Falkner Winery, Temecula Valley, CA.
Falkner Winery is one of the premier wineries in Temecula Valley and was established in June 2000. The Falkners are not new to wine but were new to the wine business. Ray Falkner spent his career in technology with companies such as IBM and Microsoft. Loretta Falkner spent her career in retail with companies such as Macy’s, May Company, Montgomery Ward, and Gadzooks. Together they bring great business experience and a love for wine together to form a winery dedicated to producing high quality wines and a tasting room that generates fun and excitement. Falkner Winery produces premium wines such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Amante (their highly rated “Super Tuscan Style” blend), Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Meritage (a Bordeaux style blend). The Falkner’s are proud of the fact that 80% of their wine offerings have received Gold or Silver Medals in California wine competitions.
 
Aug 21, 2017 - Melodies of the DanubeDr. Douglas Garman, PhD, Wine Expert for Europa Village Winery in Temecula, CA.
Dr. Douglas Garman, Ph.D, a 35 year professional educator, is the wine educator and sommelier for Europa Village. An original wine club member and one of the first employees hired by Europa Village Winery, Dr. Doug's wine expertise has been sought after and shared as a speaker by those attending classes, tours, and in numerous media interviews. A world traveler, Dr. Doug has enjoyed many wines from different regions of the US, Europe, Australia and South America and is looking forward to teaching all about the different wine regions along this Danube River Cruise.

Nov 2, 2017 - Paris & NormandyMichael McCay, Owner & Winemaker, Michael McCay Cellars, Lodi, CA.

Michael McCay and his family have farmed in Lodi for 20 plus years. Michael came to Lodi in the mid 1980s, started making wine in 1994 and launched the McCay Cellars label in 2007. From the beginning, Michael’s winemaking style has involved native fermentation...discovering and exploring the layers and trueness of this “old world style” winemaking. Concentrating on Zinfandel and Rhone varietals has become a passion at McCay Cellars.
 
Nov 7, 2017 - Enticing DouroHolly Howell, Journalist & Wine Expert, Finger Lakes, NY.
Holly Howell writes a wine column for the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester and is a well-respected New York-based authority on the wines of the Finger Lakes region, particularly Rieslings. She spent a year in France studying French food and wine, teaches wine and food pairing classes, and has served as a judge for the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and also writes a popular blog. Holly is currently pursuing her Wine Spirit Education & Trust diploma.

 

Nov 8, 2017 - Melodies of the DanubePassport to Dry Creek Valley®, Healdsburg, CA.
 

  • Michael and Vicky Farrow, Owners, Amista Vineyards

  • Kelly Ferris, Owner & Chris Russi, Winemaker, Comstock Wines

  • Dan Gustafson, Owner, Gustafson Family Vineyards

  • Bill and Yvonne Kreck, Owners, Mill Creek Vineyards

  • Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli, Owners, Pedroncelli Winery

  • Tim and Mary Louise Bucher, Trattore Farms