cocktails & conversation
BEFORE YOU GO Bring comfortable walking shoes and resort casual clothes—leave the tie and stilettos at home. The seven-night “In Celebration of Wine” cruises are offered in the spring and fall.
TAKE A EUROPEAN WINE RIVER CRUISE
we can take a small motor coach, and you’re right where the action is.” Enjoy Old World and New World wine experiences as you cruise on the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhone, Rhine or Seine rivers. At each port, passengers can tour local wineries and vineyards and enjoy traditional wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France, riesling in Austria or port wine in Portugal. While cruising between ports, a top wine expert offers lectures and wine tastings of New World wines.
Unlike traditional ocean cruises, river cruises are more intimate with about 150 passengers and include three to five daily excursions, including guided bike tours along the banks of the river in select wine regions. Back on board, you can enjoy exquisite meals with free flowing wine and take in the breathtaking views of medieval monasteries, chateaux, palaces and centuriesold vineyards as you glide down the river. amawaterways.com
TRAIN RIDE THROUGH NAPA VALLEY
of Napa Valley and guests can visit several different wineries along the scenic route. At the most northern end of the ride, you will find an Italian-style treasure, the Castello di Amorosa (“Castle of Love”) winery, a 13th century authentically styled Tuscan castle. “I think what I was trying to do is bring a little slice of medieval Italy to Napa Valley,” says Dario Sattui, owner of the castle and the nearby V. Sattui Winery. The 136,000-square-foot castle, hand-constructed in a span of 14 years, includes
eight levels, five defensive towers, a drawbridge, torture chamber and caves for storing the wine. The authentic architecture and meticulous workmanship of the castle mirrors Sattui’s commitment to producing top-quality wines—from Italian and French full-bodied reds to sweet whites. The castle’s head winemaker, Brooks Painter, received the prestigious Winemaker of the Year award at the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition. winetrain.com
A gentle river cruise is one of the most enchanting ways to explore the historic vineyards and wineries of Europe and taste one-of-a-kind vintages. “It’s really about discovery of these wonderful wine regions that are right on the banks of rivers,” says Gary Murphy, vice president of sales for AmaWaterways. “We can walk from the ship to some of these very interesting wineries or
Discover a taste of Tuscany hidden in a medieval-style castle in California’s wine country. Start by boarding the Napa Valley Wine Train in the town of Napa and take the 36-mile round-trip journey north to St. Helena. Enjoy a gourmet meal and the beautiful rolling hills as you savor perfectly paired wines produced right in Napa Valley. The Wine Train travels through the heart
NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN | AMAWATERWAYS
BEFORE YOU GO To fully indulge in the Napa Valley wine experience, leave the driving to someone else. The Wine Train offers ferry and public transit connections from San Francisco to Napa when purchasing a lunch package or winery trip. Make reservations at least one day in advance.
JULY/AUGUST • 2014