Are you an oenophile with the travel bug?
Then Crossing Vineyards has the trip for you.
This January, Crossing Vineyards’ owners Chris and Tom Carroll are organizing a “Wine Lover’s Voyage” to New Zealand and Australia. The 12-day trip aboard Celebrity cruise line will feature wine-based events as well as sightseeing opportunities and other adventures. It is scheduled for Jan. 6-18, 2012.
There will be an informational meeting about the trip this Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the winery. The booking deadline is Oct. 10.
Crossing Vineyards has hosted a number of overseas wine-themed trips, explained owner Chris Carroll.
She said from the beginning, Crossing Vineyards has been devoted to education about wine – and not just those from their own vineyard.
“We want to help people understand that good wines and bad wines can come from all over,” she said. “It’s easy to stick with what you’re familiar with and stick with what you know -- be that wine or be that people.”
The education offerings at Crossing Vineyards started with classes like their popular “Wine Tasting for Dummies.” Classes expanded to offer tutorials on specific regions and food pairings, for example.
“We also knew that we wanted to travel as part of our education program,” Carroll said.
The first trip was in 2006, when Crossing Vineyards organized a wine-themed Mediterranean cruise that included stops to Greece, Croatia, Italy and France. “It was really wonderful,” Carroll recalled. “We were able to cover a lot of different countries.”
And while wine was certainly a focus, the trip wasn’t all wine, all the time, Carroll noted.
“It was a perfect trip in terms of understanding the areas and the countries as well as the wines and agricultural products from that country,” Carroll said.
Then in 2008, the winery hosted a trip to the Rhone Valley and Provence in France, a region renowned for its wines. “It was incredible,” Carroll said.
“In 2010 we did an amazing trip to Bordeaux,” Carroll said, adding they also visited the Dordogne Valley. “The thing that made that one extra special was that we didn’t only go to Bordeaux and the Dordogne Valley, but also ended the trip with an overnight trip to Normandy Beach.”
Carroll said in addition to the education received while abroad, the winery helps prepare travelers beforehand. “We have classes prior so that people are knowledgeable. When we come back we have get-togethers and trade pictures. We become friends for life.”
Carroll said she’s excited to go to Australia and New Zealand – two countries that she’s never visited before. The cruise departs from Auckland, New Zealand and the itinerary calls for stops to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, among others.
The trip will feature four private wine classes with tastings plus a private farewell wine and cheese reception. Exclusive day trips to vineyards and wineries will be optional, she said.
“Australia is an interesting wine region and a young wine region. Every port we go into can be construed as a wine region,” she said. However, there won’t be wine-related excursions at every port.
The people who attend the trips aren’t typically wine professionals -- “they are people who like to travel and like wine,” Carroll said. With that in mind, she said she likes to keep the trip enjoyable for all.
“Our mission and our goal is to provide balance for the people so they get a sense of the area,” she said. “We want to give people a chance to experience the countries as well as the wine. It’s going to be a focus on wine but we’re striving for a balance.”
To attend Tuesday's information meeting, RSVP by email to email@example.com or call 215-493-6500, ext. 19.