France | Italy | Spain | Portugal | Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Slovenia | Australia
New Zealand | South Africa | Chile & Argentina | Culinary Cruises | Horticutlural Tours

Travelers' Tales / Calendar

France
France has everything: great wines, delicious food, spectacular scenery and a rich cultural tradition. XO Travel Consultants will guide you through some of the world's greatest wine regions: the vineyards of Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Languedoc, the Rhône Valley, Alsace and Provence to meet the winemakers and taste the legendary Grands Crus. You can sample the culinary delights of world-renowned 2- and 3-star restaurants as well as off-the-beaten path bistros and brasseries. Visits of colorful village street markets and food fairs, wine barrel makers, olive oil producers and cheese affineurs are all part of the experience. Along the way, depending on your choice of itinerary, you will appreciate the diverse history and culture of every province:

  • XO Travel Consultants is the US agent for the Clive Coates/ Becky Wasserman Bouilland Wine Symposium in Burgundy

    Italy
    From the Veneto to Sicily, discover the magic of Italy's wonderful wines and food. It is home to the spectacular Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards of Piedmont, the picturesque Chianti Classico and Super Tuscan vineyards of Tuscany, the distinctive Amarones and Valpolicellas of Verona, the crisp white wines of the rolling hills of Alto Adige. Italian cooking is unrivalled from the top-rated kitchens of Tuscany, Piedmont, Umbria and Apulia to the out-of-the way trattorias on the side streets of Venice or Verona, Parma or Bologna. Few destinations in the world can compare to the art and architecture of Florence, Siena or Rome. And the Amalfi Coast and the hilltowns of Cinque Terre are unforgettable for spectacular scenery. With XO Travel, everything is possible in Italy

    Spain
    Spain as been described as "the New France". From the Basque country in the north to Andalusia in the south, Spain is an overflowing cornucopia of glorious food, remarkable wines and memorable sights. From local tapas bars to the avant garde culinary creations of super chef Ferran Adria and his disciples, Spain is a gastronomical rainbow. The rich Spanish wine spectrum covers everything from La Rioja's 200-year-old bodegas and traditional, ageworthy wines to the sleek, modern wineries of Ribera del Duero and Priorat with their expensive, award-winning new world cult wines. There is modern bustling Madrid, dynamic Barcelona, romantic Toledo, historic Sevilla, Salamanca and San Sebastian and Bilbao with its ultra-modern Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum.

    Portugal
    Portugal, western Europe's best-kept wine and gastronomic secret, is just now revealing its wealth to the wine world. It is home to the ancient port industry and produces the world's best cork oaks. Lisbon, the capital city, is both romantic and historic. Oporto, to the north, headquarters of the legendary port producers, is charming and seductive. Sintra and Buçaco are lush and magical. From the Douro Valley in the North, Bairrada and Dão in the center to the southern Alentejo, a distinctive and dynamic wine culture is emerging with full-flavored wines reflecting their unique terroirs. In addition, the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira is home to the varied fortified wines of Madeira.

    Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Slovenia
    Novelist and wine enthusiast Jay McInerney writes that "German Riesling...represents the best wine deal on the planet", while wine expert Hugh Johnson calls Riesling "the finest of all white grapes." Germany, with a wine tradition dating from before the Middle Ages, is the heart of Riesling world. Touring the wine regions along the Rhine, Mosel, Saar, Ruwer and Nahe river valleys you will meet some of the world's premier producers of the best of these crisp, fresh, delicate yet intense ageworthy wines. And the combination of sweetness, acidity and mineral flavors make these fine wines the perfect match for the increasingly sophisticated new German cuisine. Add to this the spectacular scenery of forests, castles, steep terraced hillsides and historic towns and the wine routes of Germany become a memorable revelation. This special white wine experience can be extended to include the delightful wine regions of Switzerland, the Wachau, and Burgenland in beautiful Austria or the up-and-coming winelands of Slovenia.

    NEW WORLD WINES:

    Australia
    Take a once-in-a-lifetime wine and culinary expedition to Australia. Every grape variety on earth is grown in the land down under. Taste the dark and rich Shiraz, and Merlots of the Barossa, Hunter and Yarra valleys and the fresh Chardonnay and flavorful Cabernet from the vineyards of Margaret River. The winemakers of the brightest stars of "Oz" - Henschke, Petaluma, Penfolds, Leeuwin Estates and d'Arenberg - will make you feel at home. The vibrant cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth offer spectacular scenery and fresh and adventurous cuisine. And there is always the possibility of an exciting excursion to Ayers Rock or a magical stay on the Great Barrier Reef.

    New Zealand
    It is only a two hour flight from Australia to New Zealand, with its exciting, dynamic wine industry and its beautiful landscape of mountains, sweeping coastlines and lush rainforests. Marlborough near Wellington, Hawkes Bay on the eastern coast and Waiheke Island near Auckland are the emerging New Zealand wine regions with the world beginning to take particular note of the South Island's crisp Sauvignon Blancs and tasty Pinot Noirs.

    South Africa
    South Africa is an adventure of stunning sights and exceptional flavors. The wines of South Africa are getting better and better and the scenery, from the expansive natural game parks of the veldt to the picturesque winelands of Constantia, Stellenbosch and Paarl to Capetown on the stunning Indian Ocean coast, is breathtaking. You may begin with an exciting stay at Londolozi, one of the world's most luxurious Game Lodges, then travel in deluxe-style on the fabled Rovos Rail to Cape Town. From there you can taste your way through the vineyards and meet the winemakers who are producing the most dynamic and winning wines.

    Chile & Argentina
    Let XO Travel design a unique itinerary combining the old world charms of picturesque Chile and Argentina with their up-and-coming, new world wines. Experience for yourself the exciting and vibrant wine-making developments of Chile's Aconcagua , Rapel and Maipo valleys and Mendoza, the heart of Argentina's wine industry. Learn about the Carmenere grape of Chile with its berry and spicy flavors combining with the distinctive terroir of the country. Taste the earthy and flavorful wines made from Malbec, Argentina's signature grape variety. Visit Chilean producers like Veramonte, Errazuirz, Casa Lapostelle, Vina Mont Gras and Concha y Toro and Argentine winemakers like Catena, Norton, Weinart, Terazza de los Andes, Alta Vista and Salentein. Sample the flavors of Santiago and Buenos Aires. And along the way experience the spectacular Andes with a lake crossing between these two South American countries beginning to make their mark on the world wine scene.

    As a change of pace, your South American food and wine adventure can also include an extension to see the ancient wonders of neighboring Peru including Cusco and Machu Picchu, the "lost city of the Incas" or a thrilling cruise to see the glaciers of Tierra del Fuego .

    Culinary Cruising
    With our exceptional connections within the luxury cruise industry from our base on the French Riviera, XO Travel has developed a unique and alternative way for specialized organizations and corporate incentive groups to discover the magical world of the Mediterranean. Let XO Travel organize the charter of a deluxe yacht or cruise ship, such as the Sea Dream II or the Sea Cloud, for an exclusive week-long program along the French Mediterranean coast from the port of Nice featuring the food and wines of Provence, Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes du Rhône and the Languedoc; or, sail to the picturesque Mediterranean island ports of call such as Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and Sicily and savor their regional food and wines. On board, we offer distinctive food and wine presentations and meals paired with specially selected wines, hosted by renowned Master Chefs. We also include private land excursions to award winning wineries and specialty food producers.



    EXCLUSIVE HORTICULTURAL & BOTANICAL TOURS
    On special request, XO Travel creates unique Horticultural and Garden Tours to Europe and UK for garden clubs, horticulture societies and special interest groups.