Italy 2017

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SEPTEMBER 3 to 13, 2017
The 4B’s: Barolo, Barbarescco, Barbera and Billy! SOLD OUT

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“An exceptional all round gastronomical, cultural and just plain fun tour!”

LaMOrraThis will be our 6th trip to the Barolo region in Piedmont – where beautiful scenery, food and wine seems to be everywhere. Everyday! When we first decided to offer Piedmont – as opposed to the more popular Tuscany – it felt risky, but we wanted a less touristy experience, and we’ve always ‘gone our own way’. Plus I wanted to share my love of Barbera, the best everyday red on the planet.

Half a dozen years later I’m delighted with my decision to select the Piedmont region, and with my luck at finding the perfect small hotel, in the perfect hill-top town. PastaPiedmont has managed to remain peaceful and relatively uncrowded. Small towns and wineries are as charming as they were decades ago. ‘Going your way’ often has its rewards!

cycling trufflehunt boccewinners eating turin edmaryjoOur stable of Piedmont restaurants and wineries now treat us like family, and make us feel special. With a twinkle in the eye that says “welcome back, let’s have a great time”. Visiting in September we feel the buzz of the harvest with little tractor loads of grapes buzzing in all directions, plus it’s warm enough to relax by the pool or in the sunny courtyard.

Walking-VineyardOur tour starts with two nights in the classical city of Turin – the country’s former capital, and often described as the ‘Paris of Italy’. You’ll smithshave time to see the sights, especially the palace and gardens of La Vernaria Reale, visit an enoteca (wine bar) or two, enjoy a chocolate & vermouth tasting, and savour the first of many delicious Italian dinners (feasts!). On day three we’ll move to the just mentioned Villa in the prettiest hilltop village of the Barolo region. Expect classical elegance with a bright modern feeling – our kind of place! All rooms overlook the garden or pool, breakfasts are a treat, and the bar never closes. From here we’ll experience the wine, food, culture and heartbeat of one of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled wine regions – recently declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Expect VIP winemaker’s dinners, rustic vineyard lunches and picnics, a hands-on cooking class, cheese tasting and truffle hunt. Also a tour of an amazing sparkling wine cellar, trips to castles, and country walks with jaw-dropping vistas. And of course, there will be bocce game and café carousing. Yes my friends, expect lots of sips and lots of fun. Barolo is just one of the delicious wines of the province of Piedmont, and you’ll also meet other characters such as the rustic and heartwarming Barbera, and the charming Barbaresco. For white wine, you’re sure to fall in love with the delicious Arneis – perfect refreshment. Your introduction to Dolcetto will take place over a special luncheon in an old schoolhouse, where red wine and pasta never tasted so good. You may never drink Cabernet again!

Maximum 16 participants

COST – $3,595 pp based on double occupancy, including all taxes SOLD OUT
*Single supplement: $800
*TWO upgraded rooms available in Turin and Barolo: add $475 per person, based on double occupancy

TRIP INCLUDES:
Escort services of Billy Munnelly and Kato Wake
9 nights at 4 star accommodation (spa services available)
9 hearty breakfasts (no wine)
7 dinners with lots of wines from the Langhe region, including one special 5 course Barolo wine pairing dinner
4 lunches with wine
Several wine tastings with Billy
4 course Italian cooking class
Visits to, and VIP tastings at wineries, including sparkling, Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto
First evening introductory wine tasting in Turin
Private chocolate & vermouth tasting
Guided history walk
Truffle hunt
Bocce Tournament
Sparkling wine reception upon arrival
All coach travel in Piedmont
Private coach to Milan (Malpensa airport) for non-stop return ‘official’ flight
… and a few surprises!

NOT INCLUDED:
Airfare
Few meals not mentioned above
Some gratuities
Personal items and drinks
Travel Insurance

OFFICIAL FLIGHTS
03SEP AC # 872, Depart Toronto 4:40pm, Arrive Frankfurt 6:10am
04SEPAC # 9347 (operated by Lufthansa), Depart Frankfurt 8:55am, Arrive Turin 10:10am
13SEP AC # 895, Depart Milan/Malpensa 12:55pm, Arrive Toronto 4:10pm

***TO BOOK
1. Email us at katowake@gmail.com with ITALY 2017 in the subject headline.
2. Fill out this form: https://www.ettravel.com/ET/bbb-italy-2017/
3. Send a deposit for $500 per person* to secure your spot to Kelly Richards, Ellison Travel and Tours, 18 Victoria Street South, P O Box 303, Goderich, Ontario N7A 4C6 (Phone: 519-524-8692 or toll-free at 1-877-847-1272) Make your cheque out to Ellison Travel and Tours and include your full names (exactly as they appear in your passports), dates of birth, address, contact number and email.
4. Once the trip is confirmed, you will receive further payment instructions. Please consider booking your flight with the above mentioned Kelly Richards from Ellison Travel & Tours (https://ettravel.com/, email: kellyr@ettravel.com). Should you wish to book add-on time in Europe, she will be happy to assist.

*Deposit cheque will be returned should the trip not take place.

Cancellation policy:
Up to 90 days before departure, full refund less deposit.
59 to 89 days prior to departure – 50% refund less the deposit. However, should we can find someone to fill your spot, we’ll issue a full refund less your deposit.
60 days prior to departure – no refund. We recommend cancellation insurance.

Billy’s Best Bottles has the right to change the itinerary.
TICO #2392471

WHO SHOULD TRAVEL WITH US?
Those with a love of adventure and social interaction are obvious candidates. On the physical side, good walking ability and drinking stamina are not only essential, but mandatory. Meals are on the European clock– starting late and finishing late. Celebrating time at the table. Basically we want people who are interested in stepping outside their comfort zone and embracing a European experience. Filling the eyes, bellies and imagination with things unfamiliar. We welcome people who come hungry for life more than relaxation. For activity and participation – ‘adult camp’ as Kato calls it – and FUN. While we take great delight in delivering what we offer, we welcome travellers who come with their own list of ‘must dos’ and a desire to do their own exploring. We will not be hand-holding 24/7. Do not come with us if you want a conventional ‘no participation’ tour. Accommodation is key for us and we have worked hard to find a perfect combination of location, intimacy and comfort.

Some ask why we do not publish daily itineraries. One reason is we like to remain flexible and work around weather and local events. But more importantly, we believe that the best travel experiences are built around daily surprises – a trust between the host and the guests. Those who have travelled with us have said that they enjoyed the surprise element as it kept them ‘in the moment’. We ask that you greet us with enthusiasm, a trusting open mind, good health, and an empty wine glass (not for long!).

“Absolutely fantastic trip. Billy and Kato are the perfect hosts ensuring unforgettable wine tastings, meals and local experiences. The element of “surprise” around the daily activities added to the fun. Perfect weather for the entire week and breathtaking scenery. Great way to meet and make new friends. After 2 months we are still raving about how wonderful everything was from start to finish to friends and family. Would highly recommend this trip.”
L & J Culhane, Ottawa

“The vacation of a lifetime. The accommodations and meals were first class but what made the holiday so special was Billy and Kato’s intimate knowledge of the Piedmont area. At virtually every locale we visited they were greeted like old friends and we were treated like valued guests rather than tourists. This allowed us to experience the region in a way that the average person could never duplicate on their own. Highly recommended.”
The Seybold’s, Prince Edward County

“What a great way to explore the Barolo region in Italy!  From the moment we arrived, we were treated to first class food, accommodation and hospitality. Every day was a new adventure from hiking through a vineyard to dining in a winemaker’s cellar.  This was by far the best organized trip that we’ve been on – well-paced and the perfect group size.”
B & H Purvis, New Hamburg, Ontario

“Kato and Billy took us to parts of Italy in the Piedmont wine country which I would never have discovered on my own. We stayed in top-notch accommodation, and the beautiful rolling hills of vineyards topped by ancient castles were a sight to behold! We saw it all – including grape harvesting, VIP winery visits, and a fantastic 3 course cooking class. I had a superb time with a wonderful group of people. Thanks to Billy and Kato – our imaginative, inclusive and generous hosts!”
D Troop, Prince Edward County

“We want to give you another huge thanks for everything you did to plan and pull off this amazing trip. Thanks for the fantastic time in the Barolo region of Piedmont. What a wonderful experience – numerous and varied vineyard and winery tours, great food, very interesting country trips and an outstanding cooking class. ‘Our’ wonderful little town had fantastic views of the Barolo valley, and the residents were friendly and inviting. Everyday we had wonderful experiences that one would not get if on a large commercial tour.  We saw, learned, and tried so much, in such a relatively short time, but never felt rushed. Another success story. This was our 3rd trip with Billy & Kato – Ireland in 2012 and Lisbon in 2013.  Each trip was fantastic and each one just as great as the others. Everyone should experience at least one of their tours.”
The Welling’s, Ottawa

“Again, what a wonderful trip – the Barolo Tour was our second trip with Billy and Kato. Travelling with B&K is not a tourist trip, but an experience that you don’t forget – great food, great wine, and you see and do things that tourists don’t get to do. Most of all, have lots of fun with new found friends.”
Don and Sue Scott, Ottawa

“I can say without qualification, that my experience of your Italian Wine tour far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Just outstanding in every way. Congratulations!”
Wally Anderson, Simcoe

“This was our 15th professionally conducted wine trip, and while the previous ones were all fabulous none were better than our Piedmont trip with Billy and Kato. They are a fun and caring couple who do everything to ensure you have a good time. We would highly recommend them.”
Bruce & Marg Chapman, Oakville

“The Italian Wine Tour was FIRST CLASS! Billy & Kato thought of everything. It was interesting & fun filled. I’d go again in a heartbeat.”
Mary Anne Perkins, Milford, Ontario

“When travelling with Billy and Kato, its not just a tourist trip, it is an experience that you don’t forget – great food, great wine, see and do things that tourists don’t get to do and, most of all, lots of fun with new found friends.”
The Scotts, Ottawa

“Exceptional all round gastronomical, cultural and just plain fun tour. I can’t think of a better way to experience the Piedmont wine country than joining Kato and Billy. The variety of wine tastings and daily activities are a testament to their thorough advance research and genuine desire to assure a wonderful memory for all. ‘La dolce vitae’ indeed.”
Brenda Smith, Ottawa