“Luxury travel is growing, and what’s driving this more than anything are Baby Boomers who have the time and the money to go.”
So says Allen Kay of the Travel Industry Association, who adds that customized trips typically range from $4,000 to $12,000, with some – such as a 20-day excursion Down Under – pushing $20,000.
A number of companies offer wine-themed trips. Among them is Artisans of Leisure, which organizes expeditions covering the food and wine of France, the wine of New Zealand, and the food and wine of Australia.
“We believe that cuisine is a highlight of travel,” says founder Ashley Isaacs Ganz, “and we have carefully designed our culinary tours to include exclusive experiences that best capture the unique food, wine and culinary traditions of each destination.
“Travelers can experience the best of authentic local cuisine through:
- A variety of dining experiences and venues, including chef’s tables, private dining clubs, private homes (with local families), street vendors and Michelin-starred restaurants.
- A variety of cooking classes… from private to group, demonstration to hands-on, one-hour to all-day… to learn how to select and prepare local ingredients, and to learn how cuisine reflects the local culture, climate and geography.
- Behind-the-scenes tours of bakeries, wineries, farms, orchards and artisan food workshops.
- Visits to the best specialty markets, gourmet shops, farmers and other food sources.
- Wine tasting at acclaimed vineyards.
- Reservations at renowned restaurants.
- Private touring of the cultural highlights of each region, with an emphasis on local culinary specialties and traditions.
“Our customers have done their research, and they want the best,” Ganz says. “They want to see the major attractions, but they want more depth and more authenticity.”
Just as Vinesse provides exclusive access to “insider” and “under the radar” wines, companies such as Artisans of Leisure can open the door to travel adventures that everyday travelers would never get to experience.