A fantastic day out and the highlight of our visit to Venice.
The meeting point was straight forward and we were the only people on this tour. First we stopped at a small winery in Friuli - I think it was the first time this tour had used Marinig and it was a superb experience. It was a small family run operation with the wife speaking good English and providing a detailed and highly information tour of the winery. Then followed a tasting and explanation of the wines which taught me so much about the wines of the region. The wines were of an excellent quality. Unfortunately it is too difficult to bring wine back to Australia - but we had a stay with family in Italy a week or so later, so Marinig organised to courier the very reasonably priced wines and they arrived as promised and we continued to enjoy them for our family stay. The wines were superb.
Then we went to lunch at a tiny trattoria in a small hill town. The food just kept coming (I still remember the home cooked gnocchi with smoked ricotta). It was all simple, delicious and more than we could eat.
There was a bit of driving involved, but the quality of the food and wine made it all well worthwhile.
Our guide was informative and involved leading the 6 of us through the beautiful sites of the region. We had some free time and discovered a tiny coffee shop with the most amazing cakes for morning tea. Lunch was at a local restaurant with the best pizzas and pasta. It alone was well worth the trip.
I learnt how Prosecco was made, sampled a range of Grappa and visited the amazing Palladian Villa Barbaro.
This is a full and very enjoyable day out.
Beautiful locations and we had an excellent guide (Daniel). He was funny, engaged and knowledgable. This is a good day trip with enough to do, plenty of variety and sufficient free time. Highly recommended.
Maybe it's just the raw material and the long bus trip. But this isn't nearly as entertaining as the Ghent and Bruges trip we did the day after. Our guide (Gabriel) was ok. But basically it's a long bus trip to Amsterdam, an optional (and very worthwhile) canal boat cruise, you get dropped off in the centre of town without much explanation, then a pickup a few hours later for the long bus trip back. After being picked up for the return journey we were given some brief description of the Amsterdam centre layout, highlights etc. If only we had have been given this BEFORE we were dropped off. Amsterdam is a city with less natural character than more historical centres (in my opinion) and the centre is full of marijuana bars and red light areas. So it was worth it for a day, but hardly the highlight of our trip.
Our driver / guide was Fred. He drove well, was informative, funny and involved. He was excellent. The Champagne region itself is beautiful and this trip included all the parts I wanted to see. Two tastings were almost sufficient. The smaller maker (Dauby) was a highlight. Lunch was good, but instead of serving Bordeaux and other wines, why not serve champagne and showcase how flexible it is? We are in champagne on a champagne tour after all. I highly recommend this day trip from Paris.
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