The wine knowledge problem

Winemaking, much like computer engineering, takes a systems-thinking approach to creating a final product. This means that winemakers constantly adapt each step of their winemaking process to current conditions in order to make the best wine in spite of uncontrollable factors like rain and temperature.

But because of its spontaneity, winemaking is difficult for most people to really understand; the average person won’t have all the specialised knowledge and experience needed to judge a wine objectively.

The best way to learn about wine

We believe one of the best ways to enjoy wine is to get an understanding of the whole winemaking process and how each part of it determines the characteristics of the final wine. After this, you become aware of what really goes into a wine and can experience it in an enlightened manner, like a physicist observing the solar system.

In order to know how each part of the winemaking process affects the final product, you need to experience how doing one part of the process differently changes the final wine. Some ways you can do this are by tasting multiple vintages of a wine, by tasting wine in the different stages of winemaking before it is bottled, and by tasting grapes from different blocks on a vineyard. You can also better understand how the environment shapes a wine by comparing wines from different vineyards in one region.

Why join one of our tours?

Our tours are designed to help you relate wine to winemaking. We go to multiple vineyards around the destination country and plan vertical and pre-bottling tastings, often with specific food tasting menus that bring out the best of the wines. If you join us, expect to visit cellars and walk through vineyards while trying grapes from different blocks of vines and having winemakers talk you through the fine details of their craft. We also want to immerse you in the local culture, since each wine reflects its origin.

Since it is our mission to make wine more accessible, Eddie McDougall, with his years of experience in winemaking and the wine business, personally hosts our tours and involves you in an exchange of knowledge between winemakers that you simply cannot get from a generic wine tour. We really want to create unforgettable experiences that educate and empower you with insider wine knowledge, which we know normally stays stuck in the heads of winemakers on isolated vineyards.

We hope that after one of our tours, you will really understand and appreciate all that goes into the best wines.

– The Flying Winemaker Team

2014 | South Africa

Download 2014 South Africa Itinerary

Highlights

Table Mountain

Seal Island Tour

5-course Food & Wine pairing dinner at The Vineyard Hotel

Gorgeous Weather and Vineyards

Victoria Wharf

The Sentinel

Testimonial

Michele & Dalip

We had an awesome time with The Flying Winemaker on our trip to South Africa.  Having been on wine tours with other companies to places such as California, Italy, Burgundy and Bordeaux, we can say that Eddie treats his guests to a fantastic, fun-filled special tour.  Low-key, yet passionate about wine, Eddie shares his knowledge while delivering a top-notch personalised experience.

We were brought to some of the most famous and well-lauded wineries in SA and time was also made to enjoy several activities and experience the natural beauty of the country.

2015 | Italy

Download 2015 Italy Itinerary

Highlights

Turin (Torino)

Dégustation at Chocolatier Guido Gobino & Lunch at the original Eataly

Accommodation in mountain Hamlet and dinner with wines from the makers of the famous cheese, Castelmangno d’alpeggio

Wine tasting & lunch with one of Barolo’s most renowned producers, Luciano Sandrone

Walking part of the Sentiero trail from Monforte d’Alba to Barolo

Tastings at cantinas: Produttori di Barbaresco & Marchesi di Gresy

Testimonials

Brett

It was an amazing trip that traveled through the traditional face of Barolo and also the modern side of the ‘old world’. Visiting the star winemakers as well as discovering the hidden gems for sure will fulfill your palates.

There were memorable sightseeing activities from Turin to Castelmangno, while so much fun was also had enjoying the local homemade cuisines with the passionate wine lovers there.

A taste of romance in the wineries with Eddie. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Donna

The inaugural TFW tour to South Africa exceeded my expectations, so there was no way I was going to miss this tour! We ate and drank our way through Barolo, and got to rub shoulders with the best winemakers in the world, including the oh-so-humble and charming Chiara Boschis, one of the original ‘Barolo Boys’, who, in the middle of harvest, guided us through a tasting of her incredible Cannubi wines (my favourites!)

But it wasn’t only wine, wine, wine on this tour. The highlight for me was our stay at the Valle Grana, where one of the rarest cheeses, Castelmangno d’alpeggio, is still being made by hand, and where we did an incredible morning hike.

2016 | Portugal

Download 2016 Portugal Itinerary

Highlights

The best of both worlds: charmful Portuguese cities and the idyllic countryside

Traditional suckling pig making experience

Port wines sampling directly from cask at top Port houses

Opportunities to buy ex-cellar wines at excellent prices with shipping arranged by The Flying Winemaker

Wines from the early 1900s

Amazing vertical tastings at each stop

Want to see what we've got planned for our next tour?

New Zealand Wine Tour 2017

See Upcoming Tour