Wine

Hosts

HOST YEAR
2020|2021
Taste of BordeauxMar 18, 2021
Peter Thompson
Owner, Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards, Diamond Mountain, Napa Valley, CA

Since visiting the Napa Valley as a college student in 1973, Peter Thompson set his sights on producing world class Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1995, after a two and one-half year search for the ultimate mountain vineyard site, Peter selected the property at 2000 feet atop Diamond Mountain. Having purchased undeveloped land with unlimited potential, Peter assembled a team consisting of viticulture and enology specialists to plan and execute planting of a state of the art vineyard. 13 acres were carved out and planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The vineyard was christened Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards after Peter’s two sons, Andrew and Geoffrey, and currently enjoys a reputation for producing mountainside grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon wine of unprecedented quality.
Melodies of the DanubeMar 20, 2021
Sabrine Rodems
Winemaker, Wrath Wines & Scratch Wines, Soledad, CA
Sabrine graduated with a Master’s of Science in Viticulture in and Enology from UC Davis in 2004. She immediately began working at San Saba Vineyards, filling a brand new empty winery; sourcing equipment, and arranging the layout. In 2007 the Thomas Family changed the focus of San Saba Vineyard to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and Wrath Wines was born, refocusing the brand to premium wine production. In 2011, with the Thomas Family blessing, Sabrine started her own small label Scratch, in which she focuses on Chardonnay Sparkling Wine from San Saba Vineyards, Riesling and Grenache from the Arroyo Seco, Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands, and Cabernet from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Scratch has a tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea. She also consults for Kori Wines and Meniketti Wines. Sabrine is now heading into her 18th harvest as a Winemaker.
Melodies of the DanubeMar 22, 2021
Arthur White
President and Winemaker of Arthur Earl Winery and Santa Ynez Wine Corp.
Art is the President and co-owner of Santa Ynez Wine Corp., which is the parent of Arthur Earl and Alexander and Wayne wineries. He is also the winemaker for both. In 1992, he partnered with long time friend Earl Brockelsby to purchase a small Santa Barbara county winery. Having spent the first few years focusing mostly on the day-to-day business and marketing aspects of the winery, in 1995 he assumed full responsibility for the winemaking function. All in all, Art feels that winemaking is a complex combination of art and science. While it takes good chemistry to make good wine, successful winemakers are able to combine that science with the individual artistry of their craft to make great wines.

Alexander and Wayne, the original winery, has always focused on the traditional California varieties native to the French regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux. These wines include Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for whites, and Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties and blends for reds.

Arthur Earl was started in 1997 to focus on varieties from the Rhone region of France as well as select varieties from northern Italy. These wines include Viognier and Pinot Grigio for whites, and Syrah, Grenache, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Sangiovese and other Rhone and Italian reds and whites.

Art is also a WSET Level 3 Certified Specialist in Wine and a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

Captivating RhineMar 23, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxMar 25, 2021
Paul & Merrill Bonarrigo
Owners & Winemakers Messina Hof Winery, Bryan, Texas

Founders of Messina Hof, Paul & Merrill Bonarrigo, married and settled in Bryan, Texas and together would re-introduce the concept of winemaking in Texas. The Bonarrigo family began making wine in the 1800s in Sicily. Paul & Merrill planted their first vineyard in 1977 and named it Messina Hof, after their family origins of Messina, Sicily and Hof, Germany. The Bonarrigos became pioneers of the Texas wine industry having established Messina Hof as the 4th winery in the state. Today, their son, Paul Mitchell Bonarrrigo and his wife, Karen, continue the legacy of world-class wines and hospitality with the same founding principles of family, tradition and romance. Messina Hof remains a leader in the Texas wine industry, which now has over 350 registered wineries. The Messina Hof brand has also grown from producing only 1,300 gallons to now over 130,000 gallons per year with three locations in Texas: Bryan, Fredericksburg, and Grapevine.
Paris & NormandyMar 25, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceMar 25, 2021
To be announced.
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Romantic DanubeMar 27, 2021
Mike & Melissa Owen
Owners, Crystal Basin Cellars, Camino, CA
Mike Owen’s lifelong wine journey has taken him from California to France, from the cellar to the judging table, from a wine aficionado to a wine businessman. Mike and his wife Melissa own and operate Crystal Basin Cellars in the Sierra Foothills of the El Dorado appellation. Working with almost 20 different grapes provides an extensive line-up of award-winning wines. Mike has great success with Rhone varieties planted at high elevations. You can literally taste the difference on these flavorful wines. Who doesn’t want to talk about and sip great Syrah and Mourvedre? Mike’s palate, easygoing informative approach, plus his serious, wine-geeky patter all set him up to be an All-Star host for AmaWaterways. Crystal Basin’s winemaking history extends back nearly 40 years. Mike and Melissa lived on the Cote-d Azur for three years in the 90s. This was their playground – let them share their enthusiasm on an unforgettable trip.
Romantic DanubeMar 29, 2021
Nancy Bailey & Theresa Heredia
General Manager & Winemaker, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Born in Syracuse, New York, Nancy Bailey spent a good portion of her school years overseas in England. Her interest in food and wine was sparked by family travels abroad. After attending Hamilton College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and The Fletcher School at Tufts University earning a Master of Arts degree in international relations, Nancy ventured to California where she discovered a true passion for wine country living. She lent her many marketing talents to well-known brands as Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, Champagne Perrier Jouët, and Kendall-Jackson. Her creativity and communication acumen placed her in high demand when she went on to work as a freelance marketing consultant for a number of Sonoma County wineries. Before accepting her current role at Gary Farrell in 2011, Nancy was General Manager of Wine Creek LLC (Quivira Vineyards & Winery, La Follette Wines and Torbreck Vintners) for 4 years.

Theresa Heredia joined Gary Farrell Winery team as winemaker in 2012. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, before becoming a Ph.D candidate in chemistry with an emphasis in enology at UC Davis. She left the program to follow her calling as a hands-on winemaker. Coming off a long stint as winemaker at Freestone Vineyards in Sonoma County, Heredia brings considerable experience working with cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and small-lot, single-vineyard wines. During her tenure at Freestone, Heredia’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brought the Joseph Phelps-owned winery significant critical acclaim. In early 2012 she was named “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle, reflecting her interest in wines that offer a pure expression of their vineyard site and her willingness to experiment with different winemaking techniques.

Enchanting RhineMar 30, 2021
Rhonda Wood
Owner & Winemaker, Wood Family Vineyards, Livermore, CA
Wood Family Vineyards is a family run winery located in the eastern foothills of Livermore Valley specializing in limited production handcrafted wines. Rhonda started making wine in 1996 – after they purchased the Merlot vineyard where she and Michael built their home. Together, their passion for wine and belief that winemaking begins in the vineyard led them to Livermore Valley. They are tireless champions about the quality of Livermore Valley soils and their commitment to Valley grown grapes.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceApr 1, 2021
Family owned Robert Young Estate Winery, Alexander Valley, CA.
For over 160 years, the Young family have lived on and farmed their ranch in Sonoma County, becoming one of the largest family-owned growers of premium wines in Alexander Valley. Since 1997, the family have offered small lot Estate wines under the Robert Young name – big, lush Chardonnays, sublime Bordeaux Blends and powerful 100% Cabernet Sauvignons. Today, visitors to our winery in Alexander Valley are welcomed as members of the extended family and invited to experience the beauty of the vineyard ranch and the wines. inspired by Robert Young. Join us as we explore the beauty of Burgundy & Provence on this magical cruise beginning April 1, 2021.
Paris & NormandyApr 1, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxApr 1, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Captivating RhineApr 1, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Melodies of the DanubeApr 3, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Flavors of PortugalApr 6, 2021
Regional Wine Expert
Special wine cruise experience
Immerse yourself in the many flavors of Europe on one of AmaWaterways unique Wine Cruises, which let you add a unique, epicurean dimension to one of our European itineraries. Like our standard river cruises, guests have the opportunity to join tours that highlight the famous sights in each port of call. These special itineraries, however, offer guests a perfect blend of wine-related experiences and excursions in grand capitals and charming towns. You’ll taste local cuisine, discover how wine is made and, of course, partake in tastings — all at no additional cost. Whether you have a seasoned appreciation for fine wine, or simply indulge in a sip here and there, this is a wonderful way to uncork the traditions of the local culture and learn about the region you’re visiting.
Captivating RhineApr 6, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceApr 8, 2021
Glenn Hugo
Winemaker, Girard Winery, Napa, CA
Winemaker Glenn Hugo started his career with Girard in 2006 as a harvest intern and was quickly promoted to Cellar Master and Assistant Winemaker before earning the title of Girard Winemaker. Glenn’s background in the restaurant industry has led to his artisanal approach to winemaking with a focus on wine as part of the culinary experience. A native Texan, Glenn developed his passion for wine over 12 years in the restaurant industry before moving to Napa Valley with his wife in 2003 to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker. Glenn’s formative winemaking experience was in Napa Valley and includes early assignments with Provenance Vineyards, where he learned from Napa legend Tom Rinaldi. As General Manager of Bounty Hunter Wine Bar in downtown Napa, Hugo met renowned winemaker Marco DiGiulio who launched Hugo on his winemaking career at Girard Winery Napa Valley. Glenn has garnered numerous awards, accolades and 90+ point scores for the Girard portfolio. His winemaking philosophy is simple: wine is to be shared with friends, family and great food; it is a living and breathing expression that constantly evolves and instills memories. He describes himself as down-to-earth and one of the least pretentious winemakers you’ll encounter.
Taste of BordeauxApr 8, 2021
Doug Margerum
Owner/Director of Winemaking, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara, CA

Doug started his food and wine explorations at a young age while traveling with his parents in France. His passion for food and wine was enhanced as he worked in restaurants as a cook and server throughout his high school and college years. Coinciding with his graduation from UCSB in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK – which quickly expanded to include a simple bistro adjacent to wine store. In 1994, the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007 after deciding to devote all of his energies to wine making. Margerum Wine Company began in 2001. His philosophy is to return to wine making in its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal. Doug reassumed ownership in WINE CASK in 2009.
Enchanting RhineApr 8, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Romantic DanubeApr 14, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxJul 1, 2021
Dave and Helen Dart
Owners of d'Art Winery in Lodi, California
“I believe my winemaking and my art are just different mediums with the same passion.” Explains owner/winemaker Dave Dart. Being involved in every aspect of winemaking, from the harvest to bottling, involves equal portions of creativity and knowledge. It is not surprising that Dave turns to his other art forms to rejuvenate and refresh his mind. Each d’Art label is a creation of Dave’s beautiful art prints can be seen in the tasting room.

With 13 years of love and hard work, Dave and Helen look forward to sharing our story and our wine with you on this Ama Waterways River Cruise. Through our discussions we will walk through the vineyards, crush and ferment the wine, barrel and blend, and finally bottle and deliver to our club members. We’ll also explore the different styles of wine from d’Arts Lodi wines to the wines of the iconic Bordeaux wine region.

Impressions of the Seine & ParisJul 8, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxJul 8, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Gems of Southeast EuropeJul 11, 2021
Eric Glomski and Sam Pillsbury

Eric Glomski, owner of Page Springs Cellars, Cornville, AZ

Page Springs Cellars was established in 2003 when Eric Glomski and his family purchased the property. Page Springs Cellars is considered a Rhone house, meaning we specialize in varieties that are grown in the Rhone valley in southeastern France. Mirroring appellations such as the Cote Rotie, Hermitage, and Chateaunuef du Pape, our specialty in red varietals are Syrah, Mouvedre, Grenache, and Petite Sirah.

Sam Pillsbury, owner of Pillsbury Wine Company, Cottonwood, AZ

Sam Pillsbury is Phoenix Magazine’s ‘Best Local Winemaker’, Wine Spectator called him one of the ‘Rising Stars of the Southwest’, and MSN.com/food and wine named him top winery in Arizona. In 2014 he completed construction on his own winery at the vineyard in Cochise County, where he now makes his wines with fellow winemaker James Callahan of Rune Wines.

Impressions of the Seine & ParisJul 15, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Enticing DouroJul 17, 2021
Rick Bonitati
President & CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Rick Bonitati joined the St. Francis team as President and CEO in early 2018. With over 30 years of experience in the fine wine business and a focus primarily on Sonoma County wines, Rick’s passion for premium Sonoma County wines is a perfect addition to St. Francis Winery and Vineyards. Rick believes it is imperative to “work hard and have fun doing it.” His knowledge and experience in winemaking, viticulture, and winery management, along with his collaborative approach to the pursuit of consistent development is perfectly aligned with the driving force behind St. Francis’ dedication to excellence.
Enticing DouroJul 24, 2021
Larry & Margie Dino
Proprietors, Cuda Ridge Wines, Livermore, CA
Larry and Margie Dino, the proprietors of Cuda Ridge Wines, have a passion for fine wines which led them to the Livermore Valley – a world-class wine region with wine roots dating back to the mid-1800’s. Over the years, they were inspired to learn more about the craft and traditions of making wine and founded Cuda Ridge in 2007 with a vision for producing premium wines. Small lot, handcrafted, Bordeaux style wines that bring out the wonderful terroir of Livermore Valley are their specialty. Since then each vintage has won many prestigious awards including Wine Enthusiast, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Orange County Fair, and Sunset International Wine Competition. Unique old-world style wines welcome you in each glass from Cuda Ridge.
Colors of ProvenceJul 29, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceJul 29, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Captivating RhineJul 29, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Colors of ProvenceAug 5, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceAug 5, 2021
Jason McClain
Owner & Winemaker for McClain Cellars, CA
McClain Cellars is a new winery from California founded on family, friends, faith, and freedom. Founded by Jason & Sofia McClain, they harvest and make all of their wine in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. They offer amazing reds, crisp whites, blends and even a port in their current release. After spending over 30 years tasting wines on the other side of the bar, Jason and Sofia decided to throw caution to the wind and start their own winery to follow their dreams. The goal.... to create amazing wines to be shared with my family and friends. With a luxury tasting lounge in Laguna Beach, CA and a winery in Buellton, CA McClain Cellars specializes in unique blends and creations that are constantly earning gold medals and double-gold medals with many scoring between 90 to 96+ points per vintage. This is truly one of the fastest-growing wineries in California. Join them on this wonderful wine cruise through Burgundy and Provence.
Taste of BordeauxAug 5, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Gems of Southeast EuropeAug 8, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceAug 12, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxAug 12, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Captivating RhineAug 12, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Gems of Southeast EuropeAug 15, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxAug 19, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Rhine & Moselle SplendorsAug 24, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Flavors of PortugalNov 2, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Europe's Rivers & CastlesNov 2, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Colors of ProvenceNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Paris & NormandyNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Impressions of the Seine & ParisNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Captivating RhineNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Enchanting RhineNov 4, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Melodies of the DanubeNov 6, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Romantic DanubeNov 6, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Romantic DanubeNov 8, 2021
To be announced.
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Enticing DouroNov 9, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Europe's Rivers & CastlesNov 9, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Colors of ProvenceNov 11, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Essence of Burgundy & ProvenceNov 11, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Taste of BordeauxNov 11, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Enchanting RhineNov 11, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Captivating RhineNov 11, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Romantic DanubeNov 13, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Melodies of the DanubeNov 13, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
Rhine & Moselle SplendorsNov 16, 2021
To be announced.
Please check back for updates.
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