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Exclusive Wine Cruise

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Hosted by Bion Rice, Owner & Winemaker Sunstone Vineyard & Winery Santa Ynez, CA and Artiste Winery Los Olivos, CA

Bion found his passion for winemaking after the Rice family opened Sunstone Vineyards & Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1994. During multiple harvests and training under Daniel Gehrs, who taught him how to blend wines to achieve balance, grace, and power, Bion’s obsession for blending wines began. With a heightened appreciation for art and the art of blending wine, Bion’s palate and eagerness to be more creative led him to the formation of his separate wine label – Artiste in 2002. Along with soccer, school and prepping for college – his children, Miles (13) and Mason (11) assist with harvest and the blending of two wines named after them – “Milestone” and “Mason Cuvee”. His wife, Anna, leads the creative efforts for both Sunstone and Artiste, in addition to the daily life of the Rice family! Keeping it a family owned business, Bion is CEO and Winemaker for both wineries.

Expertly Curated WINE EXPERIENCES

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.

About the Wine Region – Wachau Valley

Brilliant architectural masterpieces and vine-strung hillsides on the Danube River have inspired artistic creations for hundreds of years. The Romantic Danube journeys through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, so you can experience some of the most celebrated wines and sights in Europe’s heartland.

Over 3,700 acres of terraced vineyards rise from Austria’s illustrious Wachau Valley. Located between the towns of Melk and Krems, this cooler-climate wine region brings a wide variety of refreshing, peppery white-grape wines to fruition. Grüner Veltliner is considered to be the most important grape in Austria. Grown in loess soils by the river’s edge, these favored wines offer aromatic stone fruit flavors reminiscent of the terroir. Riesling, the second most popular grape, loves rocky inclines, so it is extensively sewn into the rich hillside. Fruity notes and floral scents surface from these unique whites.

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