Exclusive Wine Cruise


Hosted by Matthieu Finot, Winemaker, King Family Vineyards, Crozet, VA

Matthieu was born in Crozes Hermitage in the Rhone Valley of France. Coming from a family of viticulturists and wine lovers, Matthieu was predisposed to continue his family’s pursuit of making and enjoying wine. He first studied viticulture and oenology at Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. After graduating in 1995, Matthieu worked in many different wine regions around France including Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Jura. He then worked in Italy and South Africa to gain experience around the world before settling in Virginia. Since arriving in 2003, Matthieu has worked with wineries throughout the state. He enjoys working in the Monticello Appellation most because he likes the excitement of the region’s growth and being close to Charlottesville.

Q&A With Matthieu Finot

1. Why do you believe you are the right wine host for this cruise? Share your credentials and passion for wine

From a “vigneron” family in northern Rhone, I have been a winemaker for more than 20 years, through my career i have worked in some of the most famous wine region, Burgundy, Rhone, Provence, Bordeaux, Jura, Italy and South Africa before settling in Virginia. Since 2007, with my brother, we’ve created the Domaine Finot a winery in Isere and Northern Rhone.

2. Tell us something special about yourself that would make someone unfamiliar with you want to travel with you on this river cruise?

I do have a French accent…. it helps to talk about wine!

3. What was your “Aha Moment” when you fell in love with wine?

I probably was too young to remember when I fell in love with wine as wine was always a part of my life because of my family.

4. What is one thing you are most looking forward to on your river cruise?

Sharing my love and passion for wine

5. What is something fun/unique you wish to share—perhaps something nobody knows until now?

I was born in the middle of harvest time and when my father came back from the hospital to announce my birth to the family everyone was around the press, pressing some wine…. I don’t know if I should see a sign in that!

6. What is one of the most interesting places you have traveled to and why?

I just love traveling and there are so many places that I would like to go, but I did find South Africa fascinating - the history, the diversity of culture and the landscape are quite unique.

7. If you were stranded on a desert island, and could only have one bottle of wine, what would it be and why?

La Tache, a grand cru from Burgundy, one of the best Burgundy wines that I drank when I was in wine-making school, this is the wine that also made me fall in love with Burgundy.


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 – Alsace and Moselle

Historic villages, medieval mansions, and towering hillsides wrapped in vineyards are just a few of the amazing things that overlook the river’s edge from Nuremberg to Luxembourg. Our Europe’s Rivers & Castles itinerary takes you through the Mosel, Rhine and Main rivers to discover some of Europe’s most fascinating scenery while dabbling in the remarkable wines grown in Germany.

For over one thousand years, a wide variety of tantalizing wines have been surfacing from the special soils of the Franconia region, alongside the Main River in Eastern Germany. These grapevines benefit from a continental climate with a Mediterranean influence, which is ideal for growing grapes. Both dry, fruity white wines and rare, decadent reds are made with superb quality here.


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