Exclusive Wine Cruise

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Hosted by 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.

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 – The Douro

Land near a river, and naturally protected by mountain ranges, inspired winemakers to plant vineyards along the Douro, but wild landscapes and nutrient-poor soil made this an extremely difficult task. The birthplace of port wine would simply not exist today if it hadn’t been for the centuries of determined winegrowers who laboriously carved rows of vines into the steep, dramatic terrain.

Their efforts proved worthwhile. Angled, rocky terrain just so happens to be ideal for the growth of grapes. Over the years, the magnitude of the Douro Valley wine region has grown remarkably and it is now divided into three parts. Our Enticing Douro itinerary cruises through all three sub-regions, giving you a taste of Northern Portugal’s famous ports and table wines.

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