Veneto, Trentino & Alto Adige Wine Tour
Discover the diverse landscapes of Veneto, Trentino and Alto Aldige during this captivating journey through the premier wine regions of northeastern Italy.
Sep 8-13, 2024
Led by Jane Hunt MW
Explore the enchanting landscapes and winemaking richness of northeastern Italy as we journey through the renowned wine regions of Veneto, Trentino and Alto Adige, unveiling exquisite flavors and traditions.
Italy's Veneto, Trentino and Alto Adige regions lie in the northeastern corner of the country. Veneto produces more wine by volume than any other region in Italy, but the finest wines come from the western area near the city of Verona and surrounding the southern tip of Lake Garda. This section boasts names such as Soave, Valpolicella, Lugana and Custoza, to name a few.
Following the Adige river northwards from the city of Verona to Trento and onwards to Bolzano nestled in the foothills of the Dolomite mountains, the territory becomes increasingly more hilly and verdant through the Trentino area where vineyards share land with apple trees. Here the sparkling wines of TrentoDoc are famed. North of Trentino is the Alto Adige, also known as the Sud Tirol, where no fewer than 20 different grape varieties grow in steep lush green vineyards. These vineyards are surrounded by snow-capped peaks dominating the skyline above. Autumn brings a riot of golden and amber leaves as harvest time finishes.
Join Italian wine expert Jane Hunt Master of Wine for a curated wine journey, featuring exclusive vineyard tours, luxury hotel stays and gourmet meals paired with some of the best wines of the region.
Instruction throughout by Jane Hunt MW, Italian wine expert and judge
Professional-level wine tastings at renowned wine producers
Services of a tour manager, providing customer service and logistics support
3 nights at the Palace Hotel Desenzano, double occupancy
2 nights at 4-star Park Hotel Laurin, double occupancy
4 delicious lunches with top-quality wines of the region
2 gourmet dinners with top-quality wines of the region
Price per-person, double occupancy. Download the brochure to get detailed pricing.
Itinerary & Pricing
Meet Your Expert Guides
Jane Hunt, MW
Your Wine Tour Instructor
- Master of Wine specialized in Italian wines
- Senior judge for Italian wines at Decanter Wine World Awards tasting competition
- Jane speaks fluent Italian and spends 6 month of the year in Umbria where she produces olive oil from her own trees
- With over 40 years’ experience in the wine trade, Jane has witnessed an amazing revolution in Italian wine production
Your Wine Tour Manager
Claudia Cesarino will assist the instructor as your tour manager. Claudia’s career started in the international hospitality industry and event organising at the St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome and then at Vinopolis in London. She then worked in India for the famous Italian wine company Marchesi Antinori, training staff about wine at the most prestigious hotels. Claudia is also a member of the Italian Sommelier Association and an experience guide specializing in Italy.
We visit estates such as...
What Makes WSG Educational Tours Unique?
Top wine industry professionals and regional experts as instructors
Service of tour manager offering customer service and logistics support during the trip
Professional-level visits with educational objectives
Tastings of dozens of top-quality wines during estate visits and included meals
Opportunity to meet the producers and local specialists
Access to wine estates often closed to the public
You join a community of fellow like-minded wine professionals and serious enthusiasts
Frequently Asked Questions
- You’ll learn so much more than you would on your own! Internationally renowned instructors are with you at all times throughout the trip, giving fascinating information, making sure you understand the nuances and subtleties of the region and its wines, and responding to all of your questions.
- You will have amazing tastings and get access to estates you would not be able to visit on your own. We have the highest-level contacts in each region. You’ll get to taste fascinating wines at each estate, and you’ll be welcomed as an honored guest.
- Your instructor has lived or worked in France, Italy, Spain, or other countries we run tours in, for many years. This has allowed them to cultivate extensive experience and contacts within the region. You’ll get expert information about the wine business there, and an insider’s take on local culture.
- You will not have to take chances on hotels or restaurants you don’t know. With more than a decade of experience in these wine regions, we use our first-hand knowledge to choose the best hotels and restaurants.
- Your itinerary makes the most of the limited time you have in the wine region, minimizes driving time, and ensures that you get a thorough overview of the region and its wines.
- You don’t have to worry about getting lost (which is easy to do on the backroads of France or Italy!), or about drinking wine at meals. You can just relax, enjoy and learn.
- You get the camaraderie and pleasure of exploring the wine region with other like-minded people who are as passionate about wine as you are.
- Your instructor and tour manager will translate for the group at all times, so you will have no communication issues, as many winemakers in France, Italy and Spain have limited English.
Our Educational Wine Tours offer end-to-end full-service wine experiences with all lodging, and most meals included. You may move locations throughout the week and visit up to three wineries each day. This type of tour provides a deep-dive experience in the vineyards, cellars, and with local winemakers.
Our Masters Program Immersions provide a 360-degree view of a region via 3 days of classroom instruction with extensive tutored tastings and two days of field trip study. These programs build off of existing WSG course content and are available to new students, current students and alumni. Course materials are included in the price, and you can take your certification exam for the corresponding program once you return home. For Masters Program Immersions, hotels are not included in the price, but we are happy to provide options for all budgets once you reserve your seat. Lunch is typically included on field trip days only, with free time on classroom days to source your own lunch at your expense. Group dinners are also included with the remaining three at your expense. Many students prefer the structure of learning in the classroom combined with the free time of this format. It is also well-suited for those who wish to be more social, as students quickly become friends with others in the group.
We request that all guests on our trips are serious and passionate about wine, however, there are no official prerequisites for WSG Study Abroad experiences.
For most Educational Wine Tours and all Masters Program Immersion experiences, you will receive study materials in advance once your balance is paid in full, or 120 days before travel. To get the maximum benefit from the trip, we highly recommend being familiar with content that is provided in advance.
WSG Studio is also an excellent resource and contains hundreds of topical recorded lectures and webinars on many of the regions we visit. For trips that do not include study materials, we will generally send a curated selection of webinars to watch in advance.
The following trips include enrollment in the corresponding online Masters Program:
- Champagne Masters Immersion in Reims
- Bourgogne Masters Immersion in Beaune
- Backroads Bourgogne
If you're a graduate of the program, or are currently enrolled, you are eligible for the "Enrolled Student Price" ($300 discount) when paying your final balance. Study materials and access to the online classroom will be provided when your full payment is received (120 before the start of the trip). Students have one year from the date they pay their final balance to take the online exam. Extensions, at an additional cost, are available.
The trips begin and end directly in the wine region you’ll be visiting. For your convenience, all trips start and end in or near a city with major rail links and/or airports. Transportation to and from the meeting and ending point is up to you and at your own cost.
Information on trip starting and ending points are included in the itinerary for each trip. You’ll be sent all the information you need to make your travel arrangements once reserved.
Our instructors have arranged professional-level tastings at some of the finest estates in each region.
At all the estates, you'll receive a warm welcome and an educational tasting often with the winemaker him or herself. In most cases, you will tour the technical facilities (vat room and aging cellars) in addition to your tasting. You may taste from the barrel or vat in addition to recent and older vintages in bottle. Sometimes you’ll taste in the cellar, sometimes in a tasting room and other times outdoors.
During some visits, you’ll go out into the vineyard with the winemaker to discuss vineyard management and harvesting. If the winemaker doesn’t speak English, the instructor will translate for him or her, and for you if you have questions. Each estate visit is unique: at one winery, you might see a cooper making barrels; at another, there may be beautiful gardens; at a third, a special art exhibit or museum.
Preparing for the trip
Please ask the instructor if there is enough time at the end of the visit for you to make your purchase without impeding the progress and timing of the trip. Not all estates sell onsite in Bordeaux, for example, very few of the Classified Growth châteaux sell wine at the château (they sell exclusively through wine merchants). It is rare that estates offer international shipping.
If you would like to purchase wine, we recommend that you ask your government’s customs office for their rules and regulations if you intend to bring wine back into your country, or have wine shipped to you.
You always have the option of bringing wine home with you in your checked luggage. A specialized wine suitcase is perfect for this. Depending on your home country, this amount will vary. You may have to pay some amount of duty on your wine when you go through customs. Therefore, it's best to check with your local authorities for further information.
For the day, it's best to bring clothing that’s casual without being unkempt. Avoid sweats and old sneakers, for example. Especially for our visits to First Growth châteaux and other very prestigious estates, slightly more elegant attire is requested and appreciated.
We'll be doing quite a bit of standing and some walking, plus the cellars can be damp, so it would be best to avoid high heels and opt for comfortable shoes for the daytime. For walks in the vineyards, you’ll want appropriate walking shoes or sneakers. For the evening, do bring some dressier clothes for dinners in elegant restaurants.
TRANSPORTATION, FOOD & LODGING
We choose 4-star hotels to ensure a high level of comfort, including en-suite bathrooms, WiFi and air conditioning. It’s very important for the hotels to be well situated in the region, to keep driving time and distance to a minimum. We want to make sure you are as close as possible to the vineyards and other local sites of interest. The hotels we choose also must be large enough to accommodate groups.
We thoroughly check out each hotel before including it in a trip. In wine regions that are large and spread out, you will only change hotels once or twice during a week-long trip (to keep driving times to a minimum each day), and in other regions, there is only one centrally located hotel.
In most of the hotels we choose yes, the rooms are identical. The exceptions are the charming, typically French, Italian and Spanish hotels located in historic buildings.
There may be some differences in the size of the rooms, the view from each room may be different, the decor may be different... Since many of these hotels are also small, it’s sometimes difficult to get the number of rooms we need to be all in the same category. We will fill the rooms in the order of sign-ups for the trip, filling the highest category rooms first, to reward those who sign up quickly.
All rooms will be lovely and have the same level of comfort and services (A/C, WiFi, en-suite bathrooms, TV, etc.), no one will get a “bad” room, they just may not all be exactly alike.
Preparing for the trip
For Educational Wine Tours: the majority of meals are included in the trip price. You’ll enjoy lunches and dinners at excellent establishments that offer finely prepared dishes.
Most dinners are gastronomic and include three or four courses; lunches are gourmet but somewhat lighter so you can stay alert during your afternoon visits and tastings.
Most of the time, there will be a set menu expertly selected for your enjoyment, paired with preselected special wines of the region. Meals offer great opportunities to discuss food and wine matching, of course!
Most trips include a few lunches and/or dinners on your own, so you can also try local restaurants of your choice or have a lighter meal if you wish.
For Masters Program Immersion: these experiences typically include a welcome dinner, a farewell dinner as well as one or two lunches during your field trip days. These meals will be paired with selected local wines. The rest of the meals are at your expense. WSG and/or the instructor will provide a list of some dining options for you to consult.
For included meals, we expertly match premium wines from the region we're visiting with each dish, sometimes including prestigious wines.
Meals offer an opportunity to taste wines from appellations that may not be represented in the winery tastings or to introduce you to some interesting or unusual wines your instructor feels merit your attention.
There are usually several different wines served with each meal. At all meals, we include a minimum of a half-bottle of wine per person. All wines included in your trip are expertly chosen by the instructor. You are always welcome to purchase additional wine or other beverages at your own cost, in addition to those we choose.
We always do our best to accommodate special needs. It's usually possible to provide a substitute meal or dish if you cannot eat what the group is eating if you let us know about your allergies and intolerances once registered for the trip. The reservation form includes a place where you can specify these special dietary needs. If you have not informed us beforehand of your specific dietary needs, we cannot ensure that these can be met.
Organizers & Instructors
Our trip instructors are among the most renowned and respected wine professionals in the wine business. They are also professional wine educators who are absolutely passionate about the region and its wines.
You can see a full biography of the instructor for each trip on the corresponding page, so you can know exactly with whom you'll be touring and learning. Most are native English speakers (American or British), and all other instructors speak English fluently. Our instructors have that special combination of high-level wine expertise, personal warmth, friendliness, and excellent leadership skills. They'll accompany you every day, throughout the trip, and will be able to answer all of your questions about the wines of the region you’ll be visiting (and about wine in general).
During the trip, the tour manager is there to make sure all the logistics of the tour run smoothly so that the instructor can devote their time to instructing! This includes liaising with the bus driver, the restaurants and hotels before and during the trip. The tour manager is also responsible in making sure that the group is punctual for all visits, meals and drop-offs. They handle any emergency that may come up and are also there to help the trip participants with any questions they may have.
All our tour managers reside in the country they work in and have years of experience in the wine tour industry. They are also completely bilingual in the country they work in and are all consummate professionals.
Booking a trip
Yes, we strongly encourage you to purchase a very comprehensive travel insurance package once you have paid your deposit for a Study Trip. Note that many plans require you to purchase the insurance very soon after your deposit payment (some require it within 14 days).
There are any number of things that can happen that can cause cancellation or interruption of package travel, and travel insurance can help cover the costs you incur as a result. You can find travel insurers easily and there are sites where you can compare policies (for example, Insure My Trip).
Be sure to read policies very carefully before you purchase. Include your airfare, train fare, and any other expenses you will have in addition to the price of the study trip itself. We highly recommend getting a “cancel for any reason” policy, which offers the best coverage. Travel experts say “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” so don’t skimp on this important coverage!
"Students of Wine"; whether wine industry professionals or serious wine hobbyists who wish to learn extensively about the wines of France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain with the leader in French, Italian and Spanish wine education and certification.
Yes, you need to be in good physical condition. We will be walking short distances into the vineyards, or from the hotel to dinner (i.e., 10-15 minutes at a time), walking through a winery, up and down stairs, and often standing in place for a while during a winery tour and tasting (sometimes there is no place to sit in the winery).
Yes, definitely. We keep group size to no more than 16-18 participants, to make sure that everyone gets individual attention. In Bourgogne and Piedmont, where wineries are very small, we limit to 15 participants. The smaller group size also allows us to use a smaller motor coach, so we can take smaller, more scenic country roads and maneuver more easily through narrow estate access roads. It also enables us to visit exclusive estates that do not accept large groups.
See Our Other Destinations
Our industry-recognized educational wine tours offer intensive, professional-level education within wine regions of France, Italy, Spain and beyond. Led by prominent wine professionals and journalists, our itineraries and curricula provide a backstage pass to the most celebrated wine regions.