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Authentic Sicily Wine Series Presents – Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen: The World Wine Guys in Sicily


Authentic Sicily Wine Series Presents –

Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen:

The World Wine Guys in Sicily

July 10–17, 2016

Join us for an enchanting week as Authentic Sicily’s Gary Portuesi and DeGustibus Cooking School’s Sal Rizzo team up with world-renowned wine experts, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, known as The World Wine Guys, for a wine-focused tour that highlights some of the best wineries in Sicily and Italy: Planeta, COS, Occhipinti, Maccari and Cottanera. This intimate tour, with a maximum of 16 people, lasts seven days and nights in upscale accommodations, and is designed to be at a relaxed-pace with plenty of time to savor the best of food, wine, art, culture, history, hospitality and beauty that Sicily has to offer.




Welcome & Introduction

You will be transferred from Catania’s Fontanrossa Airport to Country House Villadorata, an ancient farmhouse outside the lovely city of Noto in Southeastern Sicily, that has been transformed into a luxury inn.

County House Villadorata encompasses 11 acres, amidst organic vineyards and olive, almond and citrus trees. Over the next four days, you will have ample time to discover your piece of Sicily in this tranquil oasis.

Join us for an aperitivo at sunset and for an orientation and an opportunity to meet the team to help kick-off our exploration of Sicily’s bounty and wine. Dinner follows with a traditional Sicilian menu.



Two Trailblazing Wineries: COS & Occhipinti

Sicily has a progressive approach to winemaking and today, we will meet some of the best-known winemakers. First, we will visit Arianna Occhipinti who owns and operates Occhipinti. Then, on to COS, a winery known for its signature use of amphorae for aging their most innovative wines. We’ll visit both wineries, meet the winemakers, taste their wines, especially their award-winning Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Frappato, and have lunch. We return to Country House, freshen up and visit the nearby town of Noto, one of three UNESCO World Heritage Cities known for their Spanish Baroque architecture. Dinner will be at a topnotch restaurant in Noto.



Ragusa & Modica: UNESCO World Heritage Cities Bursting with Michelin Stars

Our first stop today is magical Modica, with its sophisticated main corso and dramatic Cathedral standing above the town. We will pay a visit to the famous Bonajuto chocolatier and learn what makes Modica’s chocolate unique.

We then head to Ragusa to the two Michelin-starred, Il Duomo (one of only three in all of Sicily), for a grand feast with paired wines prepared by the highly decorated Chef Ciccio Sultano. Chef Ciccio’s creations are world-renown and he calls his cooking “a re-interpretation of Sicilian classics.” We call them masterpieces.



Siracusa: The New York of Ancient Greece

Sicily has more layers of history than anywhere else in Italy. We venture today to Siracusa, the “New York” of Ancient Greece, to visit the Archaeological Park and the island of Ortigia with its main church that is Baroque on the outside but an intact ancient temple on the inside.

After lunch, we head to Feudo Maccari, to taste their lineup that includes Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri winner, Saia, a 100% Nero d’Avola wine. Dinner this evening will be in Noto, with a stop to meet up with a special friend at Caffe Sicilia, known for its mouthwatering gelati.



Etna South

Today, we head north to another exhilarating part of Sicily, Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest volcano. Mt. Etna’s wines are considered to be some of the most trendsetting and exciting wines produced in Italy. Our winery visit today is Benanti, a boutique winery owned by handsome twins Antonio and Salvino Benanti. We’ll taste Etna varietals and blends, such as Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante.

From Etna, we venture to glamorous Taormina, Sicily’s resort area par excellence. We will check into Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, one of the most exclusive hotels in Sicily. Dinner this evening will be in town at a casual restaurant.



Etna North

We continue our exploration of Etna wines and head to the north side of the volcano, which is home to many award-winning wineries, such as Cottanera and Planeta. We will visit these wineries and enjoy a wine tasting along with lunch, composed of local delicacies, and get to compare and contrast the different styles of winemaking across the three Etna wineries we have visited.

Our gala dinner tonight will be on the terrace of the Timeo, overlooking the sea and with Etna as our backdrop



The Grand Finale in Glamorous Taormina

Today is a free day in Taormina! Enjoy the hotel’s pool, take a quick trip down to the private beach of Villa Sant’Andrea, the Timeo’s sister property, indulge in cannoli on chic Corso Umberto, or shop until you drop. Our farewell dinner will be held in town.




Departures from Catania Airport. Authentic Sicily will provide transfers to the airport this morning for all departing guests.

For more information about this tour contact: garyp@authenticsicily.com or call (917) 868-4712 or visit our website at AuthenticSicily.com/culinaryadventures


All inclusive except airfare: $7495 per person in double room.

Authentic Sicily will be glad to extend your stay in Taormina or other parts of Sicily or Italy

thewineguys.jpgMike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

Known as The World Wine Guys, Mike and Jeff are wine, spirits, food, and travel writers, educators and hosts. They have been featured guests on a variety of national television programs and are the entertaining and lifestyle editors of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Mike and Jeff are the authors of award-winning Wines of the Southern Hemisphere and Wines of California and The Fire Island Cookbook. The duo regularly host wine tastings and educational seminars around the world, and they have received the prestigious Golden Pen Award for food, wine, and travel journalism and have been inducted into the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin at the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy.

And, they’re just plain fun.

“There is nothing more exciting to us than ‘drinking the wine in the land where the grape is grown’—then sharing that wine and the accompanying memories with our friends back home.

Their philosophy embraces the notion that wine brings people together: Conversations foster mutual understanding, barriers are dropped, friendships are formed, and people of all cultures realize how similar our lives are on this planet we call home.

The World Wine Guys are all about visiting the places grapes are grown and wine is made, eating the food that goes along with that wine, and letting others in on what they have found in their exploration. In a phrase… MIKE & JEFF UNCORK OUR WORLD.

Join us in Sicily as they continue uncorking our world on a beguiling island with a fun itinerary and lots of exquisite wines!


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