We rate some of the best websites out there, specialised in offering wine-centric travels and experiences.

In line with our Guest Editor of the week - who founded the Mirabeau en Provence wine brand, winner of countless awards, we introduce you to some of the best websites out there, specialised in wine-centric travels and experiences for the enthusiast.

WINERIST
www.winerist.com


Named as The Good Web Guide's 2014 Travel Website of the Year, Winerist is the largest online marketplace for wine & food travel.

Winerist is dedicated to bringing unique and unforgettable experiences to food and wine enthusiasts worldwide; from staying with winemakers in California to cycling through the vineyards of Chile, Winerist believes that wine and food travel can be simple. Why dine in a tourist trap when you can live like a local for a decent price? If you feel like a little "winerist" is hiding inside you, this is the perfect moment to get him out.

ARBLASTER & CLARKE
winetours.co.uk


Lynette Arblaster and Tim Clarke founded Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours in 1986 bringing together professional travel and wine experience. Their passion for wine and a love of traveling translated into what is now perhaps the biggest tour operator when it comes to wine-themed holidays.

Arblaster & Clarke arrange worldwide wine tours in around 37 countries, covering France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece and Italy in detail, plus Australia, New Zealand, South Afric, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and California. Many of the Wine Guides are MWs – Masters of Wine, (the highest qualification in the trade) and they are generally joined by a multi-lingual Tour Manager.

GRAPE ESCAPES
www.grapeescapes.net


Created in 2004 by wine lovers Mark and Claire Hallett, Grape Escapes is a specialist wine tour operator that offers a wide selection of holidays and trips to the finest European wine regions, mostly in France.

Whether you feel like Champagne, or a solid glass of Chianti, rest assured this small group really knows their business. Head over to their website to check the actual offer in place, ranging from Exclusive or Essential Tours, to tailor-made solutions and even corporate events. If you really want to take the best from your vacation you should seriously check out the Hidden Gems program, where the most romantic and historic properties in each region have been selected for guests looking for an authentic Château experience over a wide range of dates.

A bit unsure where to start from? Check the Premium Tour, their most popular package on offer. Guests are transported on tour day(s) in a luxury chauffeured mini-coach with an English-speaking Grape Escapes guide. The tours offer a cross section of winery sizes and wine styles from across the region to best illustrate its characteristics. A gourmet lunch is served as the guests of one of the wineries or at a premium restaurant, accompanied by fine wines.

WINE DISCOVERIES
www.winediscoveries.co.uk


Wine Discoveries is a family run business specialising in artisan wine from small scale producers. The company's founders, Jonny and Caroline Gibson, make frequent trips to France to find new and interesting wines, many of which are being sold in the UK for the first time.

Wine Discoveries offers a whole lot more than just wine. They arrange tasting events in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London where guests have the opportunity to sample eight wines. These can be arranged for private or charity functions or company events. The company also runs three day wine tours in Burgundy, Champagne and Languedoc.

WINE LIAISONS
www.wine-liaisons.com


An Englishman who has lived and worked in France for almost 30 years, Brendan Moore now lives in Burgundy and has been running tours successfully for many years.

Brendan runs wine tours in the Burgundy (Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnais, Maconnais, Beaujolais), Loire, Rhone, Alsace and Champagne wine regions. He typically runs the tours for small groups of 2-6 people, but can also organise tours for larger numbers. He is also very happy to work with you to plan a tour to cover your interests and requirements, and he's always available for tips and suggestions to better plan your trip.

VINOPOLIS
vinopolis.co.uk


Still excited about wine tasting but can't get out of the city? No problem: here Vinopolis comes to the rescue.

Just 5 minutes from London Bridge, Vinopolis offers a range of packages suitable for any wine lover, whether it’s a self-guided wine tasting experience, private or a masterclass there's something for you.

Please note that Vinopolis will be closing their doors on 31 December 2015 - enlighten yourself while you still can.

THIRTY FIFTY
www.thirtyfifty.co.uk


Last but not least, if you'd like a wine tasting experience but you can't (or just won't) leave your sofa. Thirty Fifty brings the experience (and the wines) to you. Established in 2002 by Chris and Jane Scott, who trained with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Thirty Fifty was born out of desire to demystify wine by bringing fun wine tastings to people in their own homes.

From their early days in the London area, they've now increased their national coverage with a team of wine experts running tastings across England, Wales and Scotland. From private tastings at home, they quickly expanded to corporate events and wine courses and they also introduced an online shop, enabling customers to buy any of the wines they'd enjoyed.

17 July 2015