Managing Director, Genevieve McCarthy, talks about Cellar Tours, specialising in food and wine themed private tours.

Cellar Tours is a luxury tour operator, founded in 2003, that specialises in food and wine themed private tours. Destinations included in their vacations portfolio include France, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and even gourmet tours of Ireland. Guests have their own private chauffeured Mercedes and professional English speaking driver, and they can look forward to being whisked away for VIP private wine tasting tours at boutique vineyards, enjoying private cooking classes with local chefs, culinary experiences like truffle hunting and olive oil tasting and fun activities like sea kayaks, sunset cruises and more. The website features three subsections per country destination- Food and Wine Tours, Luxury Special Occasion Tours, and Corporate Events. Cellar Tours also have a Blog with new articles on food, wine and travel added weekly. Managing Director, Genevieve McCarthy tells us more...

What was the inspiration for the site?

We wanted a contemporary, clean and stylish website that was also practical and easy to navigate. Other websites that inspired us include Condé Nast Traveller, Vogue and Forbes.

When did you launch the site?

Our new website was just launched in July 2017.

What are your greatest challenges?

Our greatest challenge is maintaining and delivering the level of quality our clients have come to associate with our brand. So this means regular site inspections to our featured destinations, and constantly keeping our itineraries fresh and exclusive, with suppliers at the top of their game.

What's your background?

I studied journalism before the travel bug got me, and then decided to found a company based on my favorite things- travel, luxury and wine!

Who do you admire in business?

Cristina Forner of Marques de Caceres winery in Spain is an inspiration for her renowned work ethic and marketing skills, her success even more impressive as it is such a male dominated industry. In terms of companies, Abercrombie & Kent were trailblazers in the luxury travel niche and a constant source of inspiration. And finally, the Rioja wine region have seriously made tracks in the USA with an unbelievably successful PR campaign. Less than 10 years ago many casual wine consumers in the States had not even heard of this destination and now it is one of our most requested tours in Spain.

Please recommend a website and / or app that helps you promote or run your business

I would die without Evernote! We also use Redbooth, Plivo, and Google Analytics in our day to day.

What is the best piece of business advice you've been given?

The best advice I was given rings as true when we started Cellar Tours, as it does now fifteen years later - Listen to your customers.

What is your motto?

You get out what you put in.

Where do you see the business going from here?

In the next year, we plan to offer luxury food and wine tours in exciting new destinations here in Europe where we are based, such as Croatia and Slovenia. In the coming years we plan to research and expand out to wine regions in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

Have you entered an award before?

This is our first time!

Where did you hear about the GWG Awards?

We discovered it online and thought it would be a unique opportunity.

August 2017