Real Life Testimonials


This Gourmet Tour truly touches most people who are fortunate enough to experience it. Here are some actual comments of people who have participated in the trip. Most find these testimonials insightful, helpful, and very interesting.

From our 2015 tours:

“Still hard to express thanks for a trip of a lifetime.”

“I’ve been coming to Europe for years. Nobody else can give this kind of access to the winemakers, their families, their homes, and their personal cellars.”

Our hotel room was amazing – the kind of room we would never splurge on ourselves. I didn’t think hotel rooms in Europe got that big! It was a pleasure to call that room home for our entire week in Burgundy.

This is the kind of trip that money can’t buy. It’s not just the access to incredible winemakers, cellars, and homes … it’s the warm and friendly atmosphere. They laugh and joke with us while teaching us about wine, winemaking, and Burgundy.

Thank you for the opportunity to visit YOUR Burgundy – the REAL Burgundy. You have a passion and standard of excellence for not only wine, but also life in general. I find that most admirable.

Recent praise from our 2012 tour…
“It’s been 3 years since the trip and it still amazes me how this experience totally exceeded my expectations at every turn. And there were many turns!”

From our 2014 tours:

“The food and wine is “over the top”, but I indulged thoroughly and regretted my indulgences only briefly.”

“This is one of the best weeks of my entire life!”

“This is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ trip. If I died today, I’d be happy.”

“Touring the vineyards where Thomas Jefferson used to hang out when he was the US ambassador to France gave me chills.”

Recent praise from our 2006 tour…
“We always take a big trip each year. This year, we did a Baltic Sea cruise. It was great, but none of our trips can top our tour of Burgundy with you!”

From our 2013 tours:

“Steve drove us everywhere. He thoughtfully narrated the entire trip without talking too much, but also being informative, interesting, and fun.”

“I feel as though I earned a bachelor’s degree in Burgundy wine and that I was taught by an all-star faculty.”

“Steve and Gloria have the gift of hospitality. They have clearly perfected this experience to a ‘T’.”

“Steve and Gloria were sensitive to our individual planning and logistic needs. It was an effortless trip.”

“You have provided us with some unforgettable memories.”

Recent praise from our 2007 tour…
“We still talk about our trip with you to Burgundy…what a great time!”

From our 2012 tours:

We took this trip because we knew it would include incredible countryside and great wine. In the end, these factors were secondary to the overall experience of being part of the Burgundy family for a week.

A trip like this doesn’t just happen. It is a real credit to you how smoothly everything went. There didn’t seem to be a single glitch. Thank you for this incredible trip!

To describe our week in Burgundy, we use the word “experience”, rather than trip. These 7 days with you were so much more than can be described simply as a trip.

We have been on fabulous trips in our lives, but this experience defines “over the top” in a brand new way.

Seeing the sites was great — experiencing the lives of the real winemaking families in Burgundy was truly priceless.

I’ve traveled all over the world and this is one of the very best trips I have ever taken in my life.

It’s hard to imagine a way to get better, more intimate access to some of the best winemakers in Burgundy. Anyone interested in wine, food, and real people will absolutely love this experience.

From our 2011 tours:

“My Mom is a very experienced traveler and I have been sharing with her our trip photos and experiences. It takes a lot to wow her; she is wowed!”

“The food was magnificent. The wine was outstanding. The scenery was marvelous. The people were wonderful. Wow! We just can’t say enough about how great this trip was. It was indeed the experience of a lifetime.”

“We hesitate to use the word “tour” when talking about our trip because it was completely different experience than any tour we have ever been on. Opening a bottle of wine has taken on new meaning for us since our fantastic adventure in Burgundy with Steve.”

“The Gourmet Wine Tour exceeded my expectations. It was the right balance of vineyard tours, wine tasting, gourmet dining, and intimate personal interaction with the winemaker families. This would be virtually impossible without Steve and his relationships with these people.”

“If you have a special place in your heart for France, Steve’s tour of Burgundy will make it flourish. The elegant wines provide the theme for this trip, but you will also get to know the French men and women of Burgundy — and they will charm and impress you with their skills, sense of humor, and camaraderie.”

“We STILL talk about this trip. It was simply a fun trip and it gave us the memory of our lives.”

From our 2010 tours:

“What a worry-free and relaxed trip! From start to finish, you took care of everything for us. You truly lead a stress-free experience to Burgundy.”

“We expected this to be a fantastic trip, but it turned out to be far better than we expected!”

“Your trips are like Rick Steves’ trips — only smaller, more intimate, and even more personal.”

“Our expectations were blown way out of the water with the trip. We are hoping to take another one with you.”

“We all agree that the tastings, family meals, and cellar visits were highlights. I have never had a barrel tasting and it was quite an experience.”

From our 2009 tours:

“Whether you are a neophyte wine and food aficionado or have wide experience and knowledge, a visit to Burgundy with Steve Pignatiello will reshape your perspective on France, and Burgundy in particular.”

“Imagine the thrill of being invited into the home of a winemaker and being feted as a long lost friend. Steve’s winemaker friends make you feel like old friends even though you entered their homes as total strangers.”

“The concept of “terroir” becomes intuitively understood as one sees and tastes the differences in the wines while standing in vineyards that are astonishingly close to each other. The difference between a village level wine and a premier cru, and occasionally, a grand cru, can be as little as crossing a road.”

“The most endearing aspect of the visit, though, is that it allows one to meet the vintners and their families as ordinary people, in their homes and very much at ease.”

“This is truly one of those life experiences that comes along only so often and becomes a lovingly preserved memory to savor for years to come.”

“We had access to real French culture. We were off the tourist path. We felt very behind the scenes.”

“The visit quickly got friendly, personal, and intimate.””

“The trip felt like experiencing the Vatican for wines from the inside out with deep local access and knowledge.”

From our 2008 tours:

“The relationships our hosts have built over the years go beyond the business aspect. They enjoy a true friendship with the winery owners and their families. That friendship lets our chef-host prepare several meals in their kitchens, with as much or as little help as the guests wish to provide. Other meals are prepared by some winery owner’s wives and daughters, and shared with that family. It is very much like sharing it with close friends.”

“As a seasoned traveler, having experienced many places and cultures, when Steve presented this trip to Burgundy as the trip of a lifetime, I was somewhat skeptical. However, this trip met the challenge and far exceeded expectations. This trip for me had all of the elements of a memorable, truly remarkable trip—education, experience, and epiphany.”

“We experienced the best wines in the world in the most authentic environment possible. Steve opened up doors for us that so few people have an opportunity to walk through. Rather than merely visiting Burgundy, we become Burgundians for an unforgettable week.”

“The wine tastings are very diverse. One may be a vertical tasting of one vineyard, one may be a tasting of several wines from the same winemaker, and one may be out in the vineyards evaluating the difference terroir makes to the same vintage. We taste wines of various levels, from Village to Grand Cru. The generosity of the winery owners is large.”

“A typical day might include shopping for food at an open-air market in the morning and then watching the chef prepare it in the comfortable home of one of our gracious hosts. Imagine being served a 5-course meal accompanied by a dozen or so outstanding wines from the winemaker’s private cellar, many of which simply cannot be bought anywhere.”

“This is not a trip that is available through a travel agent. Nor will it be featured in a travel publication. It is possible only through the relationships that Steve has formed with world-class winemakers in the region. These relationships are characterized by mutual and intense affection and respect. We were the beneficiaries of these relationships by being treated as not only old friends, but also like extended family. Hence, we were welcomed into their homes, and, for a brief time, integrated into their everyday lives.”

“Seasoned travelers today are looking for more than a “vacation.” They are seeking a unique and memorable experience — one that they cannot replicate. There also is an increasing desire to connect with people and places that are real and authentic.”

“Henry David Thoreau once said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” He obviously never went to Burgundy with Steve.”

“From an accommodation stand point, this is a week without a lot of driving — a week in the same, very high quality hotel.”

“This is a level of intimacy rare in Europe.”

“This trip absolutely epitomizes that. It is the real, genuine Burgundy, as lived by its inhabitants. It is an opportunity to totally immerse oneself, not only in the fine wines and the extraordinary cuisine of this special region, but also to step into its cultural heritage and its people. Not only were we welcomed into the private homes of some of the best winemakers in the world, but we spent entire afternoons getting to know them and their families, and discovering why the wines of Burgundy are so exquisite.”

From our 2007 tours:

“We had a wonderful time touring with you….just fantastic! We continued the party through Italy…..Greece….and the islands. Needless to say I did NOT want to come home. Thanks again for this truly unbelievable wine experience.”

“I have been taking first class trips for decades and this is the BEST and most unique trip I have ever taken.”

“We consider this gourmet trip a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sample the food, wine and culture of one of France’s most unique regions.”

“What if we had a French speaking friend in the wine business? What if he knew some of the best, small, high quality wine makers in the business? What if we were able to travel on a food and wine extravaganza in Burgundy with that friend?”

“This is what we have experienced. Lodging in an ancient four star hotel in the center of Burgundy’s greatest wine region. Dining at top French restaurants as well as intimate meals in the wine makers homes. Special meals prepared in the wine makers home by a famous chef. Wine tasting ranging from the wine makers recent production to older vintages only available from the wine makers personal cellars. In addition, we are able to interact on a personal level with the wine maker and his family in order to learn more about the history of the wines, the terroir, and their unique qualities.”

“Most of us visit premier wine regions armed with tourist guides, wine journals, and travel magazines. And we visit the large well known wine producers and dine at the Michelin starred restaurants. Yet, in Burgundy, we notice the numerous small wine producers and wonder what it would be like to taste these wines. Limited by language and time barriers, we realize it is unlikely we would ever be able to sample the high quality, hand crafted, limited production wines from these producers.”

“I already knew you well. And I knew you deliver on your promises in a big way; so I had extremely high expectations for this trip. By the end of the second day, we had already exceeded those expectations. By the end of the week, I realized how special this trip is. It cannot be duplicated by anyone else at any price.”