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Germany: The Magic of Riesling, May 20 – 24, 2014

Germany: The Magic of Riesling

A luxury food and wine tour of the Rheingau, Mosel and Nahe

Hosted by James Cluer MW and Carolyn Lucas AIWS

May 20th-24th 2014

Schloss Johannisberg – The oldest Riesling estate in the world
August Kesseler – Revolutionary producer of German Pinot Noir
Kloster Eberbach – 12th century Monastery and ceremonial home to Hesse State wines
Georg-Müller-Stiftung – Award-winning 19th century Rheingau estate
Robert Weil – Century-long reputation as a symbol of German wine culture
Selbach-Oster – Mosel legend with a history dating back to the 1660s
Max Ferd Richter – Elegant family-owned estate with 10-generations of wine history
Fritz Haag – A rich history that has earned the title of “Best Collection of the Year”
Dr. Loosen – One the Mosel’s most reputable wineries
Sektgut St. Laurentius – Germany’s finest producer of Sparkling wines
Schlossgut Diel – Nahe’s premiere estate for Riesling and Pinot Noir

 –  Three stunning wine regions all in one tour
 –  Sensational wines from a star-studded list of producers
 –  Luxury accommodation and superb food
 –  Dinner with Sommelier of the Year, Stefan Weise
 –  Stunning historical and cultural attractions

CAD$3,495 per person including tax

For many years the wines from the Rheingau and the Mosel were the most prized, and the most expensive, in the world. Come on this tour to visit some of the greatest producers, and see why.

Exciting, romantic, delicate…these are not words you normally associate with Germany, but this tour has it all: breath-taking scenery with fairy-tale castles and half-timbered villages nestled beneath vine-clad slopes, legendary estates and some of the finest, most elegant wines in the world.

Riesling is the star performer. It comes in an exceptionally wide variety of styles that makes it endlessly fascinating: impressive from marl, stunning from limestone and unique from slate, delicate and subtle or powerful and rich. Germany is also now a top producer of Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), often referred to as the “red Riesling” for all its transparency, elegance and charm. We taste the best.

Our journey takes us from the Rheingau to the Mosel and back to Frankfurt via the Nahe. We will stay at first-class hotels in prime locations and gain access to the finest wineries in the country. Many of these will be familiar to you but there will also be the quiet superstar who has been specially selected to showcase the dynamics of the German wine scene.

The tour will be hosted by James Cluer and Carolyn Lucas, a UK-born WSET Diploma graduate, long-time resident of Germany, and German wine expert. Together we can introduce you to the best winemakers, explain the terroirs, and deconstruct the complexities of Germany’s wines, and culture. It’ll be an experience.

We take 20 people maximum. The cost is $3,495 CAD including tax based on double occupancy. There is a single supplement of $500 per person,

To request a booking form please email

To view the entire detailed itinerary please visit


James Cluer


Tuscany – Luxury Food and Wine Tour, May 5 – 9, 2014 – It’s On!

The Best of Tuscany

MAY 5th – 9th 2014

Tua Rita                        Ornellaia                       Gaja
Castiglion del Bosco     Argiano                      Castello di Ama
Castello di Monsanto     Tignanello                    Castello del Terriccio
1* Michelin restaurant   5* hotel in Chianti       Cooking school

In collaboration with my friend Filippo, we have put together the ALL STAR trip to the greatest wineries in Tuscany. Go to a Michelin starred restaurant for a vertical of Tignanello, have lunches and dinners at iconic estates with older vintages, stay at beautiful hotels, learn about olive oil, go to cooking school, and kick back in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside. If you haven’t been, you should.

The line-up includes super star cult wine Tua Rita, the icons of Tignanello, Ornellaia and Gaja, lunch at Ferragamo’s Brunello estate, and old vintages from classic Chianti producers like Monsanto and the remarkable Castello di Ama. You’ll visit the best wineries in a dynamic region that has extremely traditional producers making wine next to modernists.

This is a luxury trip with outstanding food, wine and hotels. It will be very educational, as well as a lot of fun. You will be hosted by Ian d’Agata, a Canadian by birth, but now living in Rome. He is the key Italian wine writer for both Decanter magazine and Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar and therefore is considered to be THE leading expert on Tuscany. For your amusement, the arm waving Filippo will be there to take care of you, our local partner.

We will only be taking a limited number of people as these wineries are not open to the public.

Price: The cost per person is US$3,750 (including tax) based on double occupancy at the hotels. This price includes all accommodation, visits and tastings at wineries, all meals, all wine at meals, and local transport. Flights are not included.

If you are travelling by yourself there will be a single supplement of US$750.

To join the tour:
Simply email to reserve a spot and ask for a copy of the booking form. This tour is already 50% sold out with people waiting for this itinerary so don’t delay!

Why take a tour of Tuscany from Fine Vintage?
These estates are not typically open to visitors. The only reason that we are able to visit these wineries is because of Ian D’Agata status as the top wine writer, my connections through purchasing wine and Filippo’s friendships with producers. You’ll experience parts of Tuscany that most will never see. The wineries are very welcoming to us. You’ll taste wines they don’t allow others to try, and everything is done for you…

To read the full tour itinerary please go to

James Cluer MW


Fine Vintage Ltd. launches three unique U.S. wine clubs

Master of Wine James Cluer launches three U.S. versions of his successful Canadian Wine Club featuring Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, Californian wines, and popular Imported selections.

Napa, CA July 15, 2013 – Fine Vintage Ltd., owned by Master of Wine James Cluer, has launched a U.S. based version of his successful Canadian wine club.  Fine Vintage Wine Club offers three unique clubs to choose from: the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California, and Import Editions.

James Cluer, MW, is a world renowned wine expert and operator of the Riedel Trophy-winning wine school Fine Vintage Ltd.  One of only 30 MWs in North America, James is a highly sought after wine consultant for luxury hotel chains, cruise lines and airlines including Qatar Airlines.  In addition to wine schools in Canada and the United States, James runs a series of luxury wine tours to top estates in Tuscany, Spain, and Bordeaux.

Three different club offerings are tailored to address the varied wine interests of today’s wine consumer.  The Fine Vintage Imported Edition is the most varied and affordable, shipping four bottles a wine every other month for an attractive price of $119.99 per shipment.  For fans of uber-popular Californian wines, Fine Vintage offers a California Edition for $149.99, bringing four bottles to the consumer’s door every other month from the Golden State.  And for the collector, there’s the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Edition for $199.99 where James hand-picks two bottles each of two different premium Cabernets.  This club also ships every other month.

“I focus on searches for the smaller boutique producers,” owner Cluer reveals.  “I wrestle allocations out of the vintners whose wines I really love!”  James visits hundreds of wineries annually.

To become a member of a Fine Vintage Wine Club, wine enthusiasts can simply click to join on the company’s website,, or call Fine Vintage Wine Club directly. For more information, please contact manager Elaine Marshall directly at (925) 784-1514.

About Fine Vintage Ltd.

Fine Vintage Ltd. was started in 1995 by James Cluer, MW. The company operates in a variety of sectors of the wine industry. As an Approved Program Provider they operate a number of 16 WSET schools in Canada and the United States. In January 2012 they were awarded The Riedel trophy for WSET Educator of the Year, which is the highest honor amongst wine schools. The WSET wine courses offer professional certification to students from the most internationally recognized institute in the world.

Additionally Fine Vintage Ltd. started running luxury wine tours to classic wine regions which have become very popular because the doors to the great estates are opened for their groups. As a useful resource for the trade, they started a successful Canadian job recruitment site that has become the #1 job site for the wine industry in Canada. They also have wine employment websites in the United States, California, and our latest in the UK Their Consultancy division includes prestige clients such as 5 star Qatar Airways, a premium wine retailer group, various cruise lines, new wineries, and James writes for magazines and newspapers.

James lives between Napa Valley and Vancouver with his wife and their two kids. When he’s not working he enjoys skiing on huge mountains, swimming in sun-drenched pools, going to NFL football games, traveling, and wandering around in big mountains.