Gourmet Food & Wine Tours
The team from Gourmet Food & Wine Tours puts a twist on walking food tours by educating your palette with local wine and history as well. Most all the wines selected are from special vineyards you can visit right after one of our wine country tours. We hope to bring back a sense of reverence and conviviality, making each restaurant stop or tasting room an experience in and of itself. Select from one of five locations with three or more options in downtown Sonoma.
Through stories and education on topics like biodynamic farming, we create a flow with easy conversation leading us from one course to the next. With our progressive pairing meal, you’ll never worry whether you are getting wine, you just always will, unless of course, you opt-out. Each pairing is carefully orchestrated, building all the way to our dessert. One thing is for sure, you will come away enriched with knowledge about the area, knowledge about the food and wine that comes from it, and maybe even a few new friends.
Meet the Team & Tour Guides
Great food, wine and conversation led by passionate, authentic people in small groups are what’s at the heart of our success and the core of Gourmet Food & Wine Tours.
Bay-area-born founder, Renee ReBell worked as an account manager for Wine.com when she broke into the wine industry over a decade ago and has frequented our destinations for over 25 years.
She launched Gourmet Food & Wine Tours first with a Sonoma food tour in the Spring of 2014. Renee quickly expanded into each of her “happy places” in the Wine Country and Sausalito. Currently, she has passed her Level I with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is working on the next level.
She is passionate about educating new friends about her regular discoveries in the food and wine world as she showcases her most favorite towns. Renee lives in Sonoma with her dog and rotating adult kiddos.
Certified Level 1 Court of Masters Sommeliers, Guild of Master Sommeliers, WSET Level 1 Award in Sake
Arlene grew up in Marin, but visited her grandparents, blocks away from the Sonoma Square on weekends as a child. She is a first generation American, with parents from Uruguay. They imparted in her the love of powerful recipes and flavors. As a result, Arlene brought her amazing homemade chimichurri all the way to market, selling at local farmer’s markets and sampling with her community.
Once she started giving Napa Valley wine country tours for us, she fell in love with the history and read everything she could get her hands on relating to the Sonoma Plaza and California. She is now our ambassador, not only for food and wine, but of the rich California History that marks the downtown Sonoma area. She is the hostess with the most-ess and has been guiding for Gourmet Food and Wine Tours since 2015.
Maddy is a Northern California local with a gypsy spirit. She grew up in Marin, spent some time in San Luis Obispo’s wine country, worked at a ski resort in Tahoe, and recently moved to Sonoma from Oahu, Hawaii.
She has worked at wine.com, and as a server in various restaurants such as the infamous Bohemian Grove, Tiki’s Bar & Grill on Oahu, and was a one-gal-show at a 20-table bed & breakfast by being a cook, server, and busser all-in-one! Maddy has been working hospitality and personal assistant jobs since she was fifteen.
She attends marketing conferences often to stay current, such as Arival: The In-Destination Event and the AirBNB Experience Seminar. She works for Gourmet Food & Wine Tours now wearing many hats- and recently earned level one in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1
Viv is an expert guide in each of our Gourmet Food & Wine Tours locations. She has worked in esteemed restaurants in SF & teaches cooking classes. She originally moved to the Bay Area to open a catering company where she served private clients and corporations including catering the Bammie Awards.
Viv has traveled extensively throughout the world and has enjoyed many adventurous trips from enjoying luxurious rail travel on the Orient Express, sailing the Dalmation Coast while tasting the historic wines of Croatia and island hopping, plying the waters of the Nile in a week of exciting historical discoveries, to cooking classes in Istanbul while traveling in Turkey. Wine tasting in France and in Italy are a highlight….but travels in Cuba provided her an excellent education not in wine but in rum!
Being a true foodie (and wine-y), don’t be afraid to pick her brain about food preparation, recipes, tricks and tips. She loves nothing more than to talk about food, wine, wine history and travel with wonderful folks who also relish living life to its fullest!
Drew is a Gourmet Food & Wine Tours veteran as he helped his mom create the Sonoma food tour by securing fantastic partners and collecting history. After traveling abroad, he decided he wanted to join the family business. He immersed himself in the culture of the wine country by serving in various restaurants and joining the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
There’s nothing Drew loves more than showing people a good time. He used to split his time between guiding the Sonoma food and wine tour and working at Platypus tours, and is currently sharing his time with us and Getaway Adventures. Drew is as personable and charismatic as the day is long, and is sure to keep you laughing for the duration of your experience.
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1
Our newest recruit comes to us by way of our own backyard. A native of a small inlet on the eastern side of the Vaca Mountains, Elisabeth studied Italian language and literature in college, after which she pursued an academic interest in food studies at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. Building on insight acquired while eating and exploring the vast food scene in Los Angeles, California, she completed a Masters program in Food, Place, and Identity during which she studied all aspects of food production, agriculture, history, anthropology, and sustainability. It was these years in Piedmont that lured her into the world of wine and gave her the opportunity to visit many traditional vignaioli, walk the vineyards of the Langhe, and drink many iterations of nebbiolo. Since completing her studies, Elisabeth became a contributor and field editor for the Slow Wine Guide, a compendium of Italian and Californian wineries that are committed to regenerative agriculture. She splits her time between Slow Wine, translation freelancing, her family’s olive oil farm in Suisun Valley, and leading the food-curious around Yountville Napa with Gourmet Food and Wine Tours.
Italian Wine Specialist, North American Sommelier Association, Certified Level 1 Court of Master Sommeliers, Current candidate for WSET Level 3 Award in Wine French Wine Scholar, Wine Scholar Guild, Master Olive Oil Taster, UC Davis Olive Oil Center, WSET Level 1 Award in Sake