How are Gourmet Food and Wine Tours different from other Food Tours?

Posted on March 18, 2017 | By Renee ReBell

So what makes Gourmet Food & Wine Tours so special?

In short, our tours bring more value, because we offer more – a lot more. In January of 2016, we broke away from the typical format of offering mostly food with a couple wine stops and have not looked back. It is more accurate to think of us as a “progressive pairing tour,” since we offer beautiful wine, complimenting farm-to-table food at every stop – essentially, our tour lets you enjoy several restaurants, wine bars, and food vendors for the price of just one nice meal in Marin or Wine Country. It’s a new way to dine, one that is social, convivial, and educational…not to mention absolutely delicious.

Each gourmet bite is carefully paired with a luxury (mostly local and boutique) wine carefully chosen to complement the dish.  Instead of a typical food tour, imagine a 4+ course prix-fixe meal prepared by renowned chefs and local winemakers. Instead of a 3-hour, sit-down experience at one venue, you are guided into at least four different exceptional restaurant experiences in one fabulous destination by a food or wine professional. You can expect half glasses from the likes of Joseph Phelps, Stag’s Leap, St Francis, Frank Family Vineyards, Duckhorn, Cline Cellars, JCB, Trefethen and more which you may not have heard of yet, since less known gems are also waiting to be discovered.

Most food tours offer items that save the operators money like pizza, cheese or cupcakes that do a great job of filling you up and give you a taste of the town. There is nothing wrong with this classic model, but we strive to deliver an elevated experience as well as imparting our knowledge regarding relevant subjects cued by the local landmarks.  Subjects covered include films, stories, history, and lots of talk on biodynamic farming.  We are passionate about educating people about the difference farming styles can make when it comes to what is in your glass and what is on your plate.

Why are we so passionate you ask?  Bay-area-born founder Renee ReBell comes from the wine industry and has lived in the area for over 23 years. She developed the very first food tour on the Sonoma Plaza in 2014 after taking a more typical food tour with her daughter in Chicago in March of 2013. The year prior she had worked with small winemakers pouring wine for visitors from The Sonoma Enoteca, (the very first tasting room on the Sonoma Plaza, now Pangloss Cellars).  All things considered, Renee was convinced  to start the tour so she could share what she loves. The two local guides she has hired come from a lifetime in the food industry and are just as passionate about the area, farm-to-table food and biodynamic wine. All four destinations have in common magical villages with a concentration of outstanding notable restaurants, many recognized by The Michelin’s Book or are a Bay Area Top 100 restaurant.

Gourmet Food & Wine Tours seek to redefine dining. We want to bring back a sense of reverence and conviviality to a meal, while not boxing you in to one decision about where to spend your meal. Instead of one wine tasting or one meal, you’ll get bits and pieces of several – and 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.

We put food and wine walking tours where there were none to celebrate towns
with strong culinary vibes

Every morning each of us at Gourmet Food and Wine Tours wake up and pinch ourselves that we actually get to guide amazing guests from all over and share communities we have loved for over 100 years combined. Our guests are interesting people we come to know as friends by the end of the tour. In 3+ hours we share our love of chefs, restaurants, farming, history, art and more. We celebrate our towns that offer so much in the way of culture and hospitality. We love what we do!


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