Private tastings, behind-the-scenes sips and suppers with vintners, and access to the most rarified estates and experiences across the globe—Mary’s life and the wine world are deeply intertwined. Expect insider access to unique wineries far from the beaten bath.
Mary has worked at the top end of that industry for years. Championing sustainable practices and curating authentic, deeply special wine and food experiences for friends, clients, and small groups is where Mary excels. Here's a taste of the wine journeys she can take you on.
Journey deep into the Uco Valley…arguably Mendoza’s best-kept secret.
Uco Valley is a wine lover’s playground. The area brims with extraordinary restaurants, innovatively designed hotels, and a vibrant wine-making culture. Remarkably, it remains untouched by mass wine tourism. A trip here might look like this: Wake up in a private, modernist villa overlooking the Andes Mountains. Spend the day sampling glasses from Uco Valley’s early wine pioneers and young, biodynamic vintners. Evenings are about relaxing, but every night ends exactly as it should: with an authentic Argentine barbeque cooked amongst the vines.
Sicily is wildly, improbably beautiful, and home to Italy’s most game-changing wineries.
Sicily has a wine-making culture that stretches back to the ancient Greeks. Nowadays, the island is renowned for exciting, often sustainable wine thanks to over 700 producers cultivating more than 20 indigenous grapes. Days are spent immersed in Sicily’s rustic, taste-it-to-believe-it wineries and restaurants, but home base is a secluded villa. Built using eco-architectural principles along the island’s Southwestern coast, expect olive trees, orange groves, and powder white beaches. Planeta leads the authentic Sicilian charge when it comes to wine-making that’s all about expressing true terroir. Tasty bowls of Pasta alla Norma and fruity bottles of Nero D’Avola don’t hurt either.
Explore sustainability-forward vineyards in Napa, the iconic bedrock of American wine production.
Sure, Napa is a polished mecca for wine and food connoisseurs, but within this community is a commitment to sustainability. To spend time in this green valley brimming with California bounty, put simply, feels so good.
Environmentally-conscious design matters. Yountville is home to one of the only seven LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified hotels in the US, and it doesn’t hurt that Thomas Keller’s acclaimed French Laundry is down the street. Waking hours in this storybook enclave are about hiking, sipping, eating, and savoring the natural beauty and pioneering design surrounding you. Standouts include Domaine Carneros (home to the largest solar-powered energy collection system in the winery world) and Frogs Leap, a terroir-driven, organic winery. Nearby Tomales Bay and the stellar bivalves at Hog Island Oyster Co. are worth the day trip.
Embrace slow travel, ditch the car, and peddle through Provence instead.
Provence is a feast for the senses. Exploring the region’s endless lavender fields, rocky hilltop towns, and hidden coves by bike with an experienced guide is the most immersive way to soak it all in. Picture this: Your bike tour guide is a pro-cyclist, a chef, maybe even a winemaker who whisks you off the beaten path and introduces you to the real rosé, ratatouille, and of course, pastis of Provence.
Franschhoek, the vineyard-packed culinary capital of South Africa, is as storybook as towns come.
Franschhoek manages to marry an idyllic wine-country escape vibe with a bustling, culture-filled town. And it works. There is so much to do here, or you can do nothing other than sip fine wine and savor the view at award-winning Babylonstoren.
You could hop on the Wine Tram for dinner paired with the finest wines and bubbles the Franschhoek Valley has to offer, with the rolling Franschhoek mountains and vineyards as your backdrop. Or you could amble from one boutique estate to the other, dining on farm-to-fork food. This South African gem does it all, and does it well.
I first met Mary back when we both lived in California. As an east coast transplant, I was excited to explore Napa for the first time, and Mary was instrumental in ensuring that I had an unbelievable experience. She set me up with vineyard tours and wine tastings at smaller, less-known wineries who provided highly personal experiences. She also helped me select hotels that perfectly matched all of my needs. The trip was so memorable I reached out to her to plan a trip to Tuscany. She perfectly coordinated every aspect of our very food and wine-focused trip exploring the Tuscan countryside, Siena and Elba. We can't wait to work with her on our next journey.