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First Annual "Pinot Lovers" 12-Day Mediterranean Cruise
Sonoma | CA

Sonoma, CA (PRWEB) - For many, paradise includes blue skies, warm waters and the essence of Europe; for oenophiles paradise is not complete without exquisite wines. The Pinot Lovers cruise delivers legendary wine personalities Ed Kurtzman, winemaker for August West Wines, Dan Kosta, partner of Kosta Browne Wines, meals by Executive Chef Jacques Pepin, on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise that includes free airfare and special discounted pricing.

The first annual "Pinot Lovers" cruise sets sail May 10-22, 2007 on Oceania Cruises, hosted by Kosta and Kurtzman, features the Wine Spectator 98-point rated Kosta Browne Wines; the highest scoring California Pinot Noir and legendary winemaker Kurtzman's cult Pinot Noir August West.

Private wine seminars and exclusive winemaker dinners on board will include a barrel sample seminar, a Russian River vs. Santa Lucia Highlands discussion/tasting and more. Some featured wines include August West 2005 Rosella's Pinot Noir, and 2005 Graham Family Vineyard Pinot Noir along with Kosta Browne 2005 Rosella's Pinot Noir, and 2005 Amber Ridge, plus the 2004 Cohn Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir. The intimate setting will allow fellow wine lovers to taste along side these cult producers with experienced palates and fellow wine enthusiasts. Part vacation, part tasting-group, and awesome party, this cruise brings together wine lovers at sea. "The response from fellow oenophiles has been overwhelming", reports Kosta. "Ed and I are excited to spend time with current supporters and new wine friends."

The trip kicks off with a welcome bon voyage wine-party, a series of wine tastings, and a private winemaker dinner pairing the legendary food of Jacques Pepin with Kosta and Kurtzman's highly acclaimed wines. The ship's itinerary visits some of the most exciting ports in Europe - the cruise begins in Venice (with an overnight stay) and continues to Dubrovnik, Corfu, Taormina (Sicily), Sorrento/Capri, Amalfi/Positano, Porto Cervo (Sardinia), Portofino, Livorno (the port for Florence), Bonifacio (Corsica) and ends in Rome. Exclusive shore trips also include visits to wineries including Ornellaia, one of the few wineries to receive a perfect 100 score from the Wine Spectator, with Kosta and Kurtzman.

Setting sail with small ship ambiance Oceania Cruises; recently rated by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as the third best cruise line in the world. is equipped with four gourmet restaurants and one of the best health-clubs and spas at sea. Tickets are limited, and for guests that book by December 1, 20006, they will receive prepaid gratuities with a value of up to $300 per cabin and qualify for free roundtrip airfare to Europe. The cost for the "Pinot Lover" cruise starts at $2549.00, per person double occupancy, not including taxes, airport transfers and government fees.

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August West Wine and Kosta Browne Winery have partnered with Food & Wine Trails, the educational division of the HMS Travel Group, who has 22-years experience in handling the wine-travel programs for such groups as the Smithsonian, La Chaine Rotisseurs, The American Wine Society and UC Berkeley.


Dan Kosta (partner), is a native of Sonoma County where wine became an integral part of his life at the age of 5, learning about the enjoyment of wine from his father. At home, wine was served at nearly every dinner and discussion of wine always accompanied the pour. At his dad's wine shop in Santa Rosa, Dan learned about labels, varietals and style. Later, Dan followed his passion for food and worked for more than 15 years in fine dining, with the majority of his experience gained at John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, California. He worked every position imaginable at the restaurant, finally landing as the Operations Manager and Wine Director. Dan also has consulted for restaurants in the Sonoma County area and sits on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Sonoma County Board of Tourism. He continues to judge on numerous panels including; the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, Grand Harvest Awards and the weekly wine section of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.


Ed Kurtzman, winemaker for August West has been making Pinot Noir since 1994 where he got his start in the cellar at Bernardus in Carmel Valley, California under the guidance of Don Blackburn and Kirby Anderson. From 1995 through 1998 Ed moved across Monterey County to Chalone Vineyard where he was enologist and then assistant winemaker under Michael Michaud. Ed had the good fortune of meeting future August West partners Gary Franscioni and Howard Graham while he was winemaker at Testarossa for the vintages 1999-2002.


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