Local sommelier Mark DeWolf wears many hats. As a sommelier, instructor, writer, parent and owner of By the Glass, a wine touring business, DeWolf somehow finds time to drink the stuff. Together with sommeliers, Joel Williams and Alana McIntyre and Tour Specialist Jeff Ferguson, he works to promote the enjoyment of great wine and food. By the Glass fulfills their initiative by managing food and wine events hosted by local and visiting chefs and winemakers, as well as by offering international wine and food travel tours to destinations such as Burgundy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Spain, South America, South Africa and recently, Croatia.
Get the inside track on your favourite wines such as Spanish Tempranillo, Port form Portugal, Pinot Noir from Burgundy and Italian Super Tuscan. These tours are created so as to indulge the guest in an ocean of fun, culture and education, while being submerged in the regions that makes thees wines famous.
And who doesn't want to make their way though these destinations by eating and drinking? Of course, By the Glass ensured that there is a good mix of cultural fun as well. DeWolf mentions that, "While our tours are intended for wine enthusiasts and foodies, they are designed to provide a rounded experience." He also draws on this own experiences, which provides insight when planning his tours. "I am bored after seeing my fourth stainless steel fermenter on a tour," he says, "so I suspect my guests would be as well. We intermix cooking classes, city tours and sight seeing with our winery and restaurant visits to create a full experience."
In addition to such exciting stops as the Coloseaum in Rome, crossing the Andes in South America, and biking in picturesque Croatia, DeWolf adds that "You can't visit Tuscany without seeing Siena or Florence or visit central Spain without absorbing the architectural splendour and nightlife of Madrid."
DeWolf's experiences as an editor of a food and wine publication as well as a sommelier instructor has provided him with unique opportunities that he can pass along to his tour groups. He concludes by noting that, "The quality of food and service we receive at the wineries and the restaurants we visit is enhanced by being on a small group tour - these experiences that aren't available to the average traveller."