Musings from a CWI trip to California

Some of our guests let us know what they thought of this special trip

Colin Hampden-White

Fine Art Photographer, writer for Condé Nest and Lux

“The anticipation leading up to my first trip to California was so high, the reality could have easily been a let-down. My experience was quite the reverse. The people, wines and sheer beauty of California all combined to make it a trip of a lifetime. I learned and experienced so much more than I had expected, or could even have hoped, creating friendships on my travels that I think will last a lifetime. None of this could have been achieved without joining the first-rate trip organised by the Californian Wine Institute.”

Peter Ranscombe

Freelance journalist and copywriter

"No matter how much you study a wine region in a textbook, nothing beats getting your boots dirty in its vineyards to learn about it. I came away from my trip to California with a much better understanding of the diversity of its wines, especially those in the fresher and more elegant modern style. The highlight of the trip was the people - not just the talented winemakers and grape growers, but also my companions on the trip, some of whom I hope will be friends for life."

Amelia Singer

TV Presenter and Wine Writer

"I LOVED this trip due to its epic embrace of the Californian wine industry in all of its diversity. We met a plethora of wine industry leaders from winemakers, communicators to top sommeliers; we experienced all kinds of tasting formats from wine speed tasting to wine and pizza pairing, and we saw all kinds of wineries ranging from large commercial operations to small family run operations that made their own compost. From learning about sustainability in a CWI lecture to enjoying the vintage library wines in a restaurant known to be a SOMM favourite, the range of people, landscapes, culture and activities we encountered was such an eye opener into this exciting new era of Californian winemaking. You could not fail to leave that trip feeling inspired, stimulated and full of all kinds of Californian wine!"

Mike Turner

AKA, Please Bring Me My Wine

“Before I went to California, I had this idea of Californian beaches and surfers’ paradises and trying to work out where the wine fits in.  As soon as you step off the plane in San Francisco that ocean breeze hits you, and heading into Carneros, Sonoma, and Napa and seeing the landscape change the way it does, just opens your eyes to the possibilities that winegrowers have here.  There’s almost nothing that California can’t try with this climate.”