X.O. Travel Consultants
New York–based X.O. Travel Consultants caters to industry types such as sommeliers and restaurateurs, but occasionally trips are open to wine-loving amateurs and often feature renowned experts serving as tour guides. Two annual Burgundy itineraries stand out: author and wine personality Clive Coates leads a trip in June, and wine-ratings maven Allen “Burghound” Meadows, the Robert Parker of the Côte d’Or, does the same in July. The latter is particularly intriguing to Burgundy fanatics because Meadows’s programs focus on the wines of one particular village (in 2011 it will be Gevrey Chambertin), zeroing in on vineyards and providing an almost row-by-row examination. Both trips schedule tastings and vineyard visits all day, punctuated by meals at noteworthy restaurants. The Caveat These intense tours are not for wine dilettantes. Expect to taste as many as 30 wines a day and spend hours discussing vineyards’ terroirs.