The Tree and Vine Culinary Tour 2019 – A Gourmet Getaway To Puglia and Basilicata, Italy

Pallazzo GattiniGourmet Getaway to Puglia & Basilicata The Tree & Vine Gourmet Tour 2019

Oct. 24 – Nov. 1, 2019

Group Size: 14 people

Join us on this gourmet getaway to the rugged vines, age-old olive groves, and intriguing hilltop towns of Puglia and Basilicata. Together we will uncover the bounty of Puglia’s agricultural heritage and fine artisan food traditions from capocollo and burrata to the sun kissed produce of the Salento, before sampling the region’s prized Extra Virgin Olive Oils crafted from ancient varietals. We will explore the enchanting trulli dwellings of Alberobello, the brilliant whitewashed Old Town of Ostuni, and the architectural splendors of Martina Franca, before cooking typical Apulian cuisine in the Baroque masterpiece that is Lecce. From sampling bold Negroamaro and Susumaniello to sipping luscious Primitivo vintages in Manduria wine country we will travel to the otherworldly landscapes of Basilicata to experience its antique baking traditions and rustic culinary heritage as we discover Matera’s mysterious, honeycomb network of ancient sassi caves. This gourmet tour has been designed exclusively for The Tree & Vine by our travel partner, CountryBred.

DAILY ITINERARY

Day 1 – October 24, 2019 (Arrival to Valle d’Itria)

We will begin our gastronomic voyage through Puglia and Basilicata at the rendezvous point of Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in Bari, where the CountryBred Tour Manager will be waiting to welcome everyone as they arrive. Once all participants have arrived, we will depart via group bus transfer for the lush plains of the Valle d’Itria, adorned by silvery olive groves and rugged vineyards. We will arrive to the stunning, boutique winery of a renowned family of vintners and embark on a special walk through the vineyards followed by a tour the estate’s 18th century Masseria, before toasting to the start of our epicurean adventure with an aperitivo of the winemaker’s acclaimed vintages produced from the local Verdeca and Bianco D’Alessano grape. From the verdant vineyards of the valley we will travel to the idyllic landscapes of ancient Cisternino for check-in to our former 19th century hamlet of trulli dwellings turned sophisticated four-star country retreat, Borgo Canonica. We will settle-in with free time to relax after our journey, before celebrating the start of our journey together with a lovely dinner of Apulian cuisine highlighting seasonal produce and typical ingredients, at the Borgo’s charming restaurant. (Overnight: Cisternino / Meals: Light Lunch, D)

Day 2 – October 25, 2019 (Locorotondo, Alberobello & Monopoli)

This morning we will set off to discover the enchanting towns and stunning landscapes of Puglia’s Valle d’Itria. We’ll begin the day with a special visit to an artisan producer of exceptional cured pork products crafted in the typical Pugliese style to learn about the family’s specialized production process, before tasting their signature cured meats, including the coveted regional specialty, Capocollo di Martina Franca. Following our tasting, we’ll travel to Locorotondo, one of the valley’s most beautiful towns, for a private walking tour of its famously circular center characterized by cummerse, whitewashed angular homes with pointed roofs. Next, we will tour the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello, a whimsical town fabled for its intriguing stone huts known as trulli, which are said to date back to the 14th century. Today’s lunch will be an elegant tasting menu of contemporary Southern Italian cuisine using superior materia prima at one of the region’s most celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants. After lunch we will embark on a guided exploration of the medieval walled center of Monopoli to discover its ancient seafaring roots and stunning 17th and 18th century architecture, before returning to our hotel for a free evening. (Overnight: Cisternino / Meals: B, L)

Day 3 – October 26, 2019 (Ostuni & Martina Franca)

Today we will be introduced to the local flavors and unique products that have made Puglia an epicurean stand out, starting with a visit to the farm of an artisan cheese maker known for their exquisite production of mozzarella and burrata. We’ll enjoy a hands-on lesson in cheesemaking while learning about Puglia’s regional cheese traditions, before delighting in a sampling of farm fresh creations. From the farm we will next travel to the stunning hilltop town of Ostuni, known as the “Citta’ Bianca”, for a private walking tour of its Old Town adorned by brilliant whitewashed architecture reflecting centuries of influences, from Romanesque to Gothic. From Ostuni we’ll set off for the storied estate of a small batch olive oil producer and enjoy a private tour of their olive groves before sampling the mill’s exceptional organic oils produced from ancient local varietals, such as Ogliarola Salentina. Our visit will be crowned with a delectable lunch of typical Apulian fare showcasing seasonal produce and the estate’s fine Extra Virgin olive oils. Our afternoon will be spent discovering the jewelbox town of Martina Franca during a private walking tour of its refined old quarter, an open air museum of opulent Baroque architecture, striking noble palaces, and grand squares. Along the way, we’ll stop to admire 18th century frescoes before visiting the ceramics workshop of a local artisan who will introduce us to the region’s intricate maiolica craftsmanship and the beloved tradition of the “Pumo Pugliese.” This evening will be a celebration of typical Martinese dishes, such as handmade orecchiette pasta, at a delightfully historic eatery in the heart of Martina Franca. (Overnight: Cisternino / Meals: B, L, D)

Day 4 – October 27, 2019 (Lecce)

Our gastronomic adventure will continue as we depart Borgo Canonica for the Baroque masterpiece that is Lecce, endearingly known as the “Florence of the South.” We’ll check in to our chic, five-star sanctuary, La Fiermontina, a former 17th century residence nestled within the historic core of the city, and be welcomed by our resident food expert, a renowned cookbook author and authority on the gastronomy of Puglia. Our foray into the local cuisine will begin with a guided food shopping tour to procure ingredients for today’s culinary experience, before rolling up our sleeves for a hands-on cooking class to learn the art of preparing typical Apulian fare, culminating with a lunch of our delectable creations. When our cooking experience has concluded, we’ll have a free evening to enjoy our hotel’s plush amenities and continue discovering Lecce’s many charms independently. (Overnight: Lecce / Meals: B, L)

Day 5 – October 28, 2019 (Lecce)

This morning we will uncover the Baroque treasures of Lecce while learning about its Roman past with the help of our Regional Ambassador. During our private walking tour we will experience Lecce’s historic core studded with dazzling treasures, including the city’s Roman amphitheater dating back to the 2nd century, and such extraordinary civic spaces as the Baroque Piazza del Duomo. The rest of the day will be free to have lunch independently and continue exploring the city’s stunning center of artisan shops, quaint cafes, and Baroque architectural marvels, at our leisure. Tonight, we will savor an elegant dinner of elevated Salento-inspired cuisine at one of the city’s most exciting gastronomic restaurants. (Overnight: Lecce / Meals: B, D)

Day 6 – October 29, 2019 (The Salento Peninsula)

Today we will set off for Southern Puglia’s glorious Salento Peninsula to discover the region’s cornucopia of seasonal treasures from the earth and meet the artisans who are working to preserve its handcrafted food traditions. We’ll begin our epicurean exploration of the Salento at the wine estate of an esteemed family of winemakers passionate about crafting high quality wines that are a true expression of the Salento terroir. We’ll embark on a private visit of the estate cellars before enjoying a seated, tasting flight of their elegant vintages produced from regional varietals, such as Negroamaro, Primitivo and Susumaniello, accompanied by a light lunch of Pugliese delicacies. We will next uncover the centuries old olive oil producing heritage of the Salento with a special visit to the estate of Olio Merico, a family of artisan olive experts since the 18th century. Acclaimed for their high quality, organic production process, we’ll tour the estate’s ancient olive trees and historic underground frantoio (mill), before tasting their fine, Extra Virgin Olive Oils crafted from local varietals, such as Ogliarola di Lecce and Cellina di Nardò. Our epicurean day in the Salento will be crowned with a visit to a family-owned farm that celebrates the produce of the region with its cultivation and conservation of vegetables in the traditional method. We’ll learn how the estate’s farm fresh produce is grown, harvested and naturally dried, before tasting their highly sought-after conserves. From the Salento we’ll return to our hotel for some free time in the late afternoon, before delighting in a dinner of rustic regional cuisine thoughtfully reimagined at La Fiermontina’s gourmet restaurant. (Overnight: Lecce / Meals: B, Light Lunch, D)

Day 7 – October 30, 2019 (Manduria Wine Country & Matera)

Our epicurean voyage will continue as we depart La Fiermontina and make our way to Puglia’s premier Primitivo di Manduria wine producing region. We will arrive to the estate of a boutique producer renowned for their stellar small batch Primitivo wines, where we’ll be greeted with an aperitif of the winemaker’s Traditional Method sparkling wine before embarking on a guided tour of the estate vineyards and underground aging cellar. Our special visit will culminate with a tasting of the producer’s luscious Primitivo di Manduria DOCG, accompanied by a light lunch inspired by the surrounding wine country. We will bid adieu to Puglia and be transported to the rugged landscapes and timeless hilltop towns of the ancient land of Lucania, known today as the neighboring region of Basilicata. We’ll arrive for check-in to our 18th century palazzo turned elegant five-star hotel, Palazzo Gattini, located in the very heart of ancient Matera, a European Capital of Culture for 2019. We’ll kick off our first evening in town with a special tasting of a locally produced amaro liqueur unique to Basilicata, before savoring the flavors of the region with an elegant dinner at a chic ristorante revisiting Matera’s antique culinary tradition with a gastronomic perspective. (Overnight: Matera / Meals: B, Light Lunch, D)

Day 8 – October 31, 2019 (Matera)

Today’s exploration of Matera will commence with a private walking tour to learn about the town’s fascinating roots dating back to the Paleolithic age. Along the way, our Regional Ambassador will bring to life Matera’s Roman origins and the history of its mysterious Sassi, ancient stone dwellings carved into rock that are believed to be the first human settlements in Italy. We will next learn about one of Matera’s most prized gastronomic traditions, bread making, with a behind the scenes visit to a historic panificio revered for its antique wood burning oven. Our host baker will prepare a traditional Matera style focaccia for us, and we’ll enjoy a tasting fresh out of the oven, before learning about this storied family of artisan bakers and the region’s cultivation of Grano Duro (Durum Wheat). We’ll enjoy a baker-led demonstration on how to form bread dough in the traditional fashion, before trying our hand at kneading, shaping and baking this fabled loaf. Today’s lunch will be a multi-course ode to the hyper-local ingredients and typical flavors of the Matera province, as we celebrate our gourmet getaway through Puglia and Basilicata with a special dining experience within the unique setting of a historic Sasso. Following lunch, we will have the rest of the day free to shop at our leisure, continue discovering the town independently, and prepare for tomorrow’s departure. (Overnight: Matera / Meals: B, L)

Day 9 – November 1, 2019 (Departure from Matera)

This morning we’ll get a very early start as we check-out from Palazzo Gattini and depart for our scheduled drop-offs at Bari Airport and Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in Bari, and the end of tour. (Meals: B)

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

● 8 nights at luxury, four and five-star boutique accommodations in Puglia & Basilicata

● Full-time CountryBred Tour Leader & select touring with local guides and culinary experts

● 12 regionally inspired meals showcasing local food products & seasonal ingredients, including Michelin-starred dining experience in Puglia

● Private, air-conditioned bus for all intercity travel, excursions & touring

● Exclusive gourmet visits to artisan producers of traditional Capocollo di Martina Franca, Burrata cheese, and organic vegetable conserves, with tastings

● Boutique olive oil mill visits with tastings of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Valle d’Itria & the Salento

● Exclusive winery visits & tastings in Valle d’Itria Wine Country, the Salento & Primitivo di Manduria Wine Country

● Privately guided walking tours of historic center of Locorotondo & UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello

● Privately guided walking tour of historic Old Towns of seaside Monopoli & hilltop Ostuni

● Privately guided walking tour of Baroque towns of Martina Franca & Lecce ● Privately guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage designated Sassi di Matera

● Special visit to workshop of ceramics artisan in Martina Franca

● Guided food shopping tour in historic center of Lecce

● Hands-on cooking class of typical Apulian cuisine led by local culinary expert

● Tasting of specialty amaro liqueur unique to Basilicata

● Traditional bread making workshop at antique panificio in Matera

PRICING Pricing is $4,995 per person, based on double occupancy.

Please note: Due to the exclusive nature of our accommodations this tour is double occupancy only.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

● 8 night stays at deluxe accommodations hand-selected by CountryBred, including four-star Borgo Canonica in Cisternino, five-star La Fiermontina in Lecce & five-star Palazzo Gattini in Matera

● Arrival rendezvous point at Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in Bari with private group transfer by bus to the Valle d’Itria at designated time, for start of tour

● Private group transfer by bus from Matera to designated drop-off points in Bari, including Bari Airport and Grande Albergo delle Nazioni, at end of tour

● Private, air-conditioned bus for all intercity travel, excursions & touring

● The full-time assistance of a CountryBred Tour Leader & select touring with professionally licensed local guides and culinary experts where indicated

● Terri and Paul Karlsson as representatives from The Tree & Vine on tour

● Signature activities and all associated tickets/entrance fees, as indicated in the tour itinerary

● Welcome aperitivo accompanied by seasonal bites of local products at boutique wine estate in Valle d’Itria Wine Country

● Artisan salumi producer visit & tasting of traditional cured meats, such as Capocollo di Martina Franca

● Guided walking tour of Locorotondo

● Guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage trulli town of Alberobello

● Guided walking tour of historic Old Town of Monopoli

● Artisan cheese farm visit & tasting in the Valle d’Itria

● Guided walking tour of historic Old Town of Ostuni

● Visit & tasting at boutique olive oil mill outside of Ostuni

● Guided walking tour of Baroque old quarter of Martina Franca, including visit to workshop of local ceramics artisan

● Guided food shopping tour in historic center of Lecce, led by local culinary expert

● Exclusive, hands-on cooking class of traditional Apulian cuisine, led by local culinary expert

● Guided walking tour of Lecce & its Baroque center

● Exclusive wine estate tour & seated tasting of wine produced from regional varietals, such as Negroamaro, Primitivo and Susumaniello, in the Salento

● Organic olive oil mill visit & tasting at acclaimed producer in the Salento

● Organic vegetable farm visit & tasting of estate produced conserves in the Salento

● Exclusive wine estate visit & tasting in Primitivo di Manduria Wine Country

● Specialty Amaro tasting in Matera

● Guided walking tour of ancient city of Matera & its UNESCO World Heritage designated Sassi di Matera

● Exclusive production visit to learn about regional breadmaking traditions at antique panificio in Matera

● Daily hotel breakfast

● 3 wine country inspired light lunches in Valle d’Itria Wine Country, the Salento & Primitivo di Manduria Wine Country

● 4 regionally inspired lunches, including Michelin-starred lunch & olive oil estate lunch in the Valle d’Itria

● 5 gourmand dinners, including dinner at acclaimed gastronomic restaurants in Lecce & Matera

● Traveler Welcome Package in advance of departure

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

● International or regional airfare

● Alcoholic beverages, wines or a-la-carte food orders outside of pre-arranged menus during organized meals

● Any meals or beverages during free time

● Hotel incidentals including room service, laundry services and hotel bar tabs

● Hotel room upgrade requests and/or fees/supplements incurred from any room changes

● Personal expenditures and personal spending money

● Expenses for activities/excursions not included in the tour itinerary

● Transportation expenses incurred during free time, such as taxi or bus fares

● Travel insurance including health, accidents, lost baggage and trip cancellation

● Passport and Visa expenses

● All other items that are not mentioned or included in the tour itinerary

FEATURED HOTELS

● Borgo Canonica

● La Fiermontina

● Palazzo Gattini

ADDITIONAL TOUR INFORMATION

The group rendezvous point for the start of the tour is Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in Bari.

It is strongly recommended that you arrive the day prior to the commencement of the tour, to allow for any delays or rerouting that may occur while in transit to Bari. Please note that all participants must arrive to Grande Albergo delle Nazioni in Bari by 11:00 AM on October 24th, 2019 to take advantage of the group transfer to Puglia’s Valle d’Itria. Participants choosing to arrive to Bari on October 23rd, 2019, have the option to book the following pre-tour hotel rates at Grande Albergo delle Nazioni:

● Comfort Room Rate: $198 per night, per room, with breakfast included; check-in on October 23, 2019 with check-out on October 24, 2019

● Superior Room Rate: $240 per night, per room, with breakfast included; check-in on October 23, 2019 with check-out on October 24, 2019

To book your pre-tour hotel stay at Grande Albergo delle Nazioni on October 23rd, 2019, please contact CountryBred at info@countrybred.com.

HOW TO BOOK

To reserve your spot on this exclusive tour for The Tree & Vine, please refer to the following steps. The group size for this tour is 14 people.

Step 1: Please contact Paul Karlsson of The Tree & Vine at paul@thetreeandvine.com or 865-985-0524, to make arrangements for submitting your trip deposit. A deposit of 50% of the total trip cost ($2,497.50/per person) will be required as the first step in reserving your spot on the trip.

Step 2: After your trip deposit has been submitted to Paul at The Tree & Vine, you will need to complete and submit CountryBred’s online Group Traveler Agreement Form. You can fill out and submit the form by visiting CountryBred’s Tree & Vine Gourmet Tour 2019 page at http://countrybred.com/gourmet-getaway-to-puglia-and-basilicata/ , or you can find the online Group Traveler Agreement Form at the following address: http://countrybred.com/grouptraveleragreementform/

Once your trip deposit and Group Traveler Agreement Form have been received, your spot will be reserved on the trip. Should you have any additional questions regarding your reservation and the submittal of your deposit to The Tree & Vine, please contact Paul Karlsson at paul@thetreeandvine.com or 865-985-0524. Should you have any questions regarding the submittal of your online Group Traveler Agreement Form, you can contact CountryBred at booking@countrybred.com or 1-800-615-3543.

Trip Balance Payment Trip balance is due to Paul Karlsson of The Tree & Vine by no later than August 15, 2019 (a little over 60 days prior to tour departure). Payments may be made by MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, or by check made payable to The Tree & Vine.

Cancellations

If you cancel by or before June 14th, 2019: You will receive a 100% refund of your paid deposit

If you cancel between June 15th, 2019 and August 23rd, 2019: You will receive a 50% refund of your paid deposit

If you cancel between August 16th, 2019 and September 20th, 2019: You will receive a 25% refund of your paid deposit

If you cancel after September 20th, 2019 all monies paid will be non-refundable Trip cancellation must be made by calling The Tree & Vine at 865-985-0524 and must be followed up by written confirmation via email or mail. Please note that itineraries and itinerary verbiage, supplemental tour information, flyer design, proprietary copy and copyrighted photos are to be used exclusively for promoting the CountryBred and The Tree & Vine co-branded small group gourmet tour.