Nikolas and Kira Novak

As a travel agent, knowing the travel industry from inside, we’re familiar with the policies of the travel sector. Sometimes it happens that suppliers go for money savings, and this often damages the quality of the services provided as well as the customer satisfaction. So I’m always a bit skeptical. Things are different though with Ronald and Margaret. It turned out that we got more than we even expected. So I would mark the Grand Tour of Bordeaux with EE (Exceeding Expectations). We followed precisely the tour schedule without any fail or way around “due to unforeseen circumstances…”. We’ve got MORE than what we’ve been promised. Usually people answer the question: “How did you like your experience?” with “it was nice”, without actually saying what was nice. We will try to summarize our emotions here:

1. We’ve been living in a private Chateau, hosted by Ronald and Margaret. Every day Ronald and Margaret have taken care of us – delicious breakfast served in the Chateau, delicious dinners at chateaux and even bottles of warm/cold (depending on your preferences) water in the bus. Having your own key to the chateau’s gates gives you a fantastic feeling of sharing ownership.

2. We‘ve visited First Growth Chateaux, had stunning dinners in the old-style lavish atmosphere of wine. It is such an amazing experience and unforgettable feeling when they easily open for tasting the bottle of wine of the 1st Cru Classé, that you would probably never dare to buy because of its price! I said easily… but easily thanks to Ronald who opens the doors of wine cellars for us as well as generously shared his experience! Thanks to Margaret who behind the scenes prepared the framework (background), supervises and scrutinizes the process and allows Ronald to star.

3. Ronald is a fantastic guide-speaker! He made my holiday with his impressive stories. We are really excited and don’t even know what we were awaiting more: commencing the journey each day and visiting chateaux or Ronald’s stories about wine and France. Outstanding Wine Tour! It shows that for Ronald this isn’t a job: he just loves wine, he loves what he is doing, enjoys it and invites you to share with him the world of wines!

4. Small nuances add so much value: Can you imagine your country flag waving at the tower of the chateau? Michelin restaurant menu where the chef cooks and improvises especially for you? The food is extremely nice! And every single detail is impeccable! That is an attitude that gives the feeling of being treated at Premium First Grand Cru Classé level with maximum comfort. It is something that makes your holiday special and memorable. We can assure you it is really worth every dime!

5. Meals, accommodation, program, detailing – everything was perfect. I really enjoyed the individual non-commercial approach. Ronald’s charisma and extra careful attitude makes this experience unique. I will never forget the farewell dinner where there were more Bottles of Premium Classified wine opened, than there were people around the table. We actually had to pour out our glasses to be able to participate in the entire tasting and not to get tipsy by that time. And be prepared to fully taste Yquem and Mouton Rothschild over dinner! We are much more experienced now and we want to return!

Nikolas and Kira Novak
Riga, Latvia
(The Grand Tour of Bordeaux September 2012)