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Luxury Travel Agents and Brazilian Wine Enthusiasts Seek California’s Enotourism Growing Numbers

June 21, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Simetria Custom Wine Tours launches operations to address the growing interests of Brazilian visitors to California’s luxury wine country.

Visit Napa Valley’s 2012 Research & Statistics report shows Brazil as the 5th top international feeder country for Napa just behind Japan, demonstrating its expanding influence on the region’s enotourism.

Simetria’s founder, Melise Sulzbach, first saw the potential when visiting Napa, where acclaimed wineries required either required reservations months in advance or simply would not take appointments,” says Sulzbach. “ I was surprised to learn the wineries outside gI_59069_51576fecbdd83the commercial route were hard to access and the interaction between vintner and guest was rare. I saw an opportunity for people to experience something truly unique, how wine in its elegance embodies and represents the “art of living.”

“Travel agents in Brazil emphasize itineraries to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vegas, but lack inside connections to Napa and Sonoma’s wine country which is only 1-hour way from San Francisco,” says Sulzbach. “That did not make sense to me. So I am now utilizing my relationships with the leading vintners and hospitality industry in the region to help luxury travel agencies enhance their capabilities with their top clients,” says Sulzbach.

According to Sulzbach, Brazilians are increasingly seeking the full experience of luxury enotourism, from private wine tastings with vintners to intimate dinner celebrations in wine caves or the vineyard, built around pairing wine with food. “Simetria designs every aspect of a sophisticated wine tasting experience, operating as a reliable advisor and partner to the travel agency. In addition to providing behind-the-scenes access to wineries, Simetria’s concierge services include recommending luxury accommodations, private transportation and fine-dining options between San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma,” says Sulzbach.

Many Brazilians visiting Napa also have a home in the U.S., which makes it easy for them to receive allocations from acclaimed boutique wineries they would otherwise not have access to in Brazil. One of Simetria’s favorite hidden gems is Barnett Vineyards, known for its Rattlesnake Hill Cabernet at $140 per bottle. Proprietor Fiona Barnett welcomes the rising interest of Brazilians to their wine as a way to strengthen their direct-to-consumer business.

“Our clients have traditionally been wine collectors from the U.S. and we have focused on cultivating long-term relationships with our wine club members, as they are the brand’s strongest advocates. In this case, Simetria has played a key role in introducing us to a compelling profile of Brazilian wine lovers; to the extent that more of them join our mailing list, we will evaluate adding Brazil to our export program,” says Barnett.

Napa is world famous for its Cabernet and Sonoma for its Pinot Noir. But there is more to the regions’ allure: with more than 5 million annual visitors, it is California’s second most popular tourist destination after Disneyland; with over 800 wineries, 95% are family-owned; it boasts more Michelin-star restaurants per capita than any place on earth; these combinations makes it a unique place in to visit and an attractive route for the high-end Brazilian traveler.

“We are now coming into the prime season — the California harvest is mid to late August through October, and the scenery is striking at this time of the yea as the natural beauty of the valleys blend with a full range of aromas, coupled with perfect weather,” says Sulzbach. Now it is the time for travel agents to advise their clients coming to the United States to extend their trip by 2-3 additional days, and provide them with a wine tasting experience they will long to share with their family and friends.”

Simetria is a Luxury Travel Advisor with Private Concierge Services to international business, finance professionals and entertainers from South America. Concierge services include customized itineraries between San Francisco and Napa/Sonoma based on the client’s interests, wine knowledge and preferences.

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