Private Parties & Wine Clubs UK
A 40th Anniversary celebration
Arblaster & Clarke will be delighted to arrange your private Group Wine Tour for your Wine Club or group. We have had the great pleasure of arranging for Wine Clubs to travel to Champagne, (where we have been organising champagne weekends since 1987), the Loire, Alsace, Portugal, Germany and Italy. We have arranged wine tours for many groups of friends to travel on their own, private tours and Vineyard Walks. Your party can choose to travel however you wish and all aspects of your wine tours holiday will be covered by our financial protection – so we can include a flight, train, coach, or self-drive. (Our flight based arrangements for you will be covered by our CAA Licence 2543 and our non flight based arrangements by our AITO Licence 1005). If a company cannot offer to book your flights for you this is because they cannot afford to cover you financially for this part of your wine touring arrangements.
We have been the exclusive operator for Direct Wines, which operates Laithwaites and the Sunday Times Wine Club and which this year celebrates 40 years of offering wines direct to the wine loving public. Over the years we have organised hugely enjoyable wine festival for up to 200 people in various great wine regions of France or Spain and a regular wine cruise on a luxury super-yacht, with Hugh Johnson and Tony Laithwaite.
We have arranged for families to celebrate special wedding anniversaries (in Champagne of course) and have even helped arrange a wedding and reception in Oporto with the reception at a Port Lodge and a party at a Quinta up the Douro valley!
We have been working on a regular basis for the last 18 years with the most exclusive Livery Companies and have taken members to all the major wine producing regions of France and beyond. The members of the exclusive Dining Club of one of the most prestigious wine merchants have trusted their travel plans to us for a similar time span.
If you are organising a group wine tour and you would like one of the other organisers to give you a reference, we are sure that they would do this.
Please call us to discuss your plans!
If you are NOT based in the UK please see Private Groups International-
If you know what your budget is Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours can bring all our 22 years of wine touring experience together to find a wine tour solution to suit your requirements. However, the larger the number of participants the lower the cost though conversely the smaller the party size, the higher the per person cost. Indeed small parties are very signficantly more expensive so this should be born in mind with your planning – if you are only 12 – 14, for instance, it is usually worth trying to persuade your colleagues to join one of our regular departures as these will be at least half the price of a small exclusive trip just for you.
We have already done the research for you! You will save time and money on research and set up of your private tour as we will have done this already. We already really know the best value or most suitable hotels to use and will have many interesting suggestions according to your budget and group size. Unlike guide books, we have actually used or at the very least personally visited the hotels and we know how people will react to them, and even which rooms to avoid, or ask for.
Access to Estates and Chateaux
Our long-standing and outstanding reputation means we can arrange visits to many of the top wine producers in France, Italy and Spain, in fact world-wide. We can often arrange for the Wine-maker, owner or a senior Manager to host your visit.
Visits to Producers with good wines for sale at fair prices.
We know which wine producers to visit for good direct sales (“Vente Directe”). If your proposed tour is by coach or self-drive and buying good quality wine at a fair price is crucial, we can arrange this for you. We know good buying stops in most regions and communes. We have arranged many such trips to Champagne, Burgundy, Germany, Alsace, Bordeaux and the Loire.
Private lunches and dinners arranged at the cellars.
We already know which cellars can entertain and where you will find the best hospitality, and we can often arrange meals at cellars when this has never been done before!
We have tried most of the restaurants in most of the wine regions. We know which are good, which are to be avoided, which are great value and which have a great wine list.
Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours have superb Wine Guides including some of the most famous names in the wine business. We also have experienced bi-lingual Tour Managers.
According to your budget and the level of interest of the group you would choose the level of guidance you require:
Both a Wine Guide and a Tour Manager. – A Wine Guide who can act as Tour Manager – Just a Tour Manager – We can also arrange for a local Wine Guide joining you for part of the time and for local city guides as required. – We could also send the tour out with just a Coach Driver who would do the basic tour management on the understanding that this is all that is required and members of the group would do the rest.
We can, and have arranged tours with only a month or two’s notice, or sometimes less! Ideally we need at least 6 months notice and prefer a whole year. This will allow us to use the best hotel, have the guides available etc. Late bookings are always more expensive and give you less choice – so early booking is highly recommended.
To give you a price indication on a particular wine tour, please refer to the tour descriptions on the website or in the current brochure. For parties larger than our maximum number the tour prices will be less, for parties smaller than this prices will be higher. The number of meals that you include for your party, the standard of the hotels and the time of year will also affect the price.
If keeping the cost down is important, there are lots of ways we can do this: a larger group, a single guide/manager, going to simple auberges for meals, using cheaper hotels and even look at the cost of the wines involved and booking early. At a lower budget we can still give you a well planned, well delivered wine tour.
If on the other hand cost is not a consideration, we will advise on the perfect hotels for you, help with complex menu planning, and manage all the minutiae without losing sight of the big picture. And yes we know which Michelin star restaurants to avoid as they are likely to be disappointing and which are “musts”.
Mid Autumn Tours
For September / October, ideally you should plan this a year in advance as it is near impossible to secure hotels in the wine regions at this time at short notice. At this time the price could be 15% higher, than for instance, in the following April. It is not just the cost of the hotels, this is our peak season and we have a limited number of tours that we can give our full service to at any one time.
Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours is the only specialist UK wine tours firm that is a fully externally licensed for all modes of transport, fully insured and bonded Tour Operator.
All monies that you pay to us are protected by our bonds with the CAA, ATOL 2543 and ABTA Y5806. The financial protection afforded by these bonds extends to our private group clients. We have an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL2543) granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. We carry extensive Public Liability and other necessary insurances and we are members of ABTA Y5806.
Do be aware that if you ask a wine lecturer or other private individual to arrange a tour for you and they accept payment for this service, they may be taking on both financial, legal and liability obligations that they are unlikely to be aware of and almost certainly cannot meet in the event of an incident.
Please call us to discuss your tour idea
Call us on 01730 263 111 and ask to speak to Lynette Arblaster, Cindy-Marie Harvey or Caron Fanshawe. Office hours are on the Contact Us page.
We can arrange a private wine tour to any of the countries regions mentioned on the site (and a few more besides) and we look forward to hearing from you. (Please note that we do not offer hen weekends or stag parties)
27 - 31 October 2012
Lyons Wine & City - Independent Wine Touring Weekend
Contact us for dates.
Sandhurst Foundation Wine Tour to Bordeaux
Contact us for dates.