Who We Are

La Dolce Vita Wine Tours is the leading specialist in Italian wine tours. We believe the best way to enjoy and learn about wine is on location, close to the land and the people who produced it. Our Italian wine tours provide full immersion in Italy's wine culture, offering an enjoyable learning experience for wine enthusiasts of all types, from the casual imbiber to the serious connoisseur.

CLAUDIO BISIO is a native Italian who hails from Varinella, a tiny village (pop. 252) in the mountains of southeast Piedmont near the wine town of Gavi. Like many Italians, the Bisio family had a tiny vineyard and made wine for their supper table. As a boy, Claudio’s chore was to weed the vineyard. He had more fun, however, accompanying his uncle, a trattoria owner, on wine-buying excursions to the local cantine. Subsequently Claudio learned about wine outside of Piedmont through his extensive travels while working in the tourism trade. For 10 years he planned tours and menus as a guide for various American and Italian tour operators. Then in 1999, he cofounded La Dolce Vita Wine Tours with his wife and business partner, Patricia Thomson; he acts as the company's tour designer and guide.

PATRICIA THOMSON began traveling to Italy in college, when she spent time in Florence studying Italian Renaissance art. After getting her Masters in art history, she subsequently moved into journalism, and now writes about Italian wine, food, and travel for Tastes of Italia, Decanter, World of Fine Wine, Gastronomica, and other magazines. Pat's interest in wine also began with that fateful college trip; every evening as the swallows dived and church bells rang, she and her schoolmates would sit on the pensione loggia with a chunk of fresh pecorino, some Tuscan bread, and a bottle of young, fruity Chianti. After this transformative experience, her passion for wine was subsequently nurtured with excursions to wine country in California, Washington, and New York, and formalized studies through the London-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Pat and Claudio met while biking in Piedmont and now divide their time between New York and Italy. A member of the Society of Wine Educators and the Wine Media Guild, Pat leads tours in Italy and directs La Dolce Vita's US operations.

Read Pat's features for Tastes of Italia and other magazines here.


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