Eastern Sicily with Chef Cynthia
Join chef and WSET certified Cynthia Bloebaum for a week of Sicilian wine, food and culture on May 26-June 2, 2018.
Chef Cynthia offers an intimate trip filled with winery tours and tastings, farmers markets and restaurants, cooking classes plus museums or historical visits whenever possible.
Chef Cynthia does not arrange air travel, but can give suggestions. You can fly into Palermo or Catania.
The fee of $3000 per person or $5750 per couple for the 7 days and 7 nights includes all ground transportation plus driver; lodging in a luxury villa vacation home; all breakfasts and lunches plus any dinners cooked by Chef Cynthia at the rental home; fees for local guides and wine tastings.
Chef Cynthia suggests that everyone get trip insurance. A 50% deposit is needed in order to book the trip, due by April 1, with the final amount due the week of the trip.
The wineries and restaurants were chosen due to location and Chef Cynthia’s prior knowledge of them through her classes, restaurant work and contacts in the wine world. If there is a particular winery or restaurant you are interested in, Chef Cynthia will do her utmost to accommodate your request.
Saturday May 26: Stay at a vacation villa near Catania, which will have a pool, washing machine, internet and other amenities. This was chosen so that our day trips will be approximately 90 minutes or less each way.
Arrive in Palermo or Catania; Chef Cynthia will arrange your ground travel. Depending on your arrival times, Chef will schedule an afternoon/evening of wine tasting and dinner at a casual restaurant. Later, we’ll drink wine at the home and get to know each other.
Sunday: our day will depend on Sunday availability. We will drive to Taormina, where a 1/2 day pizza making class is tentatively scheduled. Our afternoon can be spent walking through historical sites, a short hike, or just relaxing at the home. Chef Cynthia will make Sunday supper.
Monday: Mt Etna. We will begin our exploration of the grapes Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante heading north to Mt. Etna. Our first visit will be to Feudi de Mezze where we will have a tour, tasting and lunch. Afterwards, we’ll go to Benanti, a venerable winery with a deserved reputation. Our final tasting of the day will be at Biondi, another winery and farm on the south of Mount Etna. Our tentative dinner will be at a Michelin starred restaurant in Acireale, which is self paid.
Tuesday: the city of Catania We’ll take the walking “Street Food of Catania” tour, meeting a local guide at 10:00 am.This includes markets, food stalls and lunch. In the afternoon we’ll visit some historic sites in the city and come home for a relaxing evening and dinner provided by Chef Cynthia.
Wednesday the Noto region, near Siracusa. We’ll be tasting Nero d’Avola, along with it’s various blends, and Moscato di Noto. We will have a tour and lunch at Planeta; a large but reputable house, then will visit the wineries Marabino then Zisola, which also offers an olive oil tasting. Dinner at a restaurant, TBD.
Thursday the Vittoria sub-region of Ragusa. Our first visit will be to Ariana Occhipinti, a young female winemaker with excellent reviews. We’ll have lunch and a tasting at Terre di Giurfo, which offers Sicilian specialties. Our afternoon winery will be at Valle delle Acate, which has very interesting historical information, along with one of Chef Cynthia’s favorite wines. If we have time and interest, we will take a side trip to Modica, home to Sicily’s particular chocolate. Dinner TBD, depending on how hungry we are.
Friday: Biodynamic, Organic and Grand Cru Mount Etna Our first visit will be with Frank Cornelissen, an eccentric biodynamic producer whose wines are famous with sommoliers. Our organic lunch and tasting will be at Terre Costantino. Later we will have a grand cru tasting at Tenuta delle Terre Nere. We’ll finish our week at the home by eating and drinking everything we’ve bought during our stay.
Saturday: We will close up the rental house and Chef Cynthia will insure that everyone gets to their destination.