Specialists in wine tours and holidays, SmoothRed has moved into Eastern Europe with the launch of five new travel breaks that uncork the lesser-known, yet impressive, wines of Hungary and Croatia.
Three new tours have been created in Hungary, focusing on the Etyek, Tokaj and Eger wine-growing areas while two new tours have been launched in Croatia, with two-centre breaks based in Dubrovnik or Split, with trips to the vineyards of Dignač and Kastela respectively. Self-drive 4×4 safaris amid the vines and helicopter transfers from city to countryside are among the extra possibilities.
Adam Stebbings, managing director of SmoothRed, said: “We’ve added these territories to our collection in response to increasing requests from guests, who are keen to explore emerging wine regions. We believe that wineries in these countries now offer the quality of experience and accommodation that our clients expect.”
The new tours are:
Hungarian Collection: Budapest and Tokaj
This five-day luxury break features private wine tours in Etyek, Tokaj and Eger, visiting leading vineyards, including Kovács Nimród and Disznókő, plus the option of private helicopter transfers between Budapest and Tokaj. In addition, SmoothRed has specially selected accommodation at Aria Hotel Budapest, a five-star luxury hotel and spa in the city, just named number one in TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Hotels in the World, and Andrássy Rezidencia Wine & Spa, the only five-star resort in Tokaj.
The Tokaj Wine Experience
An off-road vineyard safari is the highlight of this four-day exploration of Tokaj wines, based at Andrássy Rezidencia Wine & Spa. Guests on this action-packed break will get behind the wheel of a 4×4 to drive among the vines at a family-run winery, as well as enjoy private tours and tastings at Patricius and Szepsy, with an English-speaking guide.
Budapest Wine Festival
The terraces of Buda Castle provide the setting for this celebration of the nation’s wines. Guests on this four-day break receive a pass to the festival for the duration of their stay to enable them to explore the 200-plus wineries exhibiting their wares. They’ll also be taken to the vineyards of Etyek to try the crisp white wines, and Eger to savour the fruity flavours of the famous Bull’s Blood.
Dubrovnik Wine-Tasting Experience
A boat tour of the Elafiti islands and private visits to wineries in the Dignač are among the events in this four-day introduction to Croatian wines. Guests will discover the dark, full-bodied reds created from the Plavac Mali grape, planted in the hillside vineyards, with tastings at three wineries, pairing different vintages with local cheeses, meats and even oysters. There’ll also be time relax by the Mediterranean at the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace.
Split Wine-Tasting Experience
The wine varieties of Dalmatia, home of the Zinfandel grape, is the focus of this four-day trip to the historic city of Split and nearby Kastela vineyards. Guests will enjoy private tastings at the prestigious estates cultivating Pošip and Plavac Mali, and learn how the powerful, robust Zinfandel grape found its way from Eastern Europe to sunny California. The packed agenda also includes a tour of the ancient city, stopping at Diocletian’s Palace, and a cookery course amid the olive groves of the island of Brač.
For prices and additional information, go on-line at: www.smoothred.co.uk