|Questions and Answers
Boutique wine tours in Italy, Spain and Portugal.
1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?
Founded in 1999 by the husband-and-wife team of Claudio Bisio, a native of Piedmont, and Patricia Thomson, an American wine writer.
2. What is your company's mission?
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.
3. What does your company specialize in?
We offer boutique wine tours that present la dolce vita—good wine, good food, good company. Our focus is Italy, where we offer tours in seven regions (Tuscany, Piedmont, Sicily, the Italian Alps, the Veneto, Cinque Terre, Amalfi). We also have wine tours in Spain (Rioja) and Portugal (the Douro Valley). We offer 3 types of tours: gourmet wine tours, wine-intensive tours, and wine + walking tours.
4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?
M08242 was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Claudio Bisio, a native of Piedmont, and Patricia Thomson, an American wine writer. Growing up, Claudio worked in his family's tiny vineyard and accompanied his uncle, a trattoria owner, on wine-buying excursions. He subsequently worked in tourism, creating and guiding tours for various Italian and American companies before creating M08242. Trained in Renaissance art history, Patricia Thomson now writes about wine. She has a wine column in Tastes of Italia magazine and writes the blog about M08242. She is a member of the Wine Media Guild, the Society of Wine Educators, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Claudio and Pat typically guide the tours.
5. What is your most popular travel package and why?
TUSCAN WINE TREASURES. Tuscany’s wine country is situated in some of the most gorgeous, pastoral, and carefully preserved countryside on earth. Here you’ll find wines of equal splendor. Gone are the days of the straw fiasco. Today’s Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Super Tuscans are powerful, modern expressions that will surprise and delight even the most discerning wine drinkers. This 6-day tour offers private wine tastings, a cooking lesson in a Tuscan farmhouse, a pecorino cheese tasting, monks chanting in a medieval abbey, and the Gothic splendor of Siena.
6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?
"I really did not know what to expect. I’d never been to Italy, knew very little about Italian wines, and never had been on an 'organized' tour. I kept saying 'tomorrow just can’t top this', and then it did. This truly was an awesome experience."