I have been fortunate to have joined Annette's Eastern Germany Wine and Culture Tours in both 2015 and 2016. Such was my enjoyment I cannot wait for the expanded 2017 tour to start! The former "East Germany" is a treasure - trove of renovated historic towns and villages set in bucolic landscapes, with churches once frequented by J.S. Bach as organist. Wine making has shown dramatic improvements since former times and we visit the best and the most promising up and coming estates. Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can be outstanding here!
Other vinous highlights include the visit to the Franken area around Würzburg to taste the excellent Silvaners, and the visit to the affluent Württemberg region around Stuttgart to enjoy the rich Lemberger wines with the local cuisine.
A unique feature of this tour is the opportunity to experience the cultural highlights of each area we visit, for example the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Dresden Opera and Royal Palace, the Würzburg Residenz and the Stuttgart Ballet.
As with all Ombiasy tours, Annette's organization is superb and she and Christian are the most engaging hosts. Definitely a tour not to miss. No one else organizes such a unique itinerary.
Brian Thomas (Germany East: Wine & Art Tour in 2016)
Annette and Christian
As you know, I found your organization (Ombiasy wine tours) from an advertisement in the American Wine Society where I am a long time member. After I checked your website, I decided to join you at the May 2016 Burgundy wine tour. As you know I am a wine maker since 1990. My goals were to expand my knowledge in the art of French wine making, taste the wines of the region, pair French food with wine and acquire a deeper knowledge of the French culture.
The results exceeded my expectations. You and Christian demonstrated a complete knowledge of the wine business, with a broad experience in the French culture. Your attention to details and your great organizational skills, made this trip a memorable experience not only for me but also for the rest of the group participants. The trip covered a lot of information regarding wines, that was easy to absorb and satisfied all levels of wine knowledge. I was so impressed and I had such a great time in Burgundy that I enrolled in your September 2016 trip to Bordeaux. Bordeaux was a blast. The weather was great, the grapes were delicious and the wine tasting was superb. In addition in the visiting restaurants, the food preparation, the serving and the tasting were so great that it became a memorable experience. The only negative aspect from the Bordeaux trip for me was the gaining of five pounds. Honestly I was very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Burgundy and Bordeaux wine trips. The Schillers without a doubt are the most knowledgeable people when it comes to organizing the wine affairs! I would wholeheartedly recommend the French wine tours! The trips are satisfactory, enjoyable and informative in every way.
Nicolas Maragos (Burgundy Tour in 2016 and Bordeaux Tour in 2016)
Our Germany North tour was a 5-Star experience in every way.
You and Christian made us feel like part of your family immediately. Your vast knowledge of vineyards and their wines is outstanding. The infusion of historical sites gave us a well rounded view of life in Germany's countryside. Your choice of hotels and restaurants also helped to complete the total tour package. It was a pleasure to be with you and Christian. The weeks journey with you was simply the best and our time in Germany unforgettable.
Chris and Walt Fennel (Germany North Tour 2016)
"Thank you for setting up such a tremendous Bordeaux Wine tour. I cannot believe that you were able to get our small group of 13 people into the very special wineries …plus they really treated you (and us) as Royalty with the special tours, talks, and great meals. The places you selected spent much much time with us, like the 4 hour lunch and tasting of 15 of their wines.Annette, you did a great job of infusing history, meals, as well as the top selection of wines. You balanced costs with having us stay close to the places we were visiting."We highly recommend your tour. On a scale of 1-10, your tour is a 15!"
Vicky and Bruce Ballantyne (Bordeaux Tour 2013)
"BRAVO Annette. The Bordeaux Tour 2015 was an intellectual experience Par Excellence and a Tour du Force in Vinticultural education, Gastronomical exploration and Cultural refinement. Your pursuit of excellence both in the Chateaux visited and accommodations provide, enhanced my appreciation for those most noble Clarets. Sitting in the vineyard patio of Chateau Haut Bailly, sipping Pol Roger Champagne and watching the sun set was indeed the highlight of my visit. Annette knows her trade and makes the experience a memorable one. She is professional, personable and compassionate about her guests welfare. Highly recommend her tours to those who want to know and see Bordeaux up close and personal. Kudos again my friend."
Anthony Ramdass (Bordeaux Tour 2015)
"In 2013 my wife and I joined Annette Schiller and her husband, Christian, for her Bordeaux wine tour and had a wonderful time. Annette's tours are top-notch, well organized and lots of fun. Annette is fluent in French, English, and German, her mother language. Our best experience? Our stay in the town of Saint-Emilion, and the City of Bordeaux, both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Saint-Emilion with its Romanesque churches and famous for its Merlot based wines. We very much enjoyed the excellent food and top wines from renowned wine makers."We highly recommend this tour for wine lovers of French wines.In 2016 we plan to join Annette again for another round of her terrific Bordeaux wine tour."
Gisela and Ray Leon (Bordeaux Tour 2013)
"I joined the German tours in both 2013 and 2014 as I love both Germany and German wines. As I knew that dry German white wines are becoming more available in the U.S., I wanted to learn more about these and the new VDP classification system. From the superb visits I learned so much about these topics and really appreciated the great "grand cru" German Rieslings. In addition, being a Red Burgundy lover, I was fascinated with the top Pinot producers on the Southern German trip in 2014, and found many which were as enthralling as top Burgundies. Annette's organization of the tours was excellent, and I look forward to the 2015 tours".
Brian Thomas (Germany North Tour in 2013 and 2014, Germany South Tour in 2015)
"I am a wine lover who took the Bordeaux wine country tour in September 2013. I had always been intrigued by Bordeaux and wanted a structured approach to exploring the region. Annette and Christian Schiller were excellent guides: remarkably knowledgable about the wines, vineyards and winemakers; talented transmitters of information; very caring; fun to be with. I tasted a great variety of red and white wines and enjoyed amazing food.I cannot say enough about this wine tour and recommend it highly."
Stephen Kent (Bordeaux Tour 2013)
"As a wine lover with a reasonable knowledge of German wine (I have been a member of the German Wine Society since 1986) I had always wanted to visit German wineries. In September 2014 I took the northern and southern German wine country tours led by Annette Schiller. Our small group visited a total of 36 wineries (many hidden gems bypassed by other tours) in 9 different regions. Annette is a lively speaker with a deep knowledge and love of German wines and culture. We also greatly benefited from her close personal ties to the winemakers and owners visited.I have nothing but great memories of my German wine experience. Thank you Annette."
Stephen Kent (Germany North and Germany South Tours in 2014)
"I have traveled on many wine trips, often with highly qualified locals who know the wines of their region and the local producers very well. I would put Annette in the very top tier of wine travel organizers. She knows well and fully understands the regions and producers of Germany. Her trips were perfectly organized and carefully planned. While it was a high energy undertaking, the good news is no time is wasted and there is room made in the action-packed schedule for the occasional historically or culturally significant place. An added benefit is Annette's charming husband, Christian. A wine blogger and dedicated foodie, he added another fun dimension to the trip. Their driver is a great guy, and almost every participant was someone I would gladly travel with again. My advice is do these trips if you are serious about understanding German wines. "
Ellen Kirsh (Germany North and Germany South Tours in 2014)
"Everything about the Bordeaux trip - the wineries, the wines, the meals, the travel arrangements -was great. This is all due to Annette Schiller’s extensive knowledge of, and contacts in, the region. One could not ask for a better guide to Bordeaux wine and culture. The group benefitted greatly from Annette’s relationships with many of the vintners. Annette and the vintners taught us much about the terroir and the all the steps in the process that makes these great wines, as well as the foods with which to enjoy them. Moreover, given differences among vinters over some of the steps in the process - e.g., hand vs machine picking, use of pesticides, etc. - the group experienced an on-going debate as we travelled from one winery to the next. The openness of the vintners to our questions further personalized the experience that stemmed from Annette’s meticulous preparation of the journey. We are grateful to have had this experience and highly recommend it to anyone with a love of wine, regardless of the extent of their knowledge."
Anne and John Parisi (Bordeaux Tour in 2013)