Peter Smith, born in England, has traveled the world since 1975. Prior to forming Avalon Tours with his wife Holly, Peter served as captain for various luxury private and charter yachts in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, including the Cuan Law, the largest sailing trimaran in the world.
A gourmet chef, Peter's travels have allowed him an opportunity to develop his cooking repertoire and further his education in fine wine, already begun with formal training in hotel and catering management in England. He also has a passion for the country of France and has lived, worked and visited the French countryside for almost thirty years.
Holly Smith, a native of Newport Beach, California, met Peter when she served as chef aboard a private yacht he captained in the Caribbean. The two were married and continued to work on various yachts, traveling the United States coasts, the Mediterranean region, Hong Kong and Bali. Holly's appreciation for gourmet food and wine has also been enhanced through her extensive travels, especially on her many excursions to France with Peter.
It was while working on the Cuan Law that the couple decided to combine their diverse talents and open Avalon Tours, customizing trips for clients through the wine-making regions in France. Peter and Holly have owned their own home in France since 1989 and reside there for half of the year.
Peter and Holly's philosophy of hospitality is based on a very personal, custom service. They normally lead their tours themselves, although Holly now shares her time between her guests and their two daughters Samantha and Sophie. She still manages to meet most guests during their stay, however.
They own a house in Brittany, which they almost never get to stay in these days as it's so far from the wine regions. Consequently they have re-located to the Medoc, close to St. Estephe. They can also arrange vacation home rentals at a few selected properties in the Medoc and other regions.
Avalon Tours was founded in 1993, and is the world's oldest wine-specialist tour operator. With clients that range from major collectors to enthusiastic neophytes, from movie stars to winemakers undertaking a custom study-tour with Peter, each and every guest is treated equally - as a VIP. Peter and Holly are here to ensure that you get exactly what you need to experience the perfect wine adventure!
If you've been on a tour, thanks for letting us share a little of "our" wine world with you - if you haven't been yet, try it: we think you'll really like it - ask those who've been!