MSC Winemakers Experience
Winery at Sea by Blend Craft Wines
On my latest cruise on the MSC Divina, we made reservations to check out the Winemakers Experience. We were very excited to have the opportunity to blend our own wine vs. just doing a wine tasting. Here are my personal thoughts on the experience and a few tips to help you if you choose to check out this special event.
On the MSC Divina, the Winemakers Experience is only offered on sea days at 1PM and 4PM. The only issue with this is if you have kids. I wish that they offered it at a different time to give those with children and opportunity to experience it. The Kid’s Club has breaks on sea days and those breaks interfere with the times that the Winemaker’s Experience is offered. For our experience, my husband did not join us so that he was able to pick our daughter up in time and I was still able to go have some fun with our friends. Making a reservation for this is highly recommended, as space is limited.
Calling to make the reservation was quick, painless and we had no issue with getting the time that we wanted (we wanted the last sea day and called on the first day).
We all met on Deck 7 in the La Cantina di Bacco. I was sailing with a small group of personal friends for this sailing. For our experience, it was our group of 5 and one other. We were greeted by Nick and before we knew it we starting learning about wine and the art of blending it.
Our winemaker was Nick Lammers. He holds a degree in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis. After spending time in Napa and Lodi, California, he is now on the Divina spreading his wine knowledge with guests that are eager to learn. He was very passionate about wine and makes you feel comfortable throughout the experience. Although I love wine, I am by no means a wine snob, nor do I know a lot about the subject. Nick is very down to earth and answers all your questions in a professional matter, no matter how silly they may be.
We had a choice of blending reds or whites. I choose to blend the white wines so I’m going to go a little more into that. When you sit down, you will have a placemat (great tool in wine blending) that has ample room for you to organize your wines and make lots if notes as you go. For the whites, we had a Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay and Moscato to blend with. For the red lovers, you have a choice of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvigon and Syrah. Nick explained the grapes and tastes of the various wines before he poured them for you to get a quick taste and to make some note. After pouring all the wines, Nick offered tips on which wines to start off with as a base for your wine. We grabbed our beakers and pipettes and away we went. After multiple tries of blending and tasting, I came up with my own blend of white wine! After coming up with a name of my wine and a name for my winery, I shared my blend with Nick and within a day, my personal wine was in my cabin!
Overall, we all really enjoyed our Winemaker Experience! I have a few tips and things to think about when booking this experience.
- Go with a friend or loved one! Although you can still have a great time doing this solo, I wish I would of had my husband with me to share the experience and get his opinion on my blends.
- Think about how you will get your wine home. Others in my group purchased extra bottles of their blends. You can get a great price by buying more, however, you need to think about your options when traveling. We flew to the port in Miami. You cannot ship wine across some state lines and therefore, with no room in the luggage, wine was boxed up and then checked in as luggage in order to make the journey home. Since I only did one bottle, mine easily had room to be tucked into my luggage. I would like to add that no bottles of wine were injured in their journey!
As of the time of writing this, the Winemakers Experience on the MSC Divina costs $45 dollars per person and includes one bottle of your custom wine blend.