Val Gardena is among the Italian ski resorts visited by Italiaoutdoors on their food and wine tours. (photo: Wolfgang Moroder)

Company Introduces Ski Tours to Italy for Wine Enthusiasts and Foodies

Newburyport, MA – Italiaoutdoors, an owner-operated private guide service based in Newburyport, has introduced custom ski and snowboard tours to northeastern Italy for the winter sport enthusiast and oenophile.

The small group tours are led solely by partners Vernon McClure, a one-time Airborne Ranger turned Defense Department mountaineering instructor, and Kathy Bechtel, a certified ski instructor and chef. Together, they customize unique tours that reveal their deep-rooted passion for the Trentino Alto-Adige region of Northeastern Italy.

Each custom tour includes daily wine tastings and activities tailored to all ski levels, from shorter trails and groomed terrain for relaxed athletes to classic climbs of the majestic Dolomite Mountains for the advanced skier.  Dates are available beginning this December.  Trips are all-inclusive, with the exception of air, and can be arranged from a mini-holiday of five days to a more comprehensive tour of two weeks. As an example, a week-long adventure starts at $2,800 per person and can be customized to include all level of accommodations.

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Val Gardena is among the Italian ski resorts visited by Italiaoutdoors on their food and wine tours. (photo: Wolfgang Moroder)
Val Gardena is among the Italian ski resorts visited by Italiaoutdoors on their food and wine tours. (photo: Wolfgang Moroder)

Designed for small groups of friends and family or ski clubs, Italiaoutdoors works with each group to craft a custom itinerary that provides a balance of activity, rest and relaxation. The small group size  — 12 travelers maximum — allows for daily itinerary customization and refinement, based on participants’ interests, pacing, and real-time “finds.” Exploring the region’s well-known and undiscovered wines in and around the cities of Bolzano, Trento, Merano and Bressanone, and pairing them to the area’s fine cuisine, are itinerary staples.

An avid researcher of and writer about the region’s wines, Bechtel carefully curates each day’s wine tasting selection, choosing wines from the world-renowned wine regions of Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli Venezia-Giulia, as well as some wines only familiar to frequent travelers within Italy, including Amarone, Valpolicella, Lagrein, Schioppettino and Vino Santo. In the evenings, the culture and rich Austrian-Hungarian history of the region come to life, as guests enjoy local cuisine in charming osterias and elegant dinners in more refined ristorantes. This small region boasts more Michelin star restaurants than any other region in Italy.

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By day, guests ski and explore the Trentino Alto-Adige region of Northeastern Italy, home to the majestic Dolomite Mountains and numerous winter resorts, where guests can enjoy some of the most stunning panoramic vistas in the world while skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing.

Partners Bechtel and McClure personally design and lead each tour. McClure, a trained ski and snowboard instructor and mountain guide, has more than 15 years experience designing, leading and teaching ski adventures in Italy and Europe. Bechtel is a trained ski instructor currently on staff at Sugarloaf in Maine.  She is also a chef with formal wine training and hosts a television food and wine show at Sugarloaf where she shares recipes and tips inspired by her travels to these regions.

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