Antonio Sferlazzo: Sometimes I think that the love of wine is in my DNA
Antonio Sferlazzo was born in Tuscany and lives in the Chianti wine district; he is a former successful photojournalist, now a freelance wine journalist, as well as Italian correspondent for Slovak and Czech wine magazines.
From the very beginning, his photos have been connected with the world of wine. Antonio took pictures of such famous winemakers as Antinori, Frescobaldi, Biondi-Santi. But with the advent and the expansion of digital technologies, the market for press photography has collapsed. Consequently, at the age of 50, he had to change his profession. So, he got into the tourist enogastronomic world. And so fast that, one might say, on the wind. Contacts with wine producers came in handy.
Moreover, Antonio sometimes seems to have a love for wine in his DNA. Despite the fact he wasn’t trained as a professional sommelier, he managed to become an expert on his own, thanks to his keen sense of smell, sensitive taste receptors and good memory. He also said in one of the interviews that the love for wine was laid in childhood. His mother often gave Antonio bread with sugar and wine. In addition, from the age of six, he was responsible for bottling wine in the church.
Currently, he is a talented wine expert, who is in love with biodynamic and organic wines; he gathered a portfolio of more than thousands Italian wine estates all over Italy, which he personally visited; he follows every year any new edition of the most important Italian wine trade fairs and exhibitions, such as Vinitaly in Verona, or Chianti Classico Collection in Florence, Benvenuto Brunello di Montalcino; he’s an experienced travel consultant and with Renata Kostelnikova, co-founder and team manager of Tuscany Dream. Together, for more than 15 years, they have helped many of Czech and Slovak wine lovers discover Italian wines.
Antonio Sferlazzo notes that he likes natural wines which contain almost no sulphites. In Italy, there has been a growing awareness, both from consumers, farmers and winemakers about the misguided use of chemistry in agriculture, and the problems it creates for consumers’ health. It is difficult to produce good natural wines because the unpleasant volatility is often high. However, favoured by the climate, excellent organic and biodynamic wines are being produced by young enthusiastic producers in a few regions in Italy. He is very happy to organize trips to such wineries.
The DiVine Wine Tours TEAM, constantly selected and trained by Antonio Sferlazzo aims to deal with those clients who more and more approach the world of Italian wine for the first time, from new and vast areas of the globe; the presence of mother tongue guides and simultaneous translators, helps to create a friendly and trustful relationship with the customers, being always “there” for them, with all of the care, passion, enthusiasm, no matter which language they speak.
Antonio stresses that The DiVine Wine Tours is not a tour operator, but a team of travel consultants, and wine lovers, specialized in wine and gourmet tours. ‘I want to transmit the guests, the passion for the Italian wine world- a passion which constantly grew in me, during the last 17 years of non- stop tasting and scouting. Since 2002, I have been regularly attending all the main wine fairs, including Vinitaly, visiting hundreds of wineries all over Italy, from Piemonte to Sicily; not only to taste the wines but to understand the philosophy of wine makers, to scout territory, restaurants, accommodations, in order to offer our clients high standard tours for a reasonable rate quality/cost.
The DiVine Wine Tours has the following to offer:
- Accommodation in charming small country B & B, hotels and agriturismos in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany and Italy, and if requested, in 5* luxury resorts, chateaux or historic private villas with swimming pools
- Transfer (bus or minivan), with or without driver;
- Private visit and wine tasting of top wineries in Tuscany (or other regions) accompanied by qualified guides speaking multi-languages.
- Direct purchase of wines with the possibility of international delivery to your home;
- Additional attractions such as: cooking classes; visits to Michelin stars restaurants; shopping in the most trendy fashion boutiques; visit of the Art cities such as Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Verona
Antonio emphasizes that it is essential to visit in person the various Italian wine regions, to experience the many typical wines, without stopping at those already famous in the world. The DiVine Wine Tours can offer this experience to the guests. His company doesn’t take customers to visit mega wineries which produce millions of bottles, distributed worldwide, whose wines can be tasted in any big city and which keep the same boring standard taste, in order to match the palate of an international clientele.
During a wine tour, it is possible to discover the flavors of the regional Tuscan cuisine, simple because of origin, genuine and light as it is prepared with olive oil, the other typical product of Tuscany; but at the same time a refined, delicious cuisine, appreciated as one of the best in the world. Every year in Italy, there are millions of visitors of all nationalities, going on a cheerful pilgrimage from winery to winery, to discover, taste and buy wine and extra virgin olive oil.