Liam Mac Cana launched Elegant Wine Tours in 2017 with three vehicles and barely any staff. He did it all, booking and planning tours, driving, and everything in between. It was not an easy task to break into and find success in the wine tour business in Napa Valley, but Liam had an edge. To the company, he brought an exceptional knowledge of wine with advanced certification from the Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and ten years of experience in the wine industry. Most importantly, Liam immersed himself in the Napa Valley wine culture, creating an extensive and valuable network of contacts throughout the region that he gladly shares with his clients.
Originally from Connemara, Ireland, Liam arrived in Napa in 2014 with his young family. He jumped into the Napa wine industry, taking on various roles in sales. To supplement his income from his “day job,” Liam picked up a part-time job driving for a wine tour company and decided to start his own soon after.
Today, Elegant Wine Tours has an expanded vehicle fleet. It can offer the right size ride for all occasions, including limousines, a multi-passenger van, and SUVs, the latter being invaluable for reaching wineries located high in the mountains that straddle both sides of Napa Valley. The staff has expanded too, including wine-knowledgeable guides offering English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese tours. Liam has even offered tours in his native tongue, Gaelic.
The goal of Elegant Wine Tours has always been to provide a concierge level of service to create personalized tour experiences. Every booking begins with an in-depth conversation with the client about what they would like their Napa / Sonoma wine adventure to include. Is it a first-time visit, a return trip, or an annual event? Are they interested in certain wineries, winemakers, vineyards, grape varietals, up-and-coming producers, or the historic vineyards of the area? Whatever the desired experience Liam and his team will craft a one or multi-day itinerary to create a client’s dream visit.
Understanding how clients want to structure their day of touring is part of the discussion. Liam recommends not rushing through to try and see everything. Instead, he encourages visiting two to three vineyards and including a relaxing gourmet picnic at a scenic winery as part of the day. Additionally, understanding a client’s budget helps Elegant Tours staff tailor the experience to their guests’ goals and financial comfort. For example, private winery experiences have various levels of tasting fees, and it is important to plan this into the tour design.
Liam stated, “Our passion at Elegant Wine Tours is providing our guests impeccable service that allows them to truly embrace the very best of California’s wine country while creating memories that will last a lifetime.”