Inspiring People

We offer unparalleled access to some of the worlds most inspiring and insightful individuals. Each adds texture and depth to any experience we create, ultimately yielding a richer travel story.

Michael Madrigale

There are many people out there who claim to know wine, but it’s rare to meet someone who actually lives it. If you can distinguish a Cinsault from a Carignan, or if you’re simply curious about the origins of your favourite Merlot, we have someone we’d like you to meet: the remarkable Michael Madrigale.

After working on several continents with viticulturists, wine brokers and growers for more than 20 years, Michael is now one of the world’s foremost sommeliers, currently based at Bar Boulud in New York. But ironically, this stellar career is one he stumbled upon almost by accident. While working at a restaurant after university, he quickly realized he had an aptitude for discerning the bad wine from the good, the good from the sublime and the overrated from the underappreciated. And he’s just gone on from there.

In 2002, Michael had landed a coveted position as a consultant with the Burgundy Wine Company when a winemaker from the Côte de Nuits invited him to take part in the annual harvest. The experience proved to be a turning point. Working hands-on with leading Burgundy vintners, he was able to bring wine lovers a whole new understanding of the region, digging well past the oenology texts and tasting rooms into the terroir, where the magic really happens. 

Of course this detailed local knowledge would be a fantastic asset on any bespoke wine discovery of France, where Michael can take you behind the scenes of exclusive wineries such as Domaine du Pegau (one of wine critic Robert Parker’s favourites). But his expertise will enrich many other destinations as well. Taking advantage of our close relationships with winemakers around the world, we can open the doors to cellars you’ve always wanted to visit – or may not have known existed. Join Michael in sampling the best Barolos of Piedmont. Explore the limestone hills of Rioja, including the Frank Gehry-designed winery of Margues de Riscal. Expand your knowledge with a master class in Super Tuscans. Or improve your own cellar with Michael’s recommendations from some of the best up-and-coming wineries in less likely corners of the world. 

So whether you’d like to learn which side of the côte produces the best grapes or want to understand better what flocculation means to a particular Australian Shiraz, just let us know. We’ll uncork a bottle with Michael and start planning. 

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