Why I am a foodie is not the typical narrative for most in my industry. While my great-greats were growing olives on the cliffs of Sicily and fishing the seas down on the shores, I was brought up on TV dinners and Hamburger Helper. Processed food was the trend. I did not like food, because fast and convenient food was all I knew. If I could have created a facebook post (back in the late 80’s) on the first time I steamed broccoli in college, you would know how excited I was! Breaking into the real world and enthusiastically discovering food (and wine) for myself would be my segue into the company and career I have created for myself and others. Born and raised in the California sunshine, I moved back to the Bay Area after college in 1994 and started visiting the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country like other local tourists. It annoyed me that you could not eat food while wine tasting. You were really lucky to have packaged cheese and nuts available for sale. This stuck with me through my years, and eventually helped me build the foundations for the experience I wanted to create on my pairing tours. In the second half of raising my four children, I joined the sales team at wine.com. I naturally developed a more keen interest in viticulture and always loved hospitality, so I set up the first food tour around the Sonoma Plaza in 2014. It only made sense to include wine, so my pairing tours launched. Since then, five other destinations have been added – making Gourmet Food & Wine Tours what it is today. Guests can experience Sonoma, Napa, Yountville, St Helena and Sausalito on 3+ hour walking excursions to some of the most notable restaurants in that town. In any spare time, I enjoy my adult kiddo’s, one adorable grand-baby, traveling, working-out in weight class, live music, church and spending as much time as possible outdoors. Favorite food and wine pairings include interesting varietals that are made sans chemicals with slow food that can be anything but meat. I especially take pride in creating vegetarian pairings that are both good for the guest and the environment. Renee is active with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Global Tours Connect and the works of Dr Joe Dispenza’s. 2022 marks her fourth time at Arrival in the US.