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Bending Branch Winery

Join us for an unforgettable wine and culinary experience with the Winemakers from Bending Branch Winery and Ursa Vineyards! 


Greg Stokes and
Deborah Elissagaray

Awarded Best Winemakers of El Dorado County in 2017

Ursa was founded in 2001 by husband-and-wife winemaking team, Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray. Greg and Deborah have extensive backgrounds in viticulture and consulting. Deborah has family ties to Southwest France and brings those influences to the Ursa brand. Greg Stokes is also Winemaker at Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Texas.

Chad Kurtz
Winemaker Chad Kurtz has been an integral part of the winemaking team at Bending Branch Winery since 2012.

7-Night Cruise Roundtrip from Bordeaux  |  April 10-17, 2025

Travel to France’s legendary wine capital, Bordeaux, on an enhanced epicurean experience with members of the Bending Branch and Ursa teams, including Winemakers Greg Stokes, Deborah Elissagaray, and Chad Kurtz. Iconic châteaux, timeless vineyards and delicious wine tastings are plentiful on this wine-themed journey. Attend an exclusive wine festival in Bourg, sample Grand Cru Classé wines and experience the wonderful world of viticulture with all your senses at the immersive Cité du Vin museum in Bordeaux. Hosted by a dedicated wine expert who leads tastings and a specially curated food and wine pairing dinner on board, this journey is a must for anyone interested in the best of French wine and cuisine.

Included Cruise Features:

  • 7 nights luxury accommodation in a spacious stateroom (most with French balconies)
  • Entertainment-On-Demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed internet access, movies, a music library and English language TV stations
  • Wine dinners featuring both Bending Branch and Ursa wines
  • Fine dining at The Chef's Table and Main Restaurant featuring regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
  • Sip & Sail Cocktail Hour with complimentary wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks
  • Captain's Gala Dinner and Cocktail Reception
  • Unlimited fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • ​Exclusive Wine Cruise features including tastings, tours, and discussions
  • Small group guided shore excursions with a variety of choices and activity levels
  • Wellness activities with a dedicated Wellness Host leading various exercise classes 
  • Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
  • Sun deck whirlpool and walking track
  • Fitness room, massage services and hair salon
  • Main Lounge with panoramic views and bar
  • Daily entertainment including cultural performances

Don't delay – rooms are booking quickly!

Melissa Saltamachio

Joe Saltamachio