Cruise at a Glance

Embark on an enchanting journey through the famed Bordeaux region, where centuries of winemaking traditions meet breathtaking landscapes and iconic châteaux. With AmaWaterways river cruises, the "Taste of Bordeaux" itinerary promises an unforgettable experience that combines the finest wines, luxurious accommodations, and enchanting discoveries.  

Your journey begins as you board the elegant river cruise ship, boasting modern comforts and panoramic views of the picturesque scenery that unfolds along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. With Artiste Winery and ForFriends Inn & Village as your hosts, you can expect a truly unique and immersive wine-centric experience. 

Throughout the cruise, you'll have the opportunity to sample exquisite wines from Artiste winery, handpicked exclusively for this voyage, meet the winemaker himself, Bion Rice, and mingle with the owners of ForFriends Inn & Village, Dave and Katie Pollock.  

Artiste Winery
Bion & Anna Rice

Third generation winemaker Bion Rice’s great grandfather grew grapes for the Inglenook Winery in the 1890’s. His grandfather remembered picking grapes on that vineyard as a boy. When his parents planted a 25-acre vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1990, the legacy continued. After five years of harvesting, cellar work, and enology training under renowned winemaker Daniel Gehrs, Bion produced his first solo-vintage as Head Winemaker in 1997 at his family’s Sunstone Vineyard and Winery in Santa Ynez.


Having studied art and filmmaking in college, Bion wanted to fuse his passion for art and wine in an innovative way. In 1999, he produced the first vintage of Artiste featuring the art of James-Paul Brown on the front label, inspiring Bion to start his own winery. Artiste’s “Tasting Studio” was opened in 2003, and it quickly became a must-experience destination for wine enthusiasts who also appreciate art. The tasting experience included painting on large easels with canvases, art journaling, and wine blending classes. 


Artiste became the home of “Art Inspired Wines,” an approach to blending wine that Bion invented, developed, and perfected. He artfully blends wines in response to the emotional, instinctual, thought-provoking, and sometimes synesthetic experiences derived from artworks, translating a visual medium into the senses: aromas, flavors, and mouth-feel. Every wine is a limited-edition work of art itself and is never replicated.

ForFriends Inn & Village
Dave & Katie Pollock

ForFriends Inn & Village is a 14-room boutique hotel located in Santa Ynez, CA - the gateway to Santa Barbara Wine Country. Founded by Dave and Katie Pollock along with two close friends in 2012, ForFriends quickly established itself as the destination for couples who enthusiastically enjoy the gifts of wine, music, and friendship. ForFriends is consistently ranked as the #1 Bed & Breakfast in the Santa Ynez Valley with 5-star ratings on Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp, and all major online travel agencies.


Dave and Katie met while in high school in Flagstaff, AZ, where they also attended Northern Arizona University. Married while at NAU, Dave and Katie have enjoyed traveling extensively both domestically and aboard over the years while sharing their adventures with their three wonderful children. Throughout their careers (Dave as an engineer and business executive, Katie as a finance executive) and now as very-involved owners of ForFriends, they’ve always approached life and work with an eye towards creating and sharing wonderful experiences with others. On this point, ForFriends still subscribes to its original mantra to ‘Arrive As Guests, Leave As Friends’.


Katie and I are looking forward to our 3rd river cruise with AmaWaterways which will be even more special since we’re sharing it with our guests and our good friends at Artiste”.