Be Passionate

Italy travel planner_Valerie Quintanilla

From Valerie,
With Love

Back in my corporate America days I never guessed I’d end up an Italy travel planner in the Piedmont wine region. With a career in PR and Marketing in Denver, Colorado, corporate travel led to wine travel, wine nights led to wine education. Somehow I turned a decade-long hobby into a job I never imagined. And, that’s how I develop my travel programs – I turn your travel dreams into a trip you never knew was possible.

It all started with my move and a little expat blog…

In 2013, I moved to Piedmont Italy and started a blog chronicling my expat adventures. Today Girl’s Gotta Drink is a go-to resource for Northern Italy’s Piedmont wine region. And, thanks to it, I design Barolo wine tours and custom experiences here and all across Italy. 

I’m no different to my client – probably why so many become lifelong friends.

My travel planning centers around the culture and the people with wine as my guide. As a storyteller myself, I relish tales from garage winemakers to cult producers, artisan food producers to Michelin star chefs. 

By getting to know my clients and their passions and earning the trust of my partners who let me help them tell their story, I create unforgettable experiences in Italy. 


Meet The Team

Meet my core team! The faces of you’ll meet on your tours and helping with Italy travel design!

Barolo Tour leader / sommelier


I love a wine that transports me to the vineyard rows by putting the glass to my nose. These wines help me understand the wine maker, particularly those who celebrate the difference in every vintage. 

A certified AIS sommelier, Luca is a native of southwestern Piedmont. He began his career in architecture, but when he spent all his time at work talking terroir and wine, he realized a 9 to 5 office job wasn’t his jam. Soon he was studying, tasting, reading, and traveling with a focus on wine. For Luca, moving and exploring through the lens of wine is his fuel, nourishing body and soul, discovering hidden gems, and introducing them to friends, family, colleagues, and clients. 

While Luca doesn’t have a favorite wine, the scent of Nebbiolo takes him home. He also recently became a Sake sommelier and enjoys playing with Piedmont cuisine pairings. He is also our resident mixologist, whipping up custom cocktails for happy guests.

Barolo Tour Giude / Italy Travel Designer


One of my earliest memories is raw meat tartare topped with fresh porcini when I was 6 years old! 

With a Bachelor’s in Food Culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra and a multicultural hospitality career from Italy and to the USA, Elena knows where and how to experience Italy’s food and wine culture while perfectly explaining its origins. 

A self-proclaimed disaster in the kitchen, Elena’s pursuit of tasty treats makes her an ideal travel planner and tour guide. As a restaurant hunter, Elena’s always on the prowl for the best eats showcasing her native Piedmont region. Globally she plans all her travel – personal and for clients – around the tastes of the destination. 


Words From Our Clients

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

We use cookies to help you navigate efficiently and perform certain functions. All cookies are stored on your browser as they are essential for enabling the basic functionalities of this site. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze how you use this website and store your preferences.