About us

At MacNay Travel & Wine we organise unforgettable food and wine itineraries in Italy.

Our customers meet the best Italian winemakers and explore Italy’s most beautiful and important wine regions. We combine wine and food with the outdoors. This means our wine trips usually include some walking or cycling, and our walking and cycling trips are very wine-focussed.

Whether you’re the wine lover or wine professional who enjoys the outdoors, or the keen walker or cyclist who likes wine and food, a MacNay Travel & Wine itinerary is made for you.

You can book one of our self-guided walking or cycling itineraries, or join a small-group guided trip. Guided trips as a minimum have an optional (optional) walking or cycling component.

We invite you to book a MacNay Travel & Wine trip and go further.

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    James MacNay and Cinzia Long

    We are the founders and owners of the company. We first met at an Oxford college in 2004, where we were training to be Italian walking tour guides, a job we have done in some form or other ever since.

    We are both fluent English and Italian speakers and split our time between Piemonte and Sussex.

  • James MacNay

    James grew up in South East England and studied English and History in Bristol. A teaching qualification took him to Italy, little knowing he was arriving in the country of his future. There followed a series of ‘sliding doors’ moments which led him first into tourism as a walking tour guide, and then into the wine and food trade.

    James has always enjoyed outdoor activities, whether competitive cycling, running or long-distance trekking, and other sports such as rugby and cricket.

    With an eye to the future, in 2016 he laid the foundations of a new sister business to his and Cinzia’s UK shop, Cuculo. That was the start of the first MacNay Travel & Wine itinerary, Heart of the Italian Alps.

    James speaks fluent Italian and is an Anglo-Italian dual national. He has qualifications in Italian wine (IWS and WSET 3L). He loves speaking and writing about Italian wine, and Italy in general.

    Photo credit: Nigel Morley.

  • Cinzia Long

    Cinzia’s family is from Piemonte, but she was raised in a ski resort in the Valle d’Aosta. Cinzia grew up wearing skis and raced to a high level in her youth. Retail and customer service is in her blood, because her parents owned a hardware store, but she is never happier than bombing down a black run at full speed.

    Her deep connection to her Alpine region inspired our first self-guided wine and walking itinerary, which we call Heart of the Italian Alps.

    Cinzia studied Forestry and Environmental Science at the Università degli studi di Torino, where she wrote a thesis on the wild red squirrel population of the Gran Paradiso National Park.

    As well as a Natural Scientist, ski-racer and walking guide, Cinzia is an accomplished cook and has a lifelong passion for cheese. That passion was born at her local weekly market, where she would go with her mother, and the cheese seller would sneak her a chunk of parmesan. It led her to build, at Cuculo Cheese & Wine, one of the best cheesemongers in the South East of England.

  • Cuculo Cheese & Wine

    Our shop in East Sussex is at the heart of our local community. We took over what was Heathfield Deli in 2010, with the clear aim to build a business which best represents our interests of cheese and wine. Over the years, we added seating and have served countless glasses of wine and our famous taglieri deli boards – and of course hosted many tastings.

    You can hop over to our website here.

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