The FTLOP Team
In 2008 after her first harvest cutting grapes at Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne Romanée she decided to walk away from 25 years in the financial industry to find a niche in the wine trade. 2010 found Cynthia living in Porto and working for Symington Family Estates, where she wrote and administered the Graham’s Blog from July 2010 through the 2012 Harvest coverage. In addition, in 2011 she was responsible for the total re-design and re-write of The Vintage Port Site, which she continued to administer and write through June 2013, when she left SFE to pursue a variety of new projects.
In 2005, Mario decided to further explore adventures on the African continent and seek out business opportunities there as well. Nowadays, he spends most of his time traveling throughout a variety of countries in Africa, while consulting for a Spanish-based company (non-wine/beverage related). Also in 2005, Mario partnered with Roy to develop and co-host bespoke Port, Douro and Madeira wine and food explore-vacations that have begun to branch out to other regions of Portugal. Mario remains committed to FTLOP’s oenotourism program and together, he and Roy have brought more than twenty groups to visit his country.
Andy has been involved with FTLOP since its early days and he’s loved every minute of it, while moderating our forum and writing several Guest Corner articles for the newsletter. Additionally, Andy has been a guest lecturer at a California State University on the wines of the Douro region. Besides his love for Portuguese wine, Andy also seriously enjoys old California wines.
A little known fact is that David was the first person to ever sign up for and attend the Port Harvest Tour, back in 2005 and has been on our trips seven times including the island of Madeira. David lives amongst the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains along with his wife and two teenage sons. When he is not drinking Port or involved with his computer, David likes to hike, backpack, and ski with his family.
In addition to his annual travel to Portugal’s wine regions to taste Port, Douro wine and Madeira, he is also a faithful fan of Seattle Sounders soccer and Auburn Tiger college football.
Roy is a passionate student of wines from around the globe. He has taught classes and written hundreds of articles on Port and Madeira for FTLOP, other websites and wine magazines such as Sommelier Journal and The World of Fine Wine. He travels extensively throughout North America to promote the wines of Portugal, presenting educational wine tasting seminars to consumers, private organizations and members of the wine trade. Roy and Mario’s annual adventures guiding small groups on exclusive once-in-a-lifetime “insider’s tours” to discover the authentic food and wine culture of the Douro Valley, island of Madeira and other Portuguese wine regions has gained media attention and a loyal following. When not involved in vinous escapades, Roy relaxes at home with his wife Dorene and daughter, Taylor.