The FTLOP Team
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. In more recent years, they have branched out and now blanket ten wine regions throughout Portugal and Madeira. Mario remains committed to FTLOP’s oenotourism program and together, he and Roy have brought more than three dozen 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. Since 1999, he’s served as a professional judge at wine competitions in North America and the Iberian Peninsula. He has taught classes and written hundreds of articles on Port and Madeira for FTLOP, other websites and wine magazines such as Somm, and The World of Fine Wine. Roy 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’s annual adventures guiding small groups on exclusive once-in-a-lifetime “insider’s tours” to discover authentic wine and food culture within Portugal’s wine regions has gained media attention and a loyal following.
In 2016, Roy’s FTLOP website was inducted into the Port Wine Brotherhood, as the “first non-human entity” enthroned in the organization’s history. In the very same year, Hersh was also inducted into the Confraria da Vinho Madeira. He is the first individual outside of the Portuguese wine trade to become a member of both Portuguese Brotherhoods. In June 2017 Hersh was promoted to “Infançao” the highest rank that can be achieved by any non-Portuguese citizen. When not involved in wine related escapades, Roy relaxes at home and enjoys traveling with his wife Dorene and daughter Taylor.