The Wine Tutor at home, studying wine styles.

"With decades of on the site experience in the Napa Valley, a very keen eye for quality as well as an impeccable palate, John Thoreen's in-depth knowledge of California wine is in large part unequalled by any commentator in the field."
- Robert M. Parker, Jr.




Welcome to The Wine Tutor's Home

and his One-Room School Houses

John Thoreen, The Wine Tutor, has been polishing the art of wine country hospitality for more than 30 years. He  works as an "interpreter" for visitors to the Napa Valley who want to dig into the essence of this small and complex place. While the wines of Napa get high praise and deserve serious attention, John never loses sight of characters like Aristophanes, ancient Greek comic dramatist, who said: "Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may whet my mind and say something clever." He salts his teachings with plain talk.

Known for years for the carefully tailored Tours and Excursions he designed (See THE ROBB REPORT), The Wine Tutor, now "semi-retired," focuses now on only one kind of event, a global wine course over a long lunch for small groups, maximum of 20, perferably 10 to 12. It's a complete package of wine basics yet, at the same time, very flexible. Each class is detailed in conversation with clients and might include: the ABC's of comparative tasting, theories about wine and food, then more tasting -- wines with specific dishes -- opinions about what "worked" and what disappointed -- along with a constant Q & A. Time permitting, some Napa geography, history and, perhaps, gossip.

A key inspiration for this new program, is the classic One-Room School House. Think of it: one teacher tackles all the subjects for all the students. The Wine Tutor -- once upon a time a Professor of Humanities but also a National Science Foundation Chemistry grantee who majored in philosophy and chemistry but later found himself with a M.A. in Medieveal and Renaissance Literature -- drops in tidbits from all those arenas, especially poetry regarding wine from all around the world and from all ages.

School House on Silverado Trail preserved by Joseph Phelps.



“On behalf of our whole group, I want to thank you for all the wine tours you set up and then graciously hosted. You obviously know everyone in Napa Valley that matters when it come to wine and their respect for you is obvious .”
- Robbie Pryde, Vice Chair T. D. Newcrest, Toronto

"John Thoreen has made it his business to know the Napa Valley like nobody else. John has visited the smallest and the largest, he knows the vineyards, the wines and the people and he has opinions. When John calls, I listen.
- Chris Howell


From the Epic of Gilgamesh, c. 2000 B.C.

the fruit it bore,
A trellised vine, good to behold.
Lapis lazuli it bore as its grape clusters,
Fruit it bore, magnificent to look upon.