ABOUT HEATHEN WINE TOURS
Come travel with Heath Porter, a 5 star sommelier who has run some of the most revered wine programs in the United States. Travel in true Porter style as he has for over 20 years through regions around the world! Want to mingle with the best winemakers, chefs, winery owners and food and beverage professionals in the world?
Traveling with Heathen Wine Tours grants you "back door access" to wineries and unknown regions anywhere and everywhere. We chill in wineries and cellars and taste wines from barrels and private collections.
Get a tour of the vineyards and wineries personally from the winemakers. Hang out with chefs for cooking schools and go truffle hunting with foragers and their dogs. You will dine at Michelin starred restaurants, break bread with winemakers in their homes and feast in the vineyards.
Get to know the vineyard owners and get a sneak peak at their local haunts. Too good to be true right?! There is more! One of the best parts is that all of the planning is taken care of. To read more about the beauty and intricacy of a Heathen Wine Tour, click here.
“You will not have more fun on any other wine tour in the world! The Santa Barbara tour was fantastic! Amazing wines + great food + cool people = Best week ever!”
MEET OUR GUIDE
Ironically, Heath Porter grew up in a dry county in North Alabama, under a roof where alcohol was not allowed. He started his food and beverage career at the ripe age of 15, washing dishes at a truck stop. After high school he moved to Hawaii at age 18, and in the next few years worked in every position in a restaurant setting; from cook, busser, server, all the way up the ladder. Eventually he began reading about wine and attending tastings to develop his palate, all as a means to gain better shifts as a waiter and bartender. He quickly fell in love with the whole concept of food and wine and was the winner of the Pacific region of the best young sommelier competition and finalist in the 2004 National Chaine des Rotisseurs young sommelier competition. He worked as a wine steward in Honolulu then rose to general manager and wine director at W Hotel’s Diamond Head Grill.
In 2006 Porter built Sea Island Resorts wine collection as the lone sommelier for the Cloister. He selected the inventory, trained a food and beverage team of 150 and restructured the resort’s overall wine training. He also oversaw the blending of Sea Island’s five private-label wines. From 2007 -2010 Heath was the only Director of Wine in the world to hold 20 stars and diamonds in the same year as Sea Island garnered all of these accolades with him in the lead.
In 2010 Heath was recruited to join The Greenbrier Resort as the Director of Wine. There he continued in employee development as well. He also oversaw the opening of the 100,000 sq foot casino, opened 5 new restaurants and retooled the entire beverage program for the entire 740 room resort and all 14 outlets. He worked hand in hand with 3 wineries to develop signature Greenbrier private label wines and oversaw all beverage concerns for 3 PGA tour events.
In 2014 Mr. Porter moved to Miami to open the award winning Uvaggio wine bar and just celebrated Uvaggio’s fourth anniversary. In 2017 Mr Porter and his partners opened No Name Chinese in south Miami featuring Chinese cuisine with local produce and no freezer or fryer. And of course a kick ass wine/beer/tea program to boot!
In 2015 Heath led the first wine tour to Santa Barbara with 10 guests in tow. The crew was so excited they demanded another tour the next year and for the next 3 years Heath led groups to Italy, Spain and France. As proprietor and President of Heathen Wine Tours he appreciates not working for the man!
Heath has achieved many accolades in his profession and in 2009 passed the third level of testing administered by the Court of Master sommeliers. This accreditation leaves Porter as an advanced level sommelier. Heath is a self-taught food and beverage professional, and credits the fact that he grew up in a dry county surrounded by southern Baptists to the reason he drinks for a living.