About Wine in Provence
Wine connects people, and so it is with the story of three Americans in France and Wine In Provence Tours. In 2006, Brian and Hilary founded Wine In Provence Tours to share a passion for French wine with English-speaking travellers. Hilary’s Wine Industry Certificate comes from Cal Poly University in California wine country, while Brian fell in love with wine while working in the fields of a small Virginia winery. In 2014, the team welcomed Michael, a longtime resident of France and a native New Yorker. Michael is WSET-certified and, together with his French wife, Cyrielle, continues to share an wine insider’s view via Wine in Provence Tours with visitors from all over the world.
Michael Ippolito – Owner
One should not overcomplicate wine. It’s just grape juice and a little bit of magic!
As a native New Yorker with a corporate background, Michael Ippolito considers himself fortunate to have traded in the big city commute for the spectacular Provençal countryside and a briefcase for a wine glass. For more than a decade, he’s called France home, which has increased his love for wine. That love was cemented when Michael, his French wife and son moved from Paris to Provence and acquired Wine in Provence Tours. Michael also lived in Belgium, which heightened his appreciation of Belgium beer. He cannot wait to introduce you to French wines through the eyes and the palate of a Frenchified American.
Michael’s favorite wines are reds from Domaine du Pegau in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, rosé from Domaine Tempier in Bandol and white from Chateau Simone.
Hilary How Rivera – Co-Founder
My passions, my joie de vivre: Connecting with people from all over the world and teaching them about wine!”
Growing up among the vines in Sonoma County, California, Hilary has always had wine in her world. She earned her Wine Industry Certificate from Cal Poly University, in the heart of wine country, before working at Firestone Vineyard in Santa Barbara County, educating visitors and conducting group tastings. Hilary moved to Aix-en-Provence in 2006 to immerse herself in the French language, culture, and especially, the wine. She co-founded WineInProvence to host English-speaking visitors on wine-based discoveries around Provence.
Her favorite wines are reds from Clos des Papes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and rosés from Château Crémade in Provence.
Brian Cotlove – Co-Founder
I love showing people that wine does not need to be intimidating but can be fun and enjoyable!
Originally from the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant city of Seattle, Brian fell in love with wine while working among the grapevines in the fields on a small vineyard in Abingdon, Virginia. After moving to the south of France in 2006, Brian co-founded WineInProvence with Hilary. They’ve been delighted to successfully share their vision of giving visitors an intimate look into what makes this legendary wine-producing region so unique. His entrepreneurial spirit has led Brian to New York City, where he currently works for a hospitality-focused tech startup.
Brian’s favorite wine is from Château Pibarnon in Bandol.