Our core team is made up of passionate people who’ve not only traversed the globe, but who’ve sought out the very best flavors in route. From tiny grandmother kitchens tucked away in the Spanish Pyrenees to haute cuisine in Michelin star restaurants of the Algarve, we’ve uncovered the very best for you!
Catavino truly cares about you and your experience. As avid travellers ourselves, we know firsthand what it’s like to have a subpar experience or to have your needs not fully understood. We pride ourselves on listening, asking questions and going out of our way to ensure your experience is exactly what you had in mind.
Ryan Opaz (CEO) Having spent over a decade touring and speaking about the lifeblood of Iberia, and Knighted by the Port Wine Brotherhood, Ryan is Catavino’s designated “wine guy.” Word to the wise however, never ask him for his favorite, as he’s bound to respond, “The one I’ve never tasted.” His talents also extend to jaw-dropping photography, spectacular coffee roasting, tea tastings from far-off lands and mouthwatering cuisine. “Both Spain and Portugal have a wide range of fantastic wines, but few people know the value of their sparkling wines. Portugal’s Espumante and Spain’s Cava are absolutely worth exploring!”
Gabriella Opaz (Editor-and-Chief) Born and bred in Chicago, storytelling is Gabriella Opaz’ oxygen. As an award-winning speaker and writer, she uses stories to create a human connection between worlds that would otherwise never converge. Her recently published book, “The Undiscovered Food Stories of Northern Portugal” was inspired by the alluring grandmother stories inside Porto’s centenarian open-air market, Mercado Bolhão. “It’s not just the food and wine that define your experience, but the locals that you share your experience with. So chat them up! It’s worth every moment of your time.”
Janelle Norman (Tours Director) has obsessed about Spanish culture since childhood. Born and bred in Minnesota, she earned a degree in both Spanish and Communications before making the great leap to Spain where she worked with Virtuouso Travel agencies. Today, Janelle is based in Madrid where she fawns over smoked Idiazabal cheese and Navajas (razor clams) while sipping on a tall glass of Txakoli wine from the Basque region. “Many of Spain’s treasures are hidden in the rincons (corners) where few people go. I see it as my personal responsibility to ensure these jewels are available to all of our clients.”
Ana Abreu (Assistant Tours Coordinator) grew up on a small farm in Coimbra where her passion for Portuguese culture flourished. “I want people to leave Portugal with the same obsession I have for my own culture!” Ana worked with Signature Travel agencies for over a decade and can attest to the hidden corners of the country that have yet to be explored like Marvao (best views ever!), São Miguel in the Azores for its natural beauty and Aguda for its spectacular beach and seafood. If you need a delicious treat, she suggests Broa with freshly grilled sardines, “There’s nothing more Portuguese nor delicious. It’s heaven!”
Andreia Barbosa (Office Ninja) Native to Porto, Andreia has not only brought her vast experience in Marketing, but her wild passion for travel having toured over 20 countries worldwide. “Though I fell madly in love with Cuba’s color, Norway’s vertiginous fjords and China’s diverse cuisine, I will always return to the warmth and graciousness of the Portuguese people.” If you’ve never visited Portugal, make sure to visit the Paiva Walkways in Arouca. “Portugal is riddled with jaw-dropping riverbeds to explore. Take time to meander across their tree covered paths.”
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