Seven of Hearts
Byron & Dana Dooley
Byron and Dana Dooley transitioned from high tech in 2001 to follow their passions in wine and chocolate. He studied enology and viticulture at Napa Valley College, interned for a respected Pinot noir producer in Sonoma, planted a small vineyard on Howell Mountain in Napa, and produced wine from that vineyard. After Byron earned his winemaking degree, he and Dana were drawn to Oregon’s Willamette Valley for its beauty, climate, and remarkable Pinot noir. In 2004, they purchased and planted the 12-acre Luminous Hills Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, a property once owned by Steve Jobs, co-founder Apple Computers.
Between 2004 and 2023, in addition to producing wines from the Luminous Hills Vineyard, Byron worked with many growers and sources of Pinot noir from distinctive vineyards within the sub-AVAs of the Willamette Valley, producing single vineyard Pinot noirs, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling with a focus on site characteristics as well as blends that capture the broader expression of each vintage in the Willamette Valley. Byron also made many wines from the Columbia Valley (both Oregon and Washington) from sources that are ideal for the warm weather varietals he also loves, including Bordeaux varietals, Rhone varietals, and many others. In 2023, Byron retired from the winemaking side of the industry to focus on farming, travel and exploration of wine. While he may not be making wine presently, the passion for the old-world wines that led him to his Seven of Hearts project remains. This trip is an opportunity to focus on, explore and share more of the wines of the old world that he loves and that took him on the marvelous 20 year journey of his second career.
You’re invited! Join Byron & Dana Dooley aboard AmaLea, one of Europe’s grandest river ships. For this voyage Byron will select superb European wines for his lectures and paired dinners, with a focus on vintages from Germany, Czech Republic, Austria & Hungary.
This is a special cruise down the Blue Danube, from Vilshofen Bavaria to Budapest Hungary. There’s also a special 3-night pre-cruise tour of delightful Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, a beautiful city never destroyed during WWII.
Please note: This Romantic Danube Cruise 2025 (hosted by Seven of Hearts) wine tasting tour is created by our tour operator, Expanding Horizons of Tustin, CA in conjunction with AmaWaterways. This is the most popular river cruise itinerary in Europe and will sell out. The pre and/or post-cruise tour program may contain private meals, tours and/or visits to attractions. These additional services are exclusive to guests on this cruise who book their reservations with Expanding Horizons. Persons booking with alternative travel agencies will not be included in these activities.