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Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong

We all have our own challenges with life: loneliness, relationships, money, work, health issues, and the future, to name a few.

When I turned 50, I was in a state of bewilderment. I felt lost.  Not knowing what I should do next in my life.  All my experiences, ideas, and drive were frozen in time. Was I facing the early stages of depression? Was it simply a mid-life crisis? I needed a change, a new chapter in my life.

I uprooted and moved to Greece. Why Greece? My love affair with Greece began in early childhood. Being born into a Greek-American family, I got my first taste of Greece in my mom's kitchen while growing up in Florida.  Many vacations, much Greek dancing, tons of Greek food, plenty of wine and ouzo (for the adults), and very loud uncles telling stories.  I understood early on how connections are made.  Food and wine always brought laughter through amazing stories and activities.

Working with incredible wine distributors & importers in the U.S., I couldn’t help but fall in love with the wines I represented, their mesmerizing stories, and the families behind the project.  I read many wine books, passed tests, and was certified in prestigious wine studies such as WSET Advanced, Italian Trade Agency with Honors, and E&J Gallo training.  I also spearheaded many wine galas and other events to benefit non-profit organizations that touched my heart, like Variety Children’s Charity and United Arts Foundation. In Washington, D.C., I learned an enormous amount working with a Master of Wine and Master Sommeliers and helping to judge Virginia’s Governor’s Cup (a Virginia wine competition). Immersing in a place where all the senses and stories come to life is the greatest reward.  

I blended my 30 years of sales & marketing, film & entertainment, and wine education to provide the perfect recipe for travel and adventure. I enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, waters to swim in like a happy dolphin, boutique wineries, and plenty of discoverable activities that make me wonder, laugh, and meet amazing people. Hence, Wine Story Retreats was born.

Greece has it all! History, philosophy, culinary treasures, gorgeous seas & beaches, and ancient wines. My living in Greece offers you a trusting connection. As your Retreat Leader, I’m with you on your journey each day.  Join my devotion in bringing together lovers of wine and stories, connecting with lifelong friends looking for authentic experiences, and reflecting upon the simple pleasures that matter most.

Marina Armstrong

I like to think I was born with a travel bug. I was five years old when I "embarked" on my first adventure near a beach resort in my home country Georgia. Taking advantage of my parents being preoccupied with asking for directions near the hotel where we stayed, I crossed the street and disappeared into the bustling streets. I remember walking down the busy sidewalk, absorbing new sights and sounds, watching girls prancing in bright-colored summer dresses and boys riding bicycles.  Everything was new and exciting. I kept wandering away until I found myself lost. Although the first trip ended with me being taken to the local police station by a concerned couple to be reunited with my parents, the sense of freedom and excitement from visiting new places has remained with me to this day.
During my late twenties, I had an opportunity to participate in the Summer Work & Travel Exchange program for students, which allowed me to travel to the USA.  Flipping burgers at Six Flags in NJ was not my idea of an exciting travel pastime; however, it allowed me to learn about American culture, hone my English language skills, and meet many incredible people who became my lifelong friends.
Over the next 20 years, I built my career as a corporate accounting professional crunching numbers in NYC and Washington D.C. offices. Whenever possible, I took trips back to Europe to visit my favorite destinations. 

Marina Armstrong

During my last trip, I developed a deep longing for new discoveries and a desire to get lost again, like that little girl I once was. I dreamed of wandering through the narrow cobblestone streets of hilltop villages in Italy, biking through the beautiful French countryside surrounded by lavender fields and vineyards, cruising the scenic Danube and Rhine rivers, and sampling the street foods in Spain and Greece.

Europe’s undeniable beauty offers endless opportunities to explore and learn, from scenic train rides, river cruises, festive Christmas markets, and art museums to enchanting wine regions and blue flag beaches. Everywhere you look, there is something from the past with a fascinating story. 
Travel has always been my source of inspiration, an opportunity to reconnect to my inner self and embrace who I am. It sets me free to wander, explore, and to self-discover; it provides a fresh perspective and appreciation of life. 
Today, I am on a mission to bring this sense of wonder to all my clients and help them rediscover our world's beauty and joy. Nothing is more satisfying than creating some of the happiest memories of peoples' lives, seeing their smiles in the vacation photos eagerly shared on social media, and witnessing subtle changes they go through with each new journey.

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