American Craftsmanship: Behind the scenes with Iconic Artisans

In a world driven by mass production and disposable goods, there is something to be said about artisans and craftsmen who dedicate themselves to creating exceptional, handcrafted products. The United States is full of them– from jazz guitars to luxury yachts, wooden surfboards to custom cowboy boots– each of these crafts has a unique story to tell. All Roads North will connect you with the makers and artisans behind these iconic brands, introducing you to the heart of both their method and their story.

Benedetto Guitars

Benedetto Guitar Shaving

Founded in 1968 by American luthier Robert Benedetto, Benedetto Guitars, Inc. of Savannah, Georgia boasts 54 years of jazz guitar excellence. The internationally-renowned company builds some of the world’s most collectable and expensive instruments, while focusing their production on the needs of professional and aspiring jazz guitarists. Benedetto guitars have been played by four generations of jazz masters including Johnny Smith, Kenny Burrell, Bucky Pizzarelli, Martin Taylor, and Pat Martino.

The design of the traditional jazz guitar is the most complex and time consuming of the guitar world, and Benedetto is most noteworthy for preserving the tradition a the highest level of the art form, building for the most demanding players rather than serving the collectable art consumer, and for sharing the process and aesthetic with the entire luthier community. 

How to experience the craft:

All Roads North will set you up on a private tour of the Benedetto factory with master luthier and long-time apprentice of Robert Benedetto, Damon Mailand. Together, you’ll discuss the history, architecture and performance characteristics of the jazz guitars. You’ll have the unique opportunity to see every aspect of construction, as well as try out the finished instrument for yourself. 

This experience goes well with:

Charleston, Savannah and the Golden Isles 


Hinckley Yachts

Hinckley Yacht

Hinckley Yachts has a storied history that spans over nine decades, beginning in 1928. Founded by Henry R. Hinckley, the company has become synonymous with craftsmanship, innovation, and a beacon of excellence in the sailing community. In the beginning, Henry provided maintenance for both local lobster boats and the yachts owned by Mt. Desert Island’s summer residents. By 1933, Henry constructed his inaugural vessel, Ruthyeolyn, a 36-foot fisherman with timeless and striking contours. The rest, as they say, is history. 

From these humble origins in Southwest Harbor, Maine, Hinckley pioneered the introduction of fiberglass construction techniques, which revolutionized the industry. Henry was not satisfied with many off-the-shelf parts and soon the yachts from Hinckley came to feature custom designed hardware, such as stanchions, chocks, pulpits and masts. This attention to detail made these yachts distinctive and, in time, they would earn the collective admiration of sailors and yachtsmen around the world.

How to experience the craft:

In partnership with Exclusive Resorts, we will set up a stop at the Hinckley warehouses and facilities in Trenton, Maine and Southwest Harbor where you’ll get an inside look into the artisanry and attention to detail that goes into each Hinckley yacht. 

This experience goes well with:

Maine Maritime Adventures


Ventana Surfboards

Ventana Surfboards

A Ventana surfboard carries on the legacy of surf’s beginnings with their bespoke wooden surfboards. Since the introduction of fiberglass and foam, the craft of creating wood surfboards is increasingly rare. Just as much a collector’s work of art as they are functional and ready for the waves, 

At the heart of Ventana’s philosophy is a focus on sustainability, and the brand uses reclaimed, recycled, and sustainable materials to create their surfboards. They source locally salvaged wood, repurposed materials, and eco-friendly resins, aiming to minimize their environmental impact while producing high-quality, functional boards. 

How to experience the craft:

You can participate in the building of your board by working 1-on-1 with Ventana’s master artisan, Martijn Stiphout, for up to 5 hours during the longer build process. You will assist with various stages of the craft and will learn about each stage as you go.

This experience goes well with:

The Ultimate California Family Trip


Leddy’s Boots

Leddy's Boots

L. Leddy left his family cotton farm in 1918 and went to work at a boot and saddle shop in the small West Texas town of Brady. Four years later, he bought that shop and, along with help from his brothers, turned it into the handmade Texas legend that it is today. Although the boots and saddle business was highly saturated at the time in the early 1920’s, Leddy’s quickly stood apart from the crowd with their dedication to high-quality Western products.

The business has remained a family operation across four generations, with Leddy family members still working in the business. For many families from across the country, buying a pair of custom, handmade Leddy’s boots has become a tradition– some even spanning four generations of their own.

How to experience the craft:

A visit to M.L. Leddy’s is like a trip back in time. In the historic Fort Worth Stockyards location, hand-laid brick streets welcome customers into a rough-hewn world of knotted pine, pressed tin ceilings and the unmistakable smell of leather. A Leddy’s craftsman will take your precise measurements and work with you to design the custom boot of your Western dreams.

This experience goes well with:

A Private Ranch Road Trip


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