For those wanting to taste beyond a half day but without the stamina for a full day excursion, this “three quarter day” tour might just be for you. This tour compares the terroir and the wines of three of the region’s leading estates from different Rhône crus, including Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
We start, mid-morning, in Gigondas in a terraced vineyard parcel high up in the mesmerising Dentelles de Montimirail hills. Lost in this dramatic vineyard landscape, with impoverished, stony slopes facing east, west, north and south there is no better place to appreciate the concept of “terroir”. The stunning view of Mont Ventoux is a bonus. We then visit the winery of one of the top estates in Gigondas to taste some of the wines yielded by this enchanting terroir.
During the tour there is a break for lunch. I can recommend and book a restaurant for you in advance of your visit or we can book something on the day. I would escort you to the restaurant and then meet up with you again after lunch for the afternoon leg of the tour.
If we have four or more persons in our group we will have a food and wine matching lunch at one of the wineries where the chef matches wonderful small dishes to each of four wines that they produce.
After lunch, we continue the tour with a final stop in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to visit different scenic vineyard parcels to appreciate the surprising diversity of the Châteauneuf’s terroir. Why is Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s wine reputation so far ahead of all other Southern Rhône villages, including Gigondas? Can the answer be found in the soil, or in the hands of the men and women that work it and the grapes that it yields?
To help answer this question, we visit the wineries of at least one of the village’s leading estates to explore their winemaking and taste the products of their labour and their terroir.
My Wine Tour Approach
French wine production is focussed on the vineyard and what the terroir brings to the wine, in particular the diversity of wine styles as each grower seeks to express their terroir in their wine. I contrast this approach to the more cellar-led approach prevalent in other regions where the winemaker is the star. In France, we talk more about “growing” wines and embracing the diversity that this brings, as opposed to “making” them in the cellar.
As we visit the scenic vineyards I explain the local appellation and the local wine-growing culture – in particular the notion of “terroir”
As we visit the cellars – I explain key elements of the winemaking process, particular to the region.
As we taste the wines – I explain the tasting characteristics of the Rhône grape varieties, the ageing potential of the wines and the varying influences of the terroir and cellar methods. At most of the estates we visit I supply a small selection of cheese to help us understand how the complexities and flavours of terroir wines can be enhanced and better appreciated with food.
Wine Estates that we visit
I have researched each wine estate that we visit – their philosophy, terroir, and wine-growing approach. This allows me to lead each guided visit and tasting, and point out what is interesting and genuinely different as we visit each estate.
I have in-depth knowledge of the wine region and its leading producers. I work with the Inter-professional Association of Rhône growers (Inter Rhône) and I provide Rhône wine consultancy services for importers. Please do not hesitate to request a wine estate of specific interest.
Price (Own Transport)
60 euros per person
Half price children 16 to 17 yrs old; Free for children under 16 yrs old.
Subject to a minimum group tour fee of 150 euros.
To Book this Tour or request further information: Please Contact Me
What is the minimum group tour fee of 150 euros?
If you book this group tour for two adults and no other guests join the tour (i.e. the group tour ends up being for the two of you, only) then the minimum group tour fee of 150 euros (total cost for the two of you) would apply.
If however, you are joined by at least one other guest (creating a group of three or more) then the 60 euros per person fee would apply – i.e. a tour fee of 120 euros (2 x 60 euros) for two adults.
Including pick-up from and return to your residence: Please Contact Me for a quote.
Private Tour Pricing
Please Contact Me for a quote.
10.30am at village meeting point.
The cost of lunch is excluded from the tour fees stated above.
Any Prior Wine Knowledge Required?
My tours cater for all wine-drinkers, from those you know very little about wine, to enthusiasts seeking to broaden their understanding. My relaxed and informal tours can be tailored to suit each individual, as introductory or as in-depth as you require.
If you are a veteran wine estate visitor and you have seen more than your fair share of wine-making cellars, I will tailor the tour accordingly.
Transport to the vineyards and the wine cellars
Village Meeting Point:
Tours commence from a designated meeting point in the first wine village.
Own Transport Option:
You require your car to get to the first village meeting point. If you opt for the own transport option and I have space in my car then I could transport you from the meeting point.
Otherwise you would use your own vehicle (following me) for the tour. The distances between the vineyards and the cellars is usually no more than a few minutes except the travel journey to Châteauneuf-du-Pape which takes 20 minutes.
All the tour commentary is in the vineyards and the wine cellars.