When we started sampling French wines in earnest over twenty years ago, wines of the Rhone Valley region had lost much of the glory they had enjoyed 100 years before, when they were known as equal to the finest that France had to offer. We often surprised even the most knowledgeable of our connoisseur friends with blind tastings of Cote Rotie and Chateauneuf-du-Pape selections, which they often mistook for the most noble Burgundies or illustrious Bordeaux. Today, largely through the efforts of a few individuals, the great Rhone red wines have largely regained their former reputation, and this Rhone wine tour does homage to the achievement.
When it comes to Rhone wine tours, no one does it quite like Paris Luxury Tours. We start our Rhone wine tour with a TGV (high speed train) ride from Paris to Vienne, where we check into the renowned 2-starred Pyramide hotel/restaurant. After an appetite-whetting stroll through the ancient Roman ruins of the city (with its astonishing Temple of Augustus and Livia), we begin our Rhone wine tour at Pyramide with a meal designed around the whites of near-by Condrieu and the reds of Cote Rotie. In the afternoon, we indulge in Cote Rotie at either Barge, Bernard, Burgaud, Champet, Chapoutier, Clusel-Roch, or Delas. We will also sip Condrieu whites at either Gangloff, Guigal, Jaboulet, Andre Perret, Niero Pinchon, Vernay, or Verzier. The tasting venue is determined at the time, according to the engagements of these remarkable producers. For those that wish to stock their cellars here, we also proudly provide facilities for shipping your purchases home. We conclude our first day at the starred Domaine de Clairefontaine in near-by Chonas l’Amballan, where we will have dinner designed around Viognier and Cotes du Rhone wines.
The second day of our Rhone wine tour begins with a drive down to Tain l’Hermitage, the capital of the second heavyweight of the Rhone. Here we will savor reds wines at either Belle, Chapoutier, Chave, Delas, Desmeure, Faurie, Sorrel or Tardieu-Laurent. Lunch will follow at the starred Rive Gauche restaurant, where we will have a meal conceived around Septentrionale, a northern Rhone wine. Tours begin again after lunch when we proceed to a sampling of still and sparkling whites from some of the same producers. We end our second day checking into the famous Pic Hotel/Restaurant (2-stars in Michelin) in the town of Valence, where we will stroll through the Old Town, spend the night, and enjoy a dinner tailored around St. Peray and Hermitage wines.
Our final day begins with a drive to the southern Rhone district of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the third star of Rhone reds, where we will experience reds (and whites) at either Chateaux de Beaucastel, Fortia, Gardine, Mont Redon, La Nerthe, Rayas, or Domaines de Beaurenard, Bosquet des Papes, Les Cailloux, Font-de-Michelle, Grand Tinel, Pegau, Clos de Mont Olivet or Clos des Papes, Clos St-Jean or Vieux Donjon.
We have our final meal at the starred Europe restaurant in Avignon, designed around Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-pape wines. Our tour finishes with a visit of the city’s highlights and a TGV ride back to Paris.
For more information about our Rhone wine tours, please contact us at our US number (631) 600-1120.