I am just back from exploring the vineyards of the Rhone Valley…. I adventured with my classmates to some of the top vineyards in Hermitage, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Avignon. It was a beautiful 73 degrees and sunny in the alpes ….nothing better than wine tasting in the heart of Provence.
We started by taking a train from Paris into Vienne… a major town in the Rhone Alpes located on the Rhone river about 20 miles outside of the city of Lyon. We drove along the river to our first stop… Stephane Ogier
We tried several whites (Grapes- Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier) as well as his fabulous red wines all made with the Syrah grape.
The three white grapes above are the most popular white grapes allowed to be produced in the rhone valley. Viognier is unique in that it produces white wine very low in acidity however, this grape gives a beautiful aroma of floral and honey. It is also quite generous and rich on the palate.
The next morning we headed to the famous Chapoutier located in Tain L’Hermitage, France.
Michael Chapoutier’s wines win accolades constantly. They are superb. Standing in the vineyards of one of the top wine producers in this region amidst the vines…. Wow! The Chapoutier family can trace back their history to 1879… when the first vineyard was purchased.
A little history lesson…. followed by at least 10 wines tasted.
Absolutely memorable was Le Meal vintage 2006…. Of course I purchased a bottle of this. Cannot wait to open it for a special occasion… maybe the day I pass my exams!
Price ~ 211 Euros per bottle.
Okay… so after staying in the town of Tain L’Hermitage…. we set out the next day to Chateauneuf-du-Pape region…. and spent the next night in Avignon. This took me back to last summer….remember when I took the train to Avignon and stayed in the little village Vaison-La-Romaine?!
We pulled up to this beautiful property making Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines….
Chateau de Beaucastle
This property and wine production facility was nothing short of a Provencal dream. Pure beauty. We toured the mansion, the property, the vineyards, and tasted the wines…. in the underground private cellar.
Let’s see….next up. One of the most memorable meals of the year! This says a lot. We pulled up to a Castle….and proceeded to have a four hour meal in the sunshine overlooking the Chateauneuf-du-pape region.
Nestled in the heart of Provence situated up on a hill is ~
Château Des Fines Roches
There really is something to be said about slowing down for several hours. Setting up a table with beautiful china and glassware….sitting amongst friends and having some of the best regional cuisine matched with regional wines….over hours of conversation. This moment I will never forget. Laughing, sipping wine and getting sun kissed in the first week of April…. my oh my. Provence, France…. J’adore.
I have just recapped the absolute high-lights of my travel through the Rhone Valley….we also visited several other artisan wineries including… Domaine Vincent, Domaine Des Hauts Chassis, Faugier-Gonnet, Domaine Georges Vernay.
I came home from this trip with eight bottles of wine purchased…. 🙂 This is getting dangerous. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!