Rhône Wine Country: May 30 – June 7, 2023
Join Calcareous’ owner Dana Brown and winemaker Jason Joyce as you experience the best of Rhône wine country with a group of wine lovers, just like you. On this trip, you will be guided to many iconic wineries while immersing yourself in the beauty of this French wine region. Join us to enjoy a multitude of gourmet food and wine tastings while learning about the rich history behind Rhône wines. Read below for more information, spots are limited so contact us today to book your wine tour!
Rhône Wine Country Highlights:
- Lyon – Vinsobre & Gigondas – Luberon – Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- Gourmet tour at the Les Halles Paul Bocuse covered market.
- Blending workshop: Learn how to make wine with a cellar master.
- Visit a Château de Saint Cosme, a winery dating back to 1570.
- Explore the beautiful villages of the Luberon Region.
- Private tour of a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct.
- Lunch on a terrasse facing the Pont.
- Palace of the Popes and the famous Pont d’Avignon.
- Explore the world-famous wine village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
What is included in the price?
- All hotels specified in the itinerary with breakfast and taxes included.
- Private arrival and departure transfers (1 per couple).
- Deluxe bus with a private driver at disposal as per itinerary.
- All winery visits, including some paired lunches or experiences such as vineyard tours, (to be determined prior to the departure date.)
- Meals specified in the itinerary, paired with wine.
- Management of all arrangements prior to and throughout the trip.
- Hotel gratuities.
- Meals not specified in the itinerary.
- International Airfare.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Expenses.
- Gratuities for drivers and guides.
Arrival day - Lyon
After arriving in Lyon, you will have a private transfer to your hotel. Later you will be welcomed with dinner at a traditional Lyon Bouchon.
Tonight, you will stay at the Hotel Intercontinental Grand Hotel Dieu Lyon.
Lyon Halles de Paul Bocuse
First, you will discover the highlights of the City of Lyon with a private walking tour hosted by a passionate local guide. On the tour, you will visit sites such as Presqu’ile, Old Town, and the magnificent cathedral at Fourvière Hill. This beloved French city is most famous for its silk printing, so you will also make a stop at a local silk printing studio on your tour.
After the walking tour, you will head to Les Halles Paul Bocuse, the covered market which is the core of Lyonnaise gastronomy. You’ll stroll through the market with your epicurean guide, tasting the best produces in the region. Tastings you will enjoy range from various kinds of cheese & charcuterie, traditional quenelle, and sweet treats such as prink pralines and “Coussin de Lyon.” While at the market you will learn all about “Mères Lyonnaises” and the little anecdotes about its starred chefs.
This evening, you will depart for Tain l’Hermitage, beginning your 2-night stay at Hotel Domain Chapoutier. This property is a beautiful Hotel and Spa centered in a vineyard that has been in operation for over the last 200 years. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.
*Note that tastings may vary based on the season.
Northern Rhône Wines
After breakfast, you will travel by coach to Domaine de Clairmont in Crozes-Hermitage. Here you will learn the artistry of crafting wine with an interactive session hosted by an in-house cellar master. After the session you will have the chance to explore on your own, stopping for lunch at your leisure. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a wine tasting back at Domaine Chapoutier, followed by a BBQ dinner in their vineyards on Hermitage Hill. Immerse yourself in the breath-taking view of Rhône Valley while being treated to wonderful food and Domaine Chapoutier’s delicious wines.
Northern Rhône Wines and Journey to Provence
After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and be transferred by a luxury coach to Domaine du Monteillet, located in Condrieu, for a wine tasting. This vineyard produces several Northern Rhône wines, such as Saint Joseph and Condrieu. Lunch today will be at your leisure, along with some free time to explore the winery. You will then be transferred to Southern Rhône, stopping on the way at Domaine Bour for a vertical tasting of their AOC Grignan-Les-Adhémar wines.
At the end of the day, you will arrive at your home for the next 5 nights, the charming Le Clair de la Plume. This stunning hotel is located within the hillside town of Grignan, the gateway to Provence. Tonight’s dinner is included and will be hosted at the hotel.
Vinsobre and Gigondas
Your day will start with breakfast at Le Clair de la Plume before heading out to Vinsobre, one of Jason’s favorite wine regions, where you will stop at one of their iconic wineries for a tasting. Next, you will head to Winery Chène Bleu, a renowned winery in the Vaucluse region. Here you will stop for lunch and a wine tasting. Then you will head to Gigondas where you will visit Château de Saint Cosme, a winery that dates to 1570.
Tonight, dinner will be on your own in Gringnan. There is an array of options, and we will be available to give any recommendations.
This day will allow you to clear your palate as most wineries are closed on Sundays. You will venture to the Luberon Region to discover several of its beautiful villages. First, you will visit L’lse-sur-la-Sorgue’s antique market, where you can browse through the “brocantes” (vintage goods) and sip a coffee or wine on one of the many terraces. Next on our journey is Gordes, which is especially famous for the Saint Fermin Palace and its cellars. Lastly, Roussillon, the most colorful of the villages, due to nearby ochre mines, which contribute to the overall hues of orange, red, and yellow. Dinner will be at your leisure in Grignan.
Avignon – Pont du Gard - Tavel
Today you will visit one of the world’s most impressive historical sites and enjoy new varieties of Southern Rhône wine. After breakfast, you will be driven to Pont du Gard, a 2,000-year-old aqueduct the Romans built to provide water for the city of Nîmes. Here you will take a private tour, along with an exclusive visit to the former water gallery on the top of the aqueduct. Lunch will be hosted on the terrasse facing the Pont. Then you will head to Domaine de la Mordorée, a small boutique winery in AOC Tavel, which produces both Lirac, a rosé wine, and a traditional Rhône GSM. You will stroll through the heart of the vineyard followed by a wine tasting.
This afternoon in the town of Avignon, you will have time to explore the Palace of the Popes, see the famous Pont d’Avignon, and enjoy the charming streets filled with shopping and cafés. Dinner will be at your leisure, then you will return to Grignan.
We saved the best for last! After breakfast, you will be driven to the world-famous wine village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Your first winery stop will be Château le Nerthe, one of the most highly acclaimed wineries in this AOC. You will be treated to a “Terroir” experience, which is a guided visit of the historical cellars and a tasting including Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends, the “Cuvée des Cadetters,” their iconic white “Clos de Beauvenir” and a rare vintage wine.
Lunch will be at your leisure in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which has many charming cafes from which you can choose. You will then visit two other wineries of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, such as Beaucastel, Janasse, and Mont Redon. Later that evening you will return to Grignan for a farewell dinner near your hotel.
Transfer to Marseille Airport
After breakfast, your driver will take you to the airport for your flight home or your next destination. Each party will have its own driver to accommodate different departure times.
Private transfers will be 1 per couple.
Calcareous Vineyard was the result of a shared passion by a special father/daughter duo. Dana and her father, Llyod, both had a profound reputation in the alcohol industry when they decided to develop their own winery. Although Lloyd passed in 2006 and he was not able to see his dream come to fruition, his presence is felt daily.
Their vineyard was developed on the premise of growing low-yield and extracting from their unique “Calcareous” soil, hence the name Calcareous Vineyard. Dana uses her passion for Calcareous to continue their original vision as more vineyards are carefully planted. With 442 acres available, the vineyard location and varietal selection are thoroughly researched. The Terroir must be perfect!
Joining Dana in France will be her daughter Frannie, a college student and summer intern at Calcareous.
Jason graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in organic chemistry and began his career as a synthetic chemist out of San Francisco. Although his work was immensely meaningful, it lacked the freedom of expression he so desired. This goal for creative exploration led him to the wine industry in 2007 where he took a job as a harvest cellar hand at Calcareous Vineyards. After only a short 3 years of working at the vineyard, he was promoted to Winemaker.
Of Calcareous Jason says, “This is a project I vehemently believe in. The estate vineyard is of the highest quality and represents a unique fusion of soil and climate. I am given complete freedom in the cellar to bring the fruit from vine to glass in whatever manner is required to produce the best possible expression of our place.”