Wine tasting weekend – all inclusive

Provence Region, Provence, France

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Holiday Itinerary

Suitable for wine novices and connoisseurs alike, this 3 night/4 day wine tasting weekend course offers the chance to sample and learn more about some of the finest wines of the celebrated Rhône wine region.

A varied and relaxed itinerary mixes informative tasting and teaching sessions with trips to local vineyards and villages, also leaving you time to soak up the sun, chat by the pool or enjoy the spectacular mountain views.

The all-inclusive course includes the opportunity to eat in some of the region’s most acclaimed restaurants, including the delicious Chez Serge in Carpentras, owned by France’s 2008 Sommelier of the Year Serge Ghoukassian, and at a local farm and gourmet restaurant famous for its organic food and wines.

Throughout your stay, friendly host and qualified wine tutor Linda opens your eyes to the world of winemaking in the Rhône Valley region, challenging your nose and taste buds with its rich range of wines. She also unlocks her enviable cellar, allowing you to sample some of the region’s finest bottles.

A number of excursions are also included in the trip and, during the weekend, guests can visit the world-renowned village of Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe  where they can take a private tour of a top domaine. In Gigondas, home to the well-bodied wines known as Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe 'little brother', guests get the chance to meet a winemaker, taste his wine, and dine in one of the village's fantastic restaurants. Other trips take in Beaumes de Venise, home to impressive red wines as well as Muscats and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a charming antiques town set amid a maze of canals.

With all wine, food, restaurant meals and excursions included in the cost, this varied course offers a fantastic insight into some of France’s greatest wines and most-famous winemakers. A must for any wine lover looking for a fun and relaxing break.

Who is it suitable for?
- Wine weekends are suitable for all levels from complete novices to wine connoisseurs
- Minimum age 18
- Your hosts are British so all wine classes are taught in English

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- These wine tasting weekends make great singles holidays and singles are welcome to join an existing group
- Solo travellers can pre-book a private single room for a supplement
- To book a private single room, email or contact us via live chat (click on the ‘start chat’ link at the bottom of this page) or call us to check availability

When can I start?
- All arrivals are on Thursday afternoons on set dates between March and November
- Wine Tasting Weekends are for 3 nights/4 days
- If you wish to stay for extra nights, please email to check availability for your preferred duration and we will do our best to accommodate you
- If dates appear ‘on request’, please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible

Typical itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1: Thursday - Arrival and welcome dinner
- Check into your room anytime after 2pm and take your time to explore the farmhouse, walk around the vineyards, swim in the pool or just relax in the garden with a glass of wine
- At 7.30pm dinner you’ll sit down to enjoy a 4 course dinner of local produce with local wines either in the shade of the wisteria at the farmhouse, or in the house depending on the weather

Day 2: Friday – First wine tasting lesson, visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe and restaurant dinner at Chez Serge
- Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to the wine tasting room for your first wine tasting lesson
- Today you’ll be introduced to the wines of the Rhone Valley and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine
- You’ll be tasting and assessing around 5 or 6 wines from the region
- Around 12.30pm you’ll take a break for lunch which, if the weather is nice, will be served in the garden whilst you learn to match the wines from the morning session with the food served
- After a leisurely lunch, you’ll depart for the famous wine village of Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe a 30 minute drive away in the wine tasting school’s transportation
- In Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, you’ll enjoy a private tour of a top domaine followed by a tasting session guided by your tutor Linda
- For those wanting to bring back tasty souvenirs from the trip, there will be a chance to buy wines as well as visit a nearby chocolate factory
-There may be the opportunity to visit a further two local producers depending on time and guests appetites and preferences
- You’ll head back to the farmhouse and enjoy an evening tasting of Rhône wines around 6pm
- At about 7.30 you’ll be taken to Chez Serge; one of your hosts favourite French restaurants run by Serge Ghoukassian, France’s Sommelier of the Year in 2008 and a passionate advocate of the Mont Ventoux region
- This 3 course restaurant dinner is included in the cost of the holiday and is accompanied by ½ bottle of wine
- Chez Serge also offer a truffle menu, which you are welcome to partake in for an additional supplement
- After the meal, transport is provided to take you the short 10 minutes back to the farmhouse

Day 3: Saturday – Second tasting class, visit to Gigondas, and Beaumes-de-Venise
- After breakfast you’ll begin your second wine tasting teaching session
- This second lesson will develop your knowledge of wine making in the area and will and will address the following questions:
- When do wine makers choose to use oak?
- When is the right age at which to drink wines?
- How long should you keep wines for?
- You will be tasting 5-6 wines as examples to discover the answers, including older vintages from Linda’s personal wine cellar
- Lunch will be taken out today in the village of Gigondas which is about 25 minutes’ drive away
- Lunch will be taken either in a restaurant for a 3 course menu du jour or a wine and tapas food matching at the Gigondas wine bar
- Both options offer tables outside to enjoy the sunshine
- After lunch you’ll visit a Gigondas winemaker and have the chance to taste their wine
- In the afternoon visit the village of Beaumes-de-Venise which makes top quality top quality red wines as well as sweet Muscat wines
- Head back to the farmhouse for another evening tasting of the Rhône wines and possibly even a Boules tournament in the grounds!
- Enjoy a 4 course set dinner made up of organic produce and accompanied by organic wine at the local farm Domaine Camerette

Day 4: Sunday – Departure day
- After breakfast guests can check-out of their rooms and continue their journey home or elsewhere in the region, or if your flight and travel plans allow it, your hosts can offer an optional visit to I’sle-sur-la-Sorgue; antiques capital of Provence which boasts a vibrant and colourful food and vegetable market
- Whatever your final day plans, hosts Linda and Chris will ensure guests leave the farmhouse truly relaxed, well-fed and with newly acquired knowledge of the Rhône valley wines to impress friends and family back home

About your wine tasting tutor
- Your British hosts are Linda and Chris
- Linda is your WSET certified wine tutor who will take all your tastings and teachings
- As well as her WSET training, Linda also has many years’ experience learning, teaching and judging wine competitions in London
- Linda is a true wine connoisseur and fanatic, harbouring an selection of wines in her enviable wine cellar
- Chris together with Linda, co-hosts and is on hand to make all guest’s stay as comfortable as possible

What will I learn?
- How to taste wine correctly using the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine
- How to pair wines with different foods to ensure you make the most of both what’s on your plate and what’s in your glass
- How wine is made in the local area
- How to tell the difference between wines
- How to assess what makes a good wine
- The differing qualities and styles of Rhône wines
- What the right age is to drink wine
- When do wine makers choose oak
- How long you should keep wines for

Where will I be staying?
- Your accommodation is set 30 minutes’ drive from Avignon, in the shadow of the majestic Mount Ventoux in the pretty Provence region of France
- You’ll stay in a beautifully restored Provençal farmhouse from the 18th century set in an acre of land surrounded by vineyards, olive and cherry trees
- The house is set on a private access road and so there’s no disturbance from traffic or nearby neighbours
- There are a total of 4 twin/double guest rooms all with private modern en suites
- If you are travelling solo, you can stay in a twin/double room for sole occupancy for a small supplement or share a twin room with someone of the same sex for no extra cost (subject to availability).
- All rooms have double beds at least Queen size (one room has 2 singles which can be made into a larger double
- All en suites are modern with an open shower, toilet, a range of toiletries, towels and a hairdryer
- There is one bedroom with a bath
- There is also 2 self-contained gîtes in case you wanted additional privacy
- There is a lovely open air swimming pool in the well laid out grounds for guests use
- The house is surrounded by wonderful gardens where you can eat outside under the wisteria, on the terrace or relax by the pool on sun loungers
- There is a central courtyard which can is gated for secure parking should guests need it
- Wine tasting sessions and lessons are given in English in the farmhouse’s large, sunny, wine tasting room using ISO glassware
- The wine tasting room is also used as a dining room seating up to 18 guests and also has a second lounge/bar area
- The sitting room has a cosy fireplace, TV and DVD player
- The accommodation has in the past been the setting for wedding receptions and special occasions as the stunning vistas from the property make this a truly memorable stay
- Accommodation is included for 3 nights / 4 days
- Check in anytime after 2pm on day 1 and check out by 12noon on day 4
- Please note: this accommodation does not have disabled access

Are meals included?
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included in the price along with wines, soft drinks, teas and coffee
- Your hosts are excellent cooks and they are very knowledgeable in the gastronomy and best eating spots of the area so the gastronomy will be as much a highlight of your wine tasting weekend as the wonderful wines
- All breakfasts are included days 2-4
- 2 lunches served at the farmhouse and a village restaurant
- You will enjoy a 3 course dinner each evening with wine and water; 2 of which will be at the farmhouse, and 1 at a local restaurant
- Delicious meals are prepared from fresh local produce and include French classics and regional specialities all matched with delicious local wines
- If you have dietary requests these must be communicated to us at the time of booking

What can I do in my free time?
- This French wine tasting holiday is packed with wine tasting and culinary delights as but the area boasts many cultural highlights which you may want to explore before or after your stay
- The Mount Ventoux offers excellent cycling routes for keen mountain bikers and your hosts can give you more information on cycling trips
- there are also excellent motorcycling roads to explore; the Mont Ventoux, Massif Central and the Alps are close enough to take advantage of some interesting rides and your hosts can help arrange bike rental from the farmhouse
- Your hosts will give you lots of information on what activities are on offer in the local area such as the local markets, walking and more
- Whilst a car isn’t necessary during your stay at the farmhouse, it is recommended to have a car to fully explore the area if you wish to stay on for a few nights to get the most out of your trip!