Provence: 8 - 14 September 2019
The main purpose of this trip is to allow you to discover the South of France, and more precisely the wine making region of Haute Provence during that most critical time of the year, the harvest - ‘Les Vendanges’. Wine is definitely the star of the show here with two particularly well-known appellations headlining - Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas - along with visits to other vineyards in the region. French culture, tradition and history also form an integral part of this tour - you will have the chance to explore Avignon with its famous Papal palace, the bullfighting arena in Nimes, the Ancient Roman Theatre in Orange, the remarkable and colourful open-air market of Vaison la Romaine, and finally Mt Ventoux, made famous by the Tour de France.
AVIGNON - BEAUCAIRE, Sunday 08
Located on the banks on the Rhône River in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Avignon is known as the City of the Popes. Its historic centre, comprising the the Papal Palace which is one of the most magnificent edifices of Gothic architecture of the 14th century., the Episcopal ensemble and the Avignon Bridge, is an outstanding example of medieval architecture.
BEAUCAIRE - ARLES - NIMES - BEAUCAIRE, Monday 09
Visit of Arles a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town dates back to the 7th century BC, and was a major Gallo-Roman city. The major Roman sites, such as the Arena and the Theatre, the streets of this city are truly medieval in character: narrow and winding between ancient buildings.
Visit of Nimes With its Roman arena and the Maison Carrée - a majestic Roman temple that has just been restored. The historic centre of Nîmes has relics from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, while also boasts elements of the classical period and the haughty designs of the nineteenth century when the industry prospered in the city.
Visit and Tasting at Mourgues du Grès, the estate is nestled between vineyards and orchards in Piedmont Costières de Nîmes.
BEAUCAIRE - VAISON LA ROMAIN - SEGURET, Tuesday 10
Visit of Vaison la Romaine, this interesting and picturesque town has a long and colourful history, stretching back before the Roman conquest of France 2000 years ago (hence the name of the town). A visit falls into two parts - the roman ruins and the medieval 'upper town'. There are still significant roman remains to be seen in the town, especially those of the roman baths and theatre, and the medieval part is very attractive, with lots of narrow steep streets winding up the hill past medieval houses. The market takes place every Tuesday morning from 7:30 on the main squares and streets of the town in a warm and Provencal atmosphere.
Visit and Tasting at Domaine La Bouissière which is today one of the few to compose its cuvées in the three vineyards of this sublime corner of the Southern
SEGURET - GORDES - SEGURET, Wednesday 11
If the Luberon were a country, Gordes would be its capital. This is the Parthenon of Provence, an imposing edifice born of stone that has always attracted its share of attention because it is just so good-looking. Your explorations will take you to the spots where the view outward from Gordes is also spectacular, high over the Luberon plain.
Visit and Tasting at Domaine de la Pigeade, Located in the heart of Provence and the Rhone Valley, the estate straddles four prestigious appellations: Beaumes de Venise Muscat, Vacqueyras, AOC Ventoux and Vin de Pays de Vaucluse.
SEGURET - DENTELLES DE MONTMIRAIL - MONT VENTOUX - CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, Thursday 12
The village of Gigondas with only 700 inhabitants is an absolutely essential stop for lovers of this world renowned vintage. Gigondas is nicely located at the foot of a hill, nestling beneath its church which dominates all the Gigondas vineyards. Tour to discover the ‘Dentelles de Montmirail’ and the ‘Belvedère du Rocher du Midi’. Panoramic tour to enjoy the view over the Mont Ventoux. Some say Mont Ventoux is the hardest of all the mythical Tour de France climbs and rightly so.
Visit and Tasting at Domain le Sang Des Cailloux: located on the plateau des garrigues, facing the Dentelles de Montmirail between Vacqueyras and Sarrians. Bathed in the sun and stirred by the mistral, the 17 hectares of the estate are named Vacqueyras.
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE - ORANGE - CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, Friday 13
Visiting Orange: A city of art and history, Orange is outstanding for its exceptional historical heritage. As soon as you come inside the gates you will find yourself in the midst of Roman civilisation with the Arch of Triumph standing majestically over the city.
Wine Tasting & Wine ‘Assemblage’ in Chateauneuf du Pape.
Visit and Tasting at Château La Nerthe. The vineyard of Château La Nerthe represents 92 ha, certified in organic farming since 1998, where the 13 grape varieties of the appellation are planted. It is one of the largest vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape.
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE - PONT DU GARD - AVIGNON, Saturday 14
Tour to Pont du Gard (entrance to site in supplement).
The Pont du Gard is near Nîmes, Uzés and Avignon, in the heart of a region with a rich historical heritage. The most visited ancient monument in France, listed a world heritage site by Unesco, the Pont du Gard aqueduct remains one of humankind's great masterpieces. A marvel of Antiquity and a true technical feat, it is also a stupendous site that has regained its unspoiled state since its refurbishment.
48 metres high, it has three vertical rows of arches: 6 on the lowest level, 11 on the second level and 35 on the third and top level. Its upper part reaches a length of 273 metres (originally 360 metres when there were twelve extra arches).
Transfer back to Avignon.