If you're in Provence, anyone in vaguely interested in wine (me) through to anyone who considers themselves to be a wine buff (my husband) MUST go on a Wine Uncovered wine tour.
Olivier, the guide took us to two wonderful wine domaines in Gigondas. Unlike most of the wine tours I have been on (and I have been dragged on to quite a few by my husband) we spent most of the tour in vineyards - the stunning vineyards on the slopes of Les Dentelles de Montmirail.
Until I had been on this tour I never understood what vineyard "terroir" was and how precious it is to French wines. The way Olivier explained terroir and how French wines are made in the vineyard (and not the winery) was passionate but crucially, totally comprehensible.
Both I and my (supposed expert) husband learnt so much about wine and French wine culture.
It is fair to say that since I did this tour I look at wine in a completely different way.
Needless to say the 10 wines that we tasted from the two domaines we visited were exceptional but also very different. Understanding how the different vineyards' terroir influenced the tastes of these wines was inspirational.
Tel: +33 (0)675101001
The Mont Ventoux is a 1910m high conical peak that's visible from far across the surrounding countryside. April is the best time to go as there is still fresh snow on the peaks and the cherry orchards below the mountain are in full bloom. Take some gloves and a good windbreaker if you go during the very strong Mistral wind. The views across to Mont Blanc are truly magnificent and it's all for free!
You'll need your own transport to get to Mont Ventoux as there is no public transport. If driving take the exit for Carpentras off the A7 motorway and head for Sault. From Sault, follow the D164 for 26km up to the top of the mountain.
Most people know of Châteauneuf-du-Pape because of its excellent wines, which are known worldwide. However, as well as the wine growing area of the name, there is also an historic village of the same name well worth a visit.
The old village sits on a hillside overshadowed by the ruins of the old chateau (from which the name comes from). Go explore the narrow streets.
Don't forget to taste and buy the local wines. A visit to the weekly market (held on Fridays) is also recommended.
The south of France is the place of dreams for many, idyllic villages, vineyards, historical sites and access to all the places in south-east France worth visiting - Nimes, Arles, Avignon, Aix', Orange and smaller villages like Gordes, Isle-sur-la-sorgue and of course, Menèrbe.
The best way around the region is by car despite parking restrictions in places like Gordès.
Beaumes-de-Venise is in the region of the Cötes de Rhöne wines and the appellation Cötes de Ventoux wines. It also has it's own appellation, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, one of France's best sweet white wines.
Choose a local farmhouse for a stay.
Beaumes de Venise, Vaucluse, Provence, between Carpentras and Vacqueyras.
Take the TGV from Paris to Avignon and then hire a car.
Where to find it -
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com
Search Been there