Truffle & Wine Tour
Truffle & Wine Tour
January 16th – 22nd, 2018
Truffle & Wine Tour for a unique and authentic tour in Provence
How does it sound to forget the winter blues and escape to something warm? If you are like me then there is no question to even ask – sign me up! This luxury winter tour is a chance to explore fine food, outstanding wines, exotic truffles and cozy winter fires.
Imagine yourself in a 12th-century priory that has been converted to an elegant B&B at the foot of the Mount Ventoux in Provence. There you are sitting in the chapel room that serves as the dining room with Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine laid on the table. The logs on the fire are crackling and your host has just entered the room to present her signature Provencal winter dish.
Imagine too you are discovering the countryside in winter fashion; your favorite winter hat and newfound scarf. You are warming your hands up with French pressed coffee or roasted chestnuts at the market. The temperature will be about 10° and the sun, even in winter, never stays away for long. While I cannot guarantee perfect winter weather I can say the last two Truffle & Wine tours provided us with many moments to catch the rays. And should it be that one weekend a year when it snows in Provence, well, what a perfect ambiance to make it feel like Christmas again (do bring your boots for the Luberon truffle day).
This 6 night, 7 day Truffle & Wine tour in Provence is an opportunity to see the culinary world of Provence, taste the delights of truffles at the best time of the year, discover new wines while meeting the wine growers and enjoy the cultural heritage of Provence during the less touristy season. You will leave the tour feeling like experienced Provence like a local. A rare treat that will forever be a part of your heart.
You will stay 3 nights at La Madelene. A 12th-century priory that has been elegantly transformed into a B&B with lots of Provencal charm. Your hosts, Philip and Jude will delight you with cultural experiences that you have never ventured before. Before the 3 nights in the countryside at the Madelene, you’ll be pampered your first night at the luxury hotel La Mirande in Avignon. Your last two nights will be in Aix-en-Provence at the luxury boutique hotel, La Maison d’Aix.
Highlights of the Truffle & Wine Tour
- Truffle hunting with a professional & his dog in the remote hills of the Luberon
- Truffle based meals at B&B, one local restaurant and at the table of the truffle hunter in the Luberon
- Visit the Richerenches truffle market to see the pros in action and tour the Medieval village on market day
- Truffle dishes/Wine pairing at La Madelene
- Top winery visits & tastings with the winemakers
- 1 night lodging at La Mirande luxury hotel in Avignon
- 3 nights lodging in elegant B&B at the foot of the Mount Ventoux surrounded by vineyards and orchards
- 2 nights lodging in Aix-en-Provence at luxury boutique hotel
- 5 gourmet dinners themed around truffles with fine wines from the region
- Multiple VIP wine tastings including Chateauneuf-du-Pape & Cotes-du-Rhone Cru wines
- 1 champagne & hors d’oeuvre greeting upon arrival at the Madelene
- 2 delicious lunches (one at a local wine maker’s house who is also a superb chef & one lunch at the home of the truffle hunter’s house after our truffle hunt)
- 1 lunch Bouillabaisse at the harbor in Cassis
- 1 oyster and Picpoul de Pinet café lunch at the market in Richerenches
- All breakfasts
- Guided tours of Avignon, Aix & Cassis
- All transportation while in Provence (pick-up at Avignon TGV train station on Tuesday, January 16th, 2 pm/ drop-off at Aix TGV train station on Monday, January 22nd, 11 am).
- Transportation to/from Provence
- Museum entrance tickets should you decide to enter a museum in Avignon and/or Aix
- 1 lunch on Tuesday on your own in Avignon
- 1 dinner on Sunday evening on your own in Aix
"The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord." — Alexandre Dumas
- Pick-up at 2 pm at Avignon TGV train station and check-in into La Mirande hotel
- Private guided tour of the historic center of Avignon from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Day 2 – Wednesday, January 17th
- Leisurely breakfast at La Mirande and then tour of the Avignon Gourmet indoor market known as Les Halles.
- Free time in Avignon to explore and have lunch on your own until departure from the city at 3pm
- 4 pm arrival at country B&B, Le Madelene
- 4 – 6:30 pm free time to relax at B&B (take a country walk or schedule a massage at the local spa just down the road)
- 6:30 pm – welcome champagne reception with hors d’oeuvres
- 7:30 pm – dinner at the Madelene next to the fireplace
Day 3 – Thursday, January 18th
- After a leisurely breakfast, we will take a back country road to a
remote part of the Luberon to meet Nicolas, our local professional truffle farmer. The “hands on” hunt is preceded by a light talk (in English) from the truffle hunter on the history of truffle farming in the area, the technique for hunting and importantly what to look for in a top grade truffle and how best to prepare them.
- Aperitif in the sunny courtyard and lunch ( superb truffled eggs/salad/dessert) prepared by the Truffle farmer and at their charming Mas (Provencal farm house).
- Afternoon visit to a couple of small, authentic Luberon villages before going to Chateau Canorgue for our Luberon wine tasting (Chateau Canorgue was used as the setting for Ridely Scott’s “A Good Year” movie.
- Evening truffle-themed dinner at Fleur Bleu, Crestet – the restaurant atmosphere with fireplace and wood tables is especially quaint.
Day 4 – Friday, January 19th
- Today is focused on the great wines of the region. We will visit three different Southern Rhone Cru wineries.
- we start in the village of Gigondas with a tasting at Chateau Saint Cosme the oldest producing estate in the appellation + a visit to their unique cellars with their Roman stone fermentation cuves
- On to Clos du Caveau at Vacqueyras where our visit is hosted by owner/winemaker Henri Bungener, a personal friend, who after showing us around the winery will serve a 5-course lunch for us! Henri is a noted amateur chef as well as a first-rate winemaker – a great opportunity for guests to chat informally with a noted winemaker over a meal.
- In the afternoon we visit the medieval village of Seguret one of France’s “plus belles villages”
- Evening dinner at La Madelene, another delicious Provencal meal accompanied by fine wines from Philip’s cellar.
Day 5 – Saturday, January 20th
- Morning visit to world famous Richerenches truffle market in the unique territory known as the “Enclave des Papes” in the Vaucluse – opportunity for guests to select (with their new found knowledge!) quality truffles and purchase to take home.
- 11 am – sit down at the local café with the oyster vendor next Around 1 pm we’ll make our drive south to Aix-en-Provence for 3 pm check-in to your boutique hotel located in a superb 18th-century neighborhood just blocks from the famous Cours Mirabeau.
- 4 – 5:30 pm, private tour of Aix-en-Provence historic center. You may enjoy some boutique shopping after the tour (Aix is shoppers’ paradise)
- 7:30 pm, group dinner at your guide’s favorite bistronomic restaurant
- A leisurely morning and then a 40-minute drive to Cassis for a Bouillabaisse lunch on the harbor and a guided village tour.
- Return to Aix around 5 pm for free time to relax at B&B and prepare your bags for departure in the morning. Dinner at your leisure in Aix.
Day 7 – Monday, January 22nd
- Transfer to Aix TGV train station at 11 am (or at the time needed for your train departure in the morning).