Left:  Tain l'Hermitage - Copyright RAT/P. Fournier, Right:  Copyright Maison de la Pra

Custom Itinerary Examples - The Elegance of Wine

Custom Wine Tour of the Rhône Valley

Begin by discovering France's second biggest city. Make your way from the Beaujolais all the way down to the South Rhône Valley, meeting with small producers who may be lesser known but are most definitely not of lesser quality. Your meals will be taken in renowned restaurants, many Michelin starred, enabling you to further appreciate the complexity of the local wines. All hotels are of the highest caliber with unsurpassed service.

Day 1 - Lyon

Once your driver has met you at your arrival point and you've settled into your luxurious hotel in the centre of Lyon's vieille ville, take advantage of your surroundings. Use the first day of your France holiday to discover Lyon, with its traboules, Roman amphitheatres, Lumière museum, Fourvière Bascilica, Guignol puppets, and, of course, gastronomical masterpieces. Meander through the markets on the banks of the snaking Saone and Rhône Rivers.

Day 2 - Beaujolais

Spend your day discovering the highly underrated wines of the Beaujolais. The family-run vineyards in the villages of Bagnols, Theizé, and Chénas will prove there is more to this region than the Beaujolais nouveau. Finish your day with a divine meal at the Michelin starred Auberge del'Ile.

Day 3 - North Rhône Valley

After a bit of retail therapy in the Golden Triangle of Lyon, the magnificent Condrieu and Côte Rôtie wines await your palate. Afterwards, take advantage of your last evening in the gastronomy capital of France by discovering the sites you haven't yet seen. Make your way past the Place des Terraux where you will dine in Le Nord, one of the four brasseries run by the phenomenal Paul Bocuse.

Day 4 - North Rhône Valley II

Leave Lyon and make your way south into Tournon and Tain l'Hermitage, where you will spend the morning perfecting your wine skills with an oenology class given by Francesco Pimpinella. From the most naïve of beginners, to the most seasoned of connoisseurs, Francesco has something for everyone. The afternoon's wine will be tasted on the Ardèche side of the Rhône River in the villages of Saint-Péray and Cornas. From here settle yourself into the 16th century Maison de la Pra in Valence where you will spend your last two evenings. Tonight you will dine at the Maison Pic, the recently three starred restaurant of Anne-Sophie Pic.

Day 5 - South Rhône Valley

Today you will move further south and discover the mythic Châteauneuf-du-Pape followed by lunch in Gigondas. Use your last afternoon to discover the Drôme department with a different custom tour - in the air. Your pilot will take you up in a small Cessna, where he will identify the incredibly diverse landscape for you as you fly high above the mountains and valleys that constitute this part of France. Dinner will be in the form of the tantalizing dishes of the up-and-coming Baptiste Poinot's "Flaveurs."

Day 6 - Last Day

Spend your last day in France walking through the streets of Valence; see the Peynet Kiosk, the Maison de Têtes (house of heads), the Saint Apollinaire Cathedral.

After five days of luxurious lodgings, phenomenal gastronomy, and magnificent wines, it is time to say goodbye to the Vallée du Rhône.

Further custom itinerary examples:
The Glorious Outdoors
A Celebration of Taste
Wonderful White Winter
A Little Bit of Everything

Tain l'Hermitage - Copyright Andrew Distelrath

Copyright Château du Besset

Cornas vineyards

Rhône Valley Wine

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