So now you know what I was up to (read part 1 and part 2 as well), which was traveling around the area and have a sip of wine at every one of my stops. Isn’t that the best? If you’re looking to visit the area, here is the route that I took alongside the Rhône Valley. I started in Venterol and then slowly rode my way down to Avignon. At the bottom of the post you will be able to find all the exact addresses and a little map. Tomorrow I will share the spots that I discovered in Avignon!
This beautiful winery was the perfect starter for this area. Dominique received me with a very warm welcome and gave me a little tour of the estate. The old building of the house and hotel contrast the brand new cave (in all natural stone) behind the house beautifully. They produce only biological wines and don’t add any yeast in the process so all you are tasting is pure grape. I was only here for a brief evening and dinner and enjoyed it thoroughly. After a very nice dinner with the family, I just took a long long bath and had a great nights rest. This is a great spot and it will amaze you how big this house actually is, too bad I didn’t get a chance to discover the spa! You can book it here.
The Vineyards around Saint-Pantaléon les Vignes
In the area around Pantaléon-les-Vignes I had to honor to accompany two wine growers Evelyn and Phillipe who have been in the business for year. Together they have created a hike around the area accompanied by a little booklet. In here you will easily find your route and get an explanation about the plants and soil of the area. Most of what they taught me, I already told you about yesterday (like to cool fact that French vines aren’t completely French). But this walk is a very nice accompaniment to the wine tastings. I was especially fascinated by the different type of landscapes you see in such a small area. If you’re interested in doing the hike yourself, just ask for the “Sentiers des Terroirs” guide in the local tourist office.
L’Auberge Du Petit Bistrot in Vinsobres
One of the many little restaurants in the area that works solely with local products and wines. In this charming restaurant next to the church you can find local dishes and you can ask the waiter to pair it with the perfect wine for your dish. I got a huge plate filled with delicious vegetarian treats including the famous local dish “aubergine au tomates”. It is a part of the “Bistrot du Pays” of which you can find a list here. A definite recommendation if you’re looking for a great eating spot in the south of France.
// Note: The shoes at the top left corner are from the owner of the bistrot //
After getting the explication of the wine making process in French a couple of times, I was actually quite happy to hear the complete story in English (Appellation,mistral, cépages, cuve… what?) . This is quite a big cooperation making the wine of Vacqueyras in a sustainable manner. You can come here for a wine tasting, buying a large selection of wines and local products or simply a little bit of explanation.
Domaine de Cabasse is a larger and more luxurious hotel then my previous night. A big room (with another bathtub woohoo!), restaurant with local products and even a pool. Too bad I couldn’t go in it since it was still a little bit too cold. The little town Séguret which provides you with a beautiful view from the domain is known to be one of the most pittoresque villages of France.
L’appellation Beaumes de Venise
Eloise of the tourism board of Beaumes de Venise was so kind to take me on a tour around the area. I thouroughly enjoyed riding trough the mountains and receiving a wealth of information by yet another passionate wine aficionado. We visited and drank the Muscat of the Domaine de la Pigéade, I learned how it was made and what the area was like. Remember how it is possible that the muscat is sweet but still has a higher alcohol content as a normal white wine (find out here)? I also loved tasting the different wines from the different cuves (which is a word for a different recipe or even wine from a different parcel of the vineyard). One was remarkably fresher (the vines were older) while the other was much sweeter. Before the wine is bottled, they mix these different cuves together (to the taste of experts) to get the typical Muscat de la Pigéade taste.
Domaine Beauvalcinte with the cutest little Swiss Sheppard was next up on the tasting menu with a test of all the senses. Trying to explain a flavor through what you feel in stead of what you actually taste or see, really opens your eyes to how complicate flavor can be.
Another hidden gem in the area which was clearly not hidden for the locals. The place was completely filled and with reason! If you’re in the area ask for the Camenbert roasted on the fire, the ravioli or one of the meats roasted on the fire. Don’t worry about portions when you’re traveling in this area. These locals know how to eat!
Bike around on the e-solex at the Cave Terraventoux
Ok ask me to step onto a motorcycle or an electric-bike and I will 5 miles ahead of you waving goodbye! I loved this activity and could go on for hours and hours. What’s not to love? It’s the easiest way to discover the mountain area, have a picknick on the way and a wine tasting will be waiting for you in one of the little villages. This is the spot where you will get the best panoramic views and you will be able to take some wines and local products home when you’re finished.
Below you will find a map of these spots (better to follow google maps in this area then your GPS, trust me, I know!). This is however not the only route that you can take. On the Rhône Valley vines webpage, you find much more routes. Just choose an area you feel like visiting or mix up the different appellations. Be sure to also look for the Vineyards and Discoveries label. This is a quality label throughout France for vineyards that offer several things for you such as accommodation, catering, winery visit and tasting, etc.
Domaine De Provensol
Route de Vinsobres
Tél. 04 75 27 97 81
L’Auberge Du Petit Bistrot
Vignerons de Caractère
BP1, Route de Vaison la Romaine
Domaine de Cabasse
Route de Sablet
Domaine de la Pigéade
Route de Caromb
84190 Beames de Venise
Restaurants Coté Des Vignes
1515 Route de Lafare