This is the wine school Avignon has been waiting for, so it can fully embrace its reputation as the capital of Côtes du Rhône wines. The school opened in November 2017 in the magnificent Carré du Palais building opposite the Pope’s Palace. Its raison d’être is to showcase all the variety of the Rhone Valley vineyards to beginners and connoisseurs alike.
In this vineyard situated below Ménerbes, one of France’s most beautiful villages, you will notice the Hermès-orange entrance signs – they indicate the chic ambience and outgoing energy of the estate. This is because the Garelle estate, as well as offering tastings of its AOC Luberon wines, has just opened a terrace for hosting group meals. A new vineyard path has also just been created, allowing visitors to explore the vineyards in the hills of the Luberon.
This wine-producing estate, not far from Lourmarin, boasts many assets: a magical location, in the foothills of the Luberon mountain range, an elegant château, flanked by a courtyard with large gate, spectacular wine storerooms and a wide range of wine-tourism activities: a vineyard trail, several wine tours-tasting and master class packages, a picnic aperitif, as well as numerous celebrations and concerts held throughout the year. There are a whole host of reasons to stop off here.
Rhonea is the name for both the cooperative wine cellars at Beaumes-de-Venise and Vacqueyras, two Rhône Valley vintages. Their assets? The production of several appellations and types of wine –among which the famous sweet white Muscat-, the breath-taking scenery of the Dentelles de Montmirail, their beautiful modern and bright wineries and activities such as a 4×4 tour or a tasting in the vineyards, a blending workshop, events…
Of course the cellars at Beaumes-de-Venise and Vacqueyras still welcome independent travellers every day throughout the year and hold tastings for their wines (Beaumes-de-Venise, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Ventoux). But if you book ahead they can cater specifically for individuals and groups, and they have additional spaces available:
At Vacqueyras and Beaumes-de-Venise, there are conference rooms (capacity: 80 people, package including room + breakfast + buffet meals)
At Beaumes-de-Venise, there is the Dolium restaurant – contemporary decor and fine cuisine, and a terrace for sunny days.
At Vacqueyras, the former Eloge restaurant can be booked privately – we love the circular spaces draped in translucent fabric, like ghosts from the old wine cellars.
Cave de Vacqueyras © Thomas O’Brien
Cave de Beaumes-de-Venise © Thomas O’ Brien
If you are a tour operator, here are some of the 2017 programmes for FIT and groups:
→ Tour of the cellar and tasting:
With a guide, discover the cellar and the different trades, from the winegrower to the cellar master and the oenologist, and finish it all off with a tasting of 4 wines selected by the sommelier.
For 4 people or more – €5/person. Duration: 1h15. Visit […]
For nearly 60 years, the Manguin Distillery has been producing spirits in its large copper stills, according to the traditional methods. It first made its name with brandy made with Williams pears from Barthelasse, the island on the Rhone where the distillery is located, just opposite Avignon. Since then production has diversified extensively, but has never lost its focus on craftsmanship and quality. Of course you can visit the distillery, taste the fruit brandies (or lavender, or olive oil!), and, now, you can enjoy a cheese and spirits tasting menu.
“Pears and Cheese”: this is the name that was quickly found to describe these tasting menus! On the one hand, cheeses ripened by the master cheese-maker from Vaison-la-Romaine, and Best Craftsman of France, Josiane Déal, and on the other, spirits, specially selected by Emmanuel Hanquiez, the dynamic owner of the Manguin Distillery. In all, 7 unexpected combinations, that you discover during a friendly meal.
Practical details: for individuals, fixed dates, approximately once a month (calendar on the web site), by reservation only. Price: €35/person.
Small groups on request, from 10 to 20 people.
Tours of the distillery: every Saturday at 11am, free tours for individuals.
For groups, on request from Monday to Saturday.
784 Chemin des Poiriers,
T. +33 (0)4 90 82 62 29
There’s no shortage of attractions in the South Luberon region, around Lourmarin, and we’re excited to introduce the very latest: the Domaine de Fontenille estate. This wine estate, which is also a charming hotel and gastronomic restaurant, was purchased in 2013 and opened in late 2015 after 2 years of refurbishment; it’s certain to appeal to Provence enthusiasts and fans of the French lifestyle.
New in Avignon in 2015: the Collection Lambert, one of the finest contemporary art collections in France, re-opens after being closed for a year and a half for works, with a floor space doubled. Les Luminessences Sound and Light show, which offers a powerful 3-D vision of the history of Avignon, will run sessions in English. Lastly, the town will have its official, prestigious venue to show off the wines of the Rhône Valley: le Carré du Palais.
At Châteauneuf-du-Pape, two cellars, the Cellier des Princes and the Domaine de Nalys, offer the opportunity to discover the vineyard, one by bike, the other on foot, and finish your tour with a tasting of wines of the appellation and a picnic of local products.
The Wine Museum of the Maison Brotte in Châteauneuf-du-Pape has seen a range of transformations since being founded in 1972. The most recent dates back to spring 2014 and offers, besides a striking set design, a fun and educational insight on the wines of the Rhone Valley, and those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in particular. The idea was to pre-empt any questions from visitors about the wines of this flagship designation, without becoming daunting. Successfully done!
Are you looking for wine discovery breaks in the Rhône valley or want to include some vineyard tours in your getaway? Want to go cycling around Provence? Two trade manuals on these topics are there to help and you can view or download them from our website.