Winerist visits the Rhône Valley…

rhone winerist2

WHY GO?

The region has so much to offer from a cultural point of view, with Lyon being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its simple, authentic gastronomy has that special modern twist: the saucisson de Lyon and the saucisson aux pommes are a true signature and the local cafés, world renowned restaurants and bistros will give you a real taste of the locally-sourced ingredients. This is also a wine lover’s heaven with Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie and Châteauneuf-du-Pape being the darlings of the region.

WHAT TO SEE?

Lyon – You can walk through the city and enjoy the renaissance buildings and the medieval façades or visit the modern part of the city. No matter what your preference, don’t forget to visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière: like the Sacre-Coeur in Paris, it built on a hill and offers great views over the city.

Vienne – Interested in art and history? This is just the place for you! Take a walk through the narrow streets and discover the ancient monuments, many of which are still very well preserved today. But Vienne can offer more than this! Jazz lovers simply MUST come in July, when the Jazz à Vienne festival takes places.

Valence – Built over a series of terraces, the city benefited from the proximity to the Rhone River and became a prosperous market place. Being very close to the vineyards where Crozes Hermitages is produced and just an hour away from Lyon, Valence is the perfect choice for wine lovers. A fact worth noting is that here you will find a chocolate and sweet treats paradise; pogne, brioche flavoured with rum and sweet chestnut paste from Valence fruits here we come!

Montélimar – Here we have visited the Castle of Adhemar, once used as a prison, which is now open to visitors and hosts contemporary art exhibitions. Montelimar became famous due to its nougat production, which dates back to the 17th century. Close to the city is the charming village of Le Poet-Laval, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in France. On the way there, the lavender fields make a perfect stop.

Nîmes Don’t miss the Pont du Gard, one of the most impressive aqueducts and the best preserved amphitheatre from the Roman period.

Orange – Hike up to the top of Colline St Eutrope and enjoy the view over the theatre and the Roman ruins or relax at the small terrace cafes and restaurants.

rhone winerist 2picWHERE TO STAY?

Budget:

Domaine Saint Luc is a small charming farmhouse in the middle of vineyards, lavender fields and oak trees. You can do many things here, from learning more about winemaking to walks in the vines, bike tours or horse riding! Prices from €72 per night.

Mid-range:

Villa Augusta is a Relais & Châteaux which perfectly combines modern and vintage decorations, making this place a perfect stay. The swimming pool, the fountain area and the garden offer charm and relaxation. Rooms from €120 per night.

Luxury:

Chateau de Rochegude offers amazing views over the vineyards.

You will feel like a queen/ king here, as the fortress was the residence of Marquis de Rochegude in the 12th-century and it still preserves the atmosphere of those times.

Prices from €150 per night.

WHERE TO TASTE

Domaine the Vieux Lazaret – Being the largest wine estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this winery is run by a family and is a perfect place for sampling a large selection of wines from the Rhône valley and Provence regions.

Château Pesquié – Located in the heart of the Ventoux Mountains, this winery has been producing world class wines for many years now, passing the passion for winemaking from generation to generation. Besides wine, you will have the possibility to taste olive oil and some of the delicious sweet things made in the area.

Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné  – Being a wine producer, a wine bar and restaurant, VINEUM Paul Jaboulet Aîné offers a cozy atmosphere for wine tastings and gourmet experiences. You will have the chance to taste a wide variety of wines, such as Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Cornas.

THINGS TO DO – WINE TOURS, EVENTS AND MORE!

Half Day Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tour – Experience a memorable introduction to the wine region of Rhône Valley with a private tour in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. You will have the chance to taste gold awarded wines and learn the secrets of wine and chocolate pairing. During the tour, you will visit no fewer than five wineries – the oldest one dating back to 1809 – and taste up to 20 organic wines.

Châteauneuf du Pape Vineyards – Step into the history of Rhône Valley and start your day with a visit to a wine cave at a château where you will taste three fine wines while enjoying the overview of the charming vineyards. After lunch you will discover another château from the 18th century and an old cellar previously used by the popes.

Flexible Southern Rhône – Three-day wine tour in Southern Rhône Valley. You will enjoy three premium wines from the Northern Rhone in a tutored wine tasting session with cheese and meat pairings. Don’t miss your chance to visit three different wineries in Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Jazz festival is an international jazz festival held each summer in Vienne. This year will be hosted in the ancient Roman theatre. In the past, the festival has welcomed big names, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Lionel Hampton. It’s not to be missed!

Grand Lyon Film Festival – On its sixth run this year, the festival is longed for by all film lovers and cinema professionals. Revitalising classic cinema, Lumiere Festival is a great success year after year.

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Tatiana Livesey and Diana Isac

Tatiana Livesey and Diana Isac are co-founders of Winerist, which launched in 2012. Their interest in wine and travel was at the core of their business idea - it was, however, their determination to change the world of wine travel online that gave www.winerist.com the integrated format it has now. Winerist offers travellers all the information they need about their region of choice, and allows them to book hotels and tours without needing to visit lots of different websites.

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