In southern France, you’ll find the wine appellations of Cote-Rotie, Condrieu, and Chateuneuf-du-Pape.
To begin our trip, we flew into Lyon and stayed at Le Royal Hotel Lyon.
We took a walk to the Basilica of Notre–Dame de Fourvière. Get ready for lots of step and an uphill climb, but it’s definitley worth it for the view. The Notre-Dame has become a symbol of Lyon, looming over the city. And many call it the “upside down elephant” because the building looks like an elephant on its back with its legs in the air.
Dinner: We dined at Le bouchon de Thomas with a menu featuring traditional Lyonnaise cuisine. We got to sample Andouillette, which I can’t say was high on my list. It’s a French coarse-grained sausage made from the intestine of pork, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings.
Today we visited the Cote-Rotie and Condrieu wine appellations producing some of the Northern Rhone’s most famous wines made from Syrah and Viognier.
Of course we had to stop along the way to take in the amazing views.
Followed by a stop at Cote Roti Guigal winery.
We enjoyed dinner at Brasserie Le Sud. However, instead of the traditional French fare, we went with something a little different – sampling some jamon and tomato bread, along with the most delicious Chicken Pastilla (which I cannot wait to attempt at home). It’s a phyllo dough wrapped chicken dish with moroccan spices, and it’s absolutely delicious. (See it pictured below right).
Today we visited the Hermitage, Saint-Joseph, Cornas and Saint Peray appellations.
We started with a walk around the Hermitage vineyards and finished with a wine tasting at Maison M. Chapoutier. Hermitage is only grown here. Which is crazy to imagine. The wines are stunning and delicious!
Following our tasting we drove to Tain l’Hermitage and enjoyed lunch at Auberge Monnet.
Lunch was super filling, and we had a dinner planned that night for Leon de Lyon. This was a bit of a misstep on our part, as we could barely finish our dinner, which turned out to be a several course, hours long feat.
Today we headed South to the village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, and checking into our hotel, Vallon de Valrugues.
Later that morning, we headed to Domaine Jaume to sample wines from the region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We were able to walk the vineyards, and see just how rocky the soils are in this region.
Today we ventured away from the wine and heavy French dishes, and took a cooking class led by Nadia Sammut at Auberge la Feniere. She taught us all about plant based, gluten-free cooking.
After class, and our lunch, we headed to Les-Baux-de Provence, officially classified and labelled as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”. It features a stone fortress, along with amazing views of the valley and shops that carry local French products.
For dinner, we were craving pizza. We stopped by Antico Mulino which was a short walk from our hotel and indulged in some carbonara and a margarita pizza.
This was the day I was looking most forward to – truffle hunting! We headed to Les Pastras, a truffle farm, and with the help of the cute truffle hunting dogs, found some summer truffles. After that, we were treated to a lunch of champagne and truffles.
Then, we stopped by the village of Lourmarin for some shopping, followed by a game of petanque – a popular Provencal ballgame similar to bocce. The losing team (which I was on) got to pose for some amusing photos.
Today we headed to Avignon and toured the Palais des Papes, the world’s largest Gothic palace. There was lots of great shopping, restaurants, and even a double decker carousel in the area.
The next morning, we had to catch a plane bright and early to continue with our travels on to Croatia. But we absolutely loved the region of Southern France and cannot wait to return one day.
Have you been? What were some of your favorite spots?
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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, and we paid for our wine tour out of our own pockets. As always, all opinions are my own.