The best Gourmet Provence tour available…a collaboration between La Madelene and fanatical foodies Kevan and Jennifer of Leaf Travel…available W/C 15th/22nd/29th November 2010.
Wine, Olive oil, Goats cheese, Truffles….a complete immersion in 3 days + dining in the finest restaurants of the Vaucluse!
Gourmet Provence: Wine and food discovery tour
Day 1 Tuesday: arrive late pm at La Madelene…Champagne reception and a four course dinner with fine wines in the Chapel dining room
Day 2 Wednesday
The truffle day: A Truffle hunt, Truffle omelette for lunch, the Provencal town of Vaison la Romaine and a truffle feast in the evening
Your tour leaders for the day: Kavan Kristjanson and Jennifer Hastings of Leaf-Travel, professional caterers and gourmet travel experts
Breakfast at Leisure
AM and Lunch: Accompany Kevan and Jennifer on a black truffle search with Max and his dogs at the farm Le Gros-Noyer just on the edge of Malaucene. The truffle season is just starting up, with luck around 90 minutes work should yield sufficient “black diamonds” for Kevan and Jennifer to demostrate the preperation of a classic Provencal lunch – a truffle omelettte- at their house which neighbours the farm.
PM: Visit to the town of Vaison la Romaine, 8 kms from Malaucene, a charming town on the river Ouveze with a very picaresque medieval old town, a Gallo-Roman archeological site (the largest in France) and a lively newer part of the town with many interesting shops.
Dinner – at Chez Serge, Carpentras (http://www.chez-serge.com), and specialists in the “menu de truffe” – 4 courses all prepared with truffles
Day 3 Thursday
Wine tasting day (deliberately contrasting scale of producers, from a “garagist” wine maker to the leading estate of Chateauneuf du Pape)
Your wine tour escort for the day: Philip Reddaway a WSET approved professional wine educator and tour leader
Breakfast at Leisure
AM: Winery visit: Meet Philippe Gimel, maverick producer of stunning Ventoux wines – Saint Jean du Barroux - that have attracted a cult following in California and elsewhere. Visit his organic vineyard and taste at his garage winery that serves as a temporary home for his wine making.
Gimel is a one-man band with huge energy, passion and vision, a genuine one-off.for more see: http://saintjeandubarrouxfrance.spaces.live.com
Lunch: at Gigondas’s best restaurant L’Oustalet file://localhost/(http/:www.restaurant-oustalet.fr owned by the Perrin family of Beaucastel fame.
PM: Winery visit: Chateau Beaucastel – along with Rayas, Bonneau and Vieux Telegraph this is the leading estate of Chateauneuf du Pape making superb red and white CDP and a negociant business covering Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Vinsobres etc. Visit the cave and taste the range in the atmospheric cellars. For more see: http://www.beaucastel.com/
Dinner – Dinner at Le Grand Pre (http://www.legrandpre.com) the Michelin starred restaurant run by Flora and Raoul Reichrath at Roaix, exceptional cuisine and a fantastic Rhone wine list.
Day 4 Friday
Carpentras Provencal market and another gourmet excursion, either an olive mill or a goats cheese farm.
Once again Kevan and Jennifer will be your hosts for the day
Breakfast at Leisure
AM: Visit to Carpentras Provencal market – this is a vast market covering nearly the entire town and aside from vegetables, fruit, olives, charcuterie, cheese, plants and fabrics includes, from the end of November one of the most important truffle markets in the region.
Lunch: At Maitre Cuisinier de France Michel Philibert’s restaurant “La Gajulea” at Le Barroux - http://philibertmichel.free.fr
PM: Visit to the Olive mill attached to the Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine located in the beautiful Dentelles hills above the village of Le Barroux (http://www.barroux.org/huil/pubhuile.html)– this Olive mill forms part of a working Benedictine monastry, the group will be able to observe the monks, (fully atired in their habits!) in the art of olive oil production. The visit will be followed by an Olive oil briefing/tasting demonstration from Kevan and Jennifer.either in the grounds of the monastry or at their home dependent on the weather.
PM: Visit to a cheese farm in the Drome, artisan producers of fabulous Picodon goat’s cheese. those tangy, salty tablets of chevre that are so popular here and in the Ardeche. The group will have an opportunity to see cheese making in action alongside the farmers…and taste the results at different stages of “affinage” (aging).
Dinner: A 5 course Provencal gourmet meal prepared by Jude, Kevan and Jennifer and served in the chapel dining room at La Madelene, accompanied by fine wines from Philip’s cellar…perhaps a 1999 Beaucastel, or a 1998 Gigondas “Cuvee Florence” from Domaine Goubert.
Day 5: Saturday
The tour ends after breakfast on the Saturday
The Price: €2300 per couple including all restaurant meals, 4 nights accommodation at La Madelene, food and wine excursions, gourmet dinners and fine wine at La Madelene