Last week, I spent six days in the Rhone Valley(!) The trip was so packed that I decided to break this into two posts. If you missed part one, click here. If you’re planning a trip to the south of France, I hope you find these posts helpful!
After a lovely breakfast at Hotel de la Villeon, we headed to Maison Chapoutier which is a short walk from the hotel. This area, the northern part of the Rhone Valley, produces more complex wines that are less fruit-forward than the wines I tasted further south. Maison Chapoutier is a great place to taste a big variety. I also learned more about biodynamic wines and I found it fascinating how they use the moon as a guide to grow and harvest the grapes.
We then walked to the Valrhona Chocolate museum. If you’re traveling with kids, put this one on your list and come with a sweet tooth.
As if I hadn’t overindulged enough, we had a fancy lunch at Vineum Paul Aine Jaboulet. It was one of my favorite meals of the trip. We had the 3 course lunch menu with wine pairings – the one I loved most was the lemon curd & strawberry dessert pictured at the top of this post, although the menu changes based on the seasons.
After lunch came the vineyards of Domaine du Tunnel. This place was really different because their cellar is stored in an old train tunnel (hence the name). It was really neat to see. The cool, humid space is the perfect temperature to store wine barrels.
This was my favorite day of the trip. In the morning, we headed to Domain de la Croix Blanche and visited the vineyards (and a tour of the area which includes a massive scenic canyon area) in a vintage car.
I had a leisurely afternoon lunch with the family – they made homemade tapanade using olives from their olive tree, olive oil that they produce, and garlic and basil from their garden. They also served stuffed zucchini, meats, and cheeses. We sat outside for hours, eating fresh food and drinking amazing wine. Before we left, we strolled through Aigueze, which was named “Most beautiful village in France” in 2016:
Before ending the day, we visited Laudun Chusclan Wineyards and drove to the top of their vineyards which was where I captured this amazing view (all photos are taken on my iPhone, btw):
That night, I stayed at Domained des Clos, an 18th century wine estate that is now the most chic & peaceful boutique hotel. The grounds are so gorgeous and I loved my modern-provencial style apartment. I wanted to move in! I’ll definitely be coming back here with Jack one day.
The very last vineyard we visited was Château du Mourgues du Grès. We hiked to the top of the hill, tasted wine and ate peaches and plums from their nearby trees.
We ended the trip back in Avignon with a fancy lunch at L’Agape, which was another one of my favorites (be sure to make a reservation for lunch or dinner).