Luxury Wine and Spirits: Oenologist: an expert in wine making. Tough gig, right? And what does one do with this kind of knowledge? Some might use it to impress their friends or offer unsolicited advice to customers staring blankly at the intimidating selection of French wines at their local liquor store. While you're sure to feel a sense of awe in the presence of any oenologist, the goal of the wine experts with Beaux Voyages is to enhance your experience while touring the Rhone Valley of France-not make you feel inferior to their supreme knowledge of the glorious liquid humans have adored for millennia. In fact, as you are visiting wineries in Beaujolais, Chateauneuf du Pape, and Cotes du Rhone with your own personal oenologist, you're encouraged to ask lots and lots of questions.
If you have an aversion to gaggles of tourists-namely being one of them-Beaux Voyages tours are open to as few as two people. Imagine a personally guided, private tour, exclusively for Beaux Voyages guests, at the famous Chateau la Nerthe. Check out the fabulous wine cellar of this 17th century chateau where celebrities and notorious French chefs such as Paul Bocuse keep their own reserves under lock and key. After your belly is swishing with the some of the world's best wine, settle in for a romantic evening at the Hotel La Sommellerie,in Chateauneuf du Pape owned and operated by French Master Chef Pierre Paumel and his wife Annie. As you would expect at a hotel owned by a chef, the food is amazing. Even the most discriminating gastronomers will salivate at the faintest smell of the Gateau of Lamb with roasted trotters and chops, grilled with thyme flower. Located between Avignon and Orange, on Provençal country roads, fragrant with thyme, fennel, and rosemary, you'll never forget the intimacy and charm of this 17th century country house. Each of the 12 rooms and 2 suites are beautifully decorated in the Provençal manner and named for one of the 13 grape varieties of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. Awake to the view of rolling vineyards and the sound of chirping cicadas under the cloudless sky.
After your cozy stay in Chateauneuf du Pape it's off for a day filled with private tastings of appellations like Cote Rotie, Condrieu, Hermitage, and St. Joseph, Cornas at family vineyards. When you crave an incredibly easy, smooth wine you naturally reach for a Beaujolais. In this portion of the trip, you'll tour the world-famous Beaujolais region with your personal oenologist, a native of the region, whose family has been in the wine business for four generations. Receive wine tasting instruction and documentation (so you can remember what you tasted), and sample famous Beaujolais wines including Beaujolais-Villages, Cote de Brouilly, Morgon, Fleurie, and Chenas. Nosh at the superb Chateau de Pizay for lunch and rest up at the Hotel Cour des Loges, for the next day of wine tours. Upon entering this historic hotel you'll understand its significance to the region and inclusion on the tour. At the heart of the epicurean capital, the 62 rooms at Cour des Loges blend contemporary comfort and the typical charm of authentic XIVth, XVIth and XVIIth century residences.
After six full days of wine edification, you'll be anxious to return home, so the next time the snooty sommelier or wine steward tries to teach you a thing or two about wine, you'll have some advice of your own to uncork.