If you love good wine and good food, Provence should be on your vacation shortlist. When we started our Wine and Food Untour idea, Provence was a natural, one of the best regions to eat and drink in all of France.
This Untour program includes three organized group activities that revolve around local food and wine, in addition to the standard Untours arrival and orientation, and it includes all the best parts of an Untour, including a comfortable apartment, rental car, free time, and the expert guidance of our local staff person, Anne Plomb.
Here’s the skinny on what it includes.
Tasting Tour in Avignon
The Avignon Tasting Tour is a special treat, introducing guests to this gorgeous papal city, its history, and its local specialties.
“All of our visitors love it because of the personality of Aurélie,” says Anne. “She is very friendly, funny, and knowledgeable. They love all the tastings and also the guided visit of the city. It is a fantastic 3-in-1 experience.”
The Avignon city walk and tasting tour includes multiple stops in specialty shops, kitchens, and purveyors. Normally guests sample the following:
- A traditional croissant
- The Fougasse of Provence, a very traditional kind of bread of Provence
- Chocolates from an artisanal chocolatier
- Coffee (or tea) from a local coffee roaste
- Wine, usually Châteauneuf du Pape
- Papaline, a traditional candy filled with a local alcohol
- Calisson, another typical Provençal candy with almond
The tour ends at the covered market of Avignon, Les Halles, which has a lively atmosphere. There, guests have time to shop if they like, then they all gather with Aurélie in the café of the market and Aurélie brings many Provençal specialties for nibbling, like tapas. Guests may sample tapenade, candied garlic, olives, multiple cheeses, and other Provençal specialties.
“At the end of their time, guests have really had a chance to see the city,” says Anne. “They have tasted so many local delicacies, learned a bit about the region’s food, and had lunch and dinner.”
The cooking class is another activity. Guests gather in Carpentras (or sometimes Bedoin), where they meet their teacher Cornelia and visit the outdoor market with her. Cornelia gives them some information about the town and the local food scene and specialties.
Together they visit some specialty shops, including a cheese shop and delicatessen where they taste different products.
Then they drive to Cornelia’s home and they start to cook. Cornelia serves drinks and snacks. Then they share the lunch they prepared, normally a three-course meal.
“The cooking class is great,” says Anne. “Cornélia is very friendly too, and her food is amazing and not difficult to reproduce. The menu is always made with local, seasonal produce.”
Anne also happens to be a properly trained sommelier. She leads guests on a wine tour of the region, visiting wineries, learning about the appellations, and of course tasting.
Anne’s tour (by van) covers the southern part of the Cotes du Rhone. During the drive she shares information about the classification of wines in France and more specifically about the Cotes du Rhone wines.
Anne chooses three appellations, usually Cotes du Ventoux/Beaume de Venise, Gigondas, and Châteauneuf du Pape. She takes guests to three wineries and they taste three or more wines in each place. “Our region produces more red wines, so we will taste more red wines,” she explains, “but we also taste rosé and white.”
The outing normally takes a full afternoon and takes in beautiful countryside scenery. “People especially appreciate the fact that we have a driver,” says Anne.
Guests are raving about the experience.
“We had a fabulous time! Loved the wine and food tours and Cornelia and Aurielle were so welcoming and hospitable. We learned so much on this tour as well as seeing the beautiful countryside. Having a car provided was so helpful and we would plan a different destination each day, getting an early start each day but yet not tied to any. One of my best trips ever – I would definitely recommend it. Thank you.” – The Bradys
“The Food & Wine Week exceeded our expectations. Anne chose our experiences so well! Both Cornelia and Aurelie were engaging and informative, and the wine tour with Anne was excellent; I liked that it seemed geared toward those who are really interested in wine. Our special orientation dinner was delicious and also seemed so well-chosen for foodies!” – The Martins
There is still time to book the Wine and Food Untour in Provence this fall, October 2 – 9, 2019. And Untours also offers a similar experience in Tuscany, October 16 – 23, 2019. There is space in both! Read more here.