Wine Tours in France - the Rhone region
The Rhône is really two separate wine tours. In the North you have the area between the towns of Vienne and Valence defined by the wine areas of Condrieu and St-Péray. It is here the dominant grape is Syrah which produces the deep, dark long-living reds such as Hermitage and Côte Rôtie. Also there are really fine whites made from Viognier in Condrieu, plus some well-structured wines from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes.
Moving south along the valley, you encounter a 54 kilometre "no vines-land" of nuclear power stations, wind generators, factories and fruit trees but hardly a vineyard.
The southern Rhône vineyards start round Donzere and spread out over the Rhône delta to the area around Avignon. Here the Grenache Noir is the supreme grape and the quality appellations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras are well known, along with other areas producing wines from up to 23 grape varieties.
In the south the bulk of the grapes are processed by grower cooperatives hence they are a good starting point for your southern Rhône wine tour.
La Madelene Rhone Wine Holidays
We are Philip and Jude Reddaway. Our tour business, established for 10 years, specialises in the Southern Rhone. We are located in Provence, 45 minutes drive time from Avignon. We are the only residential wine tour company in the area dedicated to helping Anglophones get access to great wine makers and estates.
You will find the full detail of our offering at the web site below ... in brief: Guests generally stay with us for three nights in our renovated 12th-century Provencal priory at the base of Mont Ventoux. They receive some light/fun wine education (Philip is a qualified WSET wine instructor); we take them out to meet/taste with around 7 different wine makers across the two touring days, including a full day at Chateauneuf du Pape; meals are a mix of “fine wine dinners” at La Madelene prepared by Jude with mature vintages of top wines from our cellar, and lunches/dinners at some excellent Provencal restaurants.
Domaines we visit? We usually meet the owner of the winery or principle wine maker. A mix of well-established grand estates and smaller artisan producers. We avoid overly commercial “drop in” tasting rooms, preferring to focus on private appointments with great wine makers, who are passionate about their “métier”.
Testimonials: We are tipped as one of the 4 best places to stay around the Avignon area by the Lonely Planet guide to Provence; our Trip Advisor reviews are graded 98% “excellent”, and we are also recommended by the Rick Steves` guide, and Decanter magazine.
We strive to provide an informative, enriching and convivial tour experience for our guests and are proud that so many return in future years for further tours.
Price for our three-night tour: €1475 pp including accommodation, the tour, Champagne reception, wine talk, the seven-winery tour and all meals/wines at meals during your stay.
Availability for the three-night Selected Domaines Tour is listed on our site - for availability outside these dates please enquire by e-mail.
Shorter one-night / one-day tours are also sometimes available. Availability by request - please e-mail us.
Domaine de Mourchon
A great place to visit and taste wines is the Domaine de Mourchon which lies in the beautiful Dentelles de Montmirail hills at the centre of a triangle made up of Mont Ventoux in the East, Vaison-la-Romaine to the North and Avignon to the South-West. Thus it is to be found at the heart of not only some of the region’s best vine growing country, but also at the heart of the Vaucluse region – Provence at its most historical and most picturesque!
Domaine de Mourchon was created by the McKinlay family in 1998. The vineyard had some twenty hectares of mature vines but no facility to make wine so, using modern technology and high standards, a winery was constructed and completed in 2000.
The Domaine is currently in the process of converting to complete organic farming and expects to be fully certified in 2020.
The Domaine makes a great range of wines, red, white and rose. Prices start at around 8 euros a bottle