Treading the Grape

A unique chateau-stay in the Dordogne for wine lovers who want to immerse themselves in the excellent wines of south-west France. You visit seven different appellations, talk to the wine makers and have tastings with Mini Constant MW. Dates 2019: 20th - 26th October

With only 30 miles of optional walking, this is really a wine tasting holiday. The walks, however brief, do go some of the way to justify indulging daily in top quality food and drink. Based at the Chateau La Leotardie and Le Vert, a manor house, the one in the heart of the Dordogne, the other in the heart of the Quercy, this is the perfect holiday for wine lovers and those who would like to know much more about excellent wines from south-west France. Of course as this takes place during the ‘vendange’ season there will be lots of action in the vineyards too.

James knows these wines very well and those taken with dinner will be from his own carefully curated cellar. Visiting at least 7 vineyards you will take in the very best of the region’s wines including the sweet whites of Chateau Richard and Miaudoux and the dark and well-rounded reds produced by often tiny domaines around Cahors of exceptional quality like Domaine du Garinet.

It is also a very good idea to drive down by car as many of the wines that you will savour may cost half as much as they taste. The variation in the south west of France is so rich and seeing that you can take back 120 litres of wine per person in your vehicle this is an ideal opportunity to stock up!

Minette Constant, a master of wine, will be giving us two tastings on consecutive evenings. the first on the general exceptional quality and variey of south west wines and the second on the difference between vintage and non vintage champagne. Minette is a great friend from days gone by too and she will stay with us for a whole day for Diana's delicious picnic and so this is a good opportunity for people seriously interested in wine to get some top tips.

James and Mini Constant host this trip. It is fabulous to have a Master of Wine with Mini's clarity for the whole week! Hotels, restaurants and visits have been carefully selected to reveal the character and colour of the Dordogne-Quercy. On some of the walks donkeys and Mag, the muleteer, will follow at the back. Although they have been known to rush to the front at elevenses for homemade biscuits. All meals are included and lunch will be a mix of picnics and restaurants. Travel by car and return home with a boot full of good wines at bargain prices.

Accommodation

LA LEOTARDIE

A beautiful, 18th century chateau, a former hunting lodge, situated within a massive woodland estate close to the historic town of Bergerac; breakfasts in the bright country kitchen, comfy sofas by a roaring fire with dining at the far end and large windows all around, another sitting room for privacy, outside eating area with large stone table, 9 en suite bedrooms split between the chateau itself, a Rapunzel pigeon tower with its own bedroom and bathroom, an apartment and a small farmhouse within a couple of minutes walk. There are also 2 dormitories with en suite showers for children. This is a magical place to enjoy being with your own family or friends. Table tennis, swimming pool, Wi-Fi. Bike hire, horse riding and piano hire on request.

HOSTELLERIE LE VERT

This elegant manoir in the heart of the Quercy landscape is owned and run by locally revered chef, Bernard Philippe and his delightful wife, Eva. There are just 6 comfortable en suite bedrooms and we would normally occupy the whole house. The dining tables are arranged around the impressive fireplace with its open fire or on the terrace to enjoy the balmy evenings serenaded by nightingales. Heated pool. Wi-fi. 3 nights.

Grade Of Walking

Grade of walk: easy With only small amounts of general kilometrage, This is really a wine tasting holiday. The walks, however brief, do go some of the way to justify indulging daily in top quality food and drink.

FOOD & WINE

It is important to restate that by coming in your car you can benefit by taking away top quality wines at unbelievably bargain prices. This is because a lot of the wines you taste here will taste like a £20 wine but sell for £10 a bottle or less (or more !). We are seriously spoilt for the diversity and quality of wines in the south west of France. These are wines you could not possibly come across in the UK unless you live near Guildford maybe when you can go to Cave des Pyrenes and see their excellent selection.

This is an opportunity for Diana and James to cook for you in the château. An opportunity to work food and wine together so that you get a chance to really enjoy the wines you have been looking at and talking about. There is a big difference between tasting a wine at a vineyard and drinking it delicious food in a beautiful environment ! Cheeses too will feature presented with particular wines. On one night you will eat out in one of your hosts favourite restaurants in Bergerac : L’Imparfait.

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DURATION

7 Days

DISTANCE

30 miles

PRICE

€2690 pp

SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT

€360 pp

BOOKING

Private Tours (Contact us for availability and details)