This can truly be considered a star studded tour for lovers of great wines. We start in the world's wine capital, where Bordeaux guru James Lawther MW joins us and introduces the region, followed by some superstar visits in Pauillac, St Emilion and Sauternes, including visits to Chateau Pichon Baron, Chateau Beausejour Becot, Guiraud and Mouton Rothschild. We then make our way across the south of France stopping in Carcassonne in the Languedoc Roussillon to taste some top Blanquete de Limoux, before crossing the border into Catalunya and Spain.
Day 1 (Sunday 9th June). Meet at the Hotel de Normandie in central Bordeaux. Visit and lunch in Sauternes at the Chateau Guiraud to savour the tranquility of the region and the noble rot wines before lunch in their excellent La Chapelle restaurant at the chateau. Dinner at Quatrieme Mur which is a classic location for steak frites.
Day 2 (Monday 10th June). Morning guided tour of St Emilion and the monolith church. Visit and tasting at Chateau Couspaude, a St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, located on the limestone plateau just outside the village. We then lunch in Pavie’s bistro L’Envers du Decors. Afternoon visit and tasting at Chateau Beausejour Becot. This is the one of the top St Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé, producing a powerful wine with long ageing potential. Free evening.
Day 3 (Tuesday 11th June). We are joined by James Lawther MW, a Bordeaux resident and expert on the local wines. Morning visit and lunch to Chateau Pichon Baron a 2nd Grand Cru Classé and one of Pauillac's top names. Afternoon visit to the stellar Chateau Mouton Rothschild including art visit to see the labels. Mouton is a state of the art theatrical wine making facility where fine art meets fine wine. Free evening.
Day 4 (Wednesday 12th June). Morning drive to Carcassonne to visit and lunch at the Chateau Rives Blanques winery, famous for it Blanquette amongst many others. Check in to the 5* Hotel de la Cite within the spectacular walled city of Carcassone (made famous by the film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves). Guided walk of the city before Michelin star dinner at La Barbacane.
Day 5 (Thursday 13th June). After breakfast and check out, we leave Carcassonne and head south to the wine region of Emporda on the Spanish side of the border. We start the day with a visit to the ‘remote land’ of the winery Terra Remota, a stunning winery in the north of the Emporda region that makes some excellent organic wines in a dramatic location, before a short drive south. We arrive at Castillo de Perelada where we have lunch accompanied by some of their multi award winning wines from the DO of Emporda. After lunch we have a tour of the historical site at Empuries. This settlement dating from the 6th Century BC, was once the largest Greek colony on the Iberian Peninsula. Check into our hotel, the centrally located Ciutat de Girona . Free evening.
Day 6 (Friday 14th June). Weare joined by top art historian Gijs van Hensbergen and make the short journey to Figueres to visit the Salvador Dali Theatre Museum. For lunch we are treated to a cheese tasting with former El Bulli cheese guru Artur Sagues. He will run us through an impressive array of cheeses from a variety of regions. There will also be some regional wines and a one or two tapas to accompany the cheese. Visit to Satirs winery to taste some of their lovely wines. There is a guided walk through the old town of Girona before our dinnerin the delightful Divinum restaurant across the river from our hotel.
Day 7 (Saturday 15th June). We leave Girona and head south to the Penedes region to Sant Sadurni for a visit at a boutique cava producer. Llopart produce a range of excellent cavas from a fine vantage point overlooking prime vineyards from the hills near Ordal. Afternoon check in to Hotel Urquinaona Plaza in Barcelona. We take the short walk to Monvinic, a temple to wine that houses a wine library, restaurant and wine bar, where we enjoy a private dinner with top wines. A great way to end the tour at the wine bar reckoned to be number 1 in the world by the Wall Street Journal.
Day 8 (Sunday 16th June). End of tour.