|from $3,425* per person||8 Days||Year-round
Exertion level: 3
|Operator: The International Kitchen
12 people max
About the location: Surrounded by the vines of Château Bujan, in a vineyard of the Côtes de Bourg, you will live in the charming 17th-century guest house of the winemakers and join fellow enthusiasts on Bordeaux wine tours. Nestled in a small green valley and restored with talent by architect Marielle Meli (Pascal’s wife), La Maison des Vignes (“House in the Vines”), with its large fireplaces, oak beams, four personalized bedrooms and old books, is totally elegant, while retaining a feeling of true authenticity. A week long wine course in Bordeaux, France, with Pascal Meli, Bujan’s owner and winemaker, and food-and-wine expert Michèle Rousseau is a warm, personal and relaxing way to get to know the wines and gastronomy of the Bordeaux region.
About your hosts: Years ago Pascal realized his dream and purchased the 42-acre vineyard of Chateau Bujan, where he has devoted himself to producing small production of exceptionally fine wine. Michèle was the administrative director of the Côtes de Bourg appellation. In 2000 they teamed up to create an unbelievably unique and personal experience for the guests of Maison des Vignes, where you will spend time touring Bordeaux wine country, meeting the people who make the wine and preparing typical and simple culinary specialties, while in the company of your totally charming hosts.
About the cooking lessons: Michèle Rousseau has been cultivating her passion for wines in the Bordeaux region for 20 years, and through her apprenticeship with a local well-known restaurant owner and meetings with Parisian Michelin-star chefs, she has come to develop a diverse knowledge of cooking with fresh ingredients to complement wine selection. In six cooking lessons using the freshest available seasonal ingredients, you will learn to prepare regional dinner menus to accompany the wines tasted that day in your Bordeaux wine tour: Saint-Emilion, Médoc, Sauternes…
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A Week in the Heart of Bordeaux Wine Country
, Cooking class
, Cooking vacation
, chateaux, France, Europe
1 testimonial about this trip
Reviewer: Joan & George W.
Michele & Pascal are the most charming hosts ! What a wonderful time, definitely one of our best trips anywhere. We left not only having learned so much about the food and wine, but with new friends for life ! Cannot recommend this highly enough.
Reviewer: Thomas & Christine L.
I'd like to start by saying, this was the best vacation of our lives. The Relais Oasi Olimpia is a five star hotel with a four star rating. Every member of the staff was warm hearted and friendly, and totally dedicated to our needs and well being. The rooms were large and comfortable, especially compared to the so-called four star hotel we stayed at in Rome. Carmen Mazzola the general manager was extremely competent, resourceful, and accommodating. Whenever we made a request, or a scheduling change was necessary due to weather or some other reason, she handled all with speed and good nature, always exclaiming, "It's nothing!" when we thanked her. The cooking lessons with Marco the Chef were just what we had hoped them to be. Nothing too intense, (after all we were on vacation) but informative and easy to execute. I'm happy to say, Christine and I are quite competent now in producing a variety of delectable dishes we would be proud to serve anyone. Our boat tour to Positano was wonderful, our host Antonio piloted the boat to the picturesue little town, and later stopped at a cove where we swam in the Mediterranean and had an expertly prepared lunch. Our favorite tour was of the Mozzarella Factory, I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, don't miss it. Being Italian-American, this vacation awakened feelings in me long hidden. Personality traits that I have are prevalent in Southern Italy. I felt like I was among my own kind at last. I want to go back.
Reviewer: Katie P
I just wanted to let you know that Chris and I had a wonderful time at Chateau de Berne last week. Mayung took very good care of us as ourhostess, and Jean-Louis is great! And of course the location is absolutely beautiful, as you know. We were made to feel very welcome the whole time we were there. I'm a few months pregnant, and Mayung did a great job of juggling our schedule so that I got some rest when I needed it but we also managed to fit in a lot of activities (including a visit to the market, a winery tour and wine tasting and a visit to a local abbey as well as some shopping on our own).And the cooking lessons were very well done. Chris and I were the only students (and in truth, Chris was the only one really cooking with Jean-Louis -- my job was to take notes and pictures!), so it felt like a one-on-one tutorial. Jean-Louis is a patient teacher and he did a good job of explaining everything he was doing. As the week progressed, Chris took a more and more active role in the food preparation, and the hands-on approach was very educational too. Everyone at Chateau de Berne was warm and friendly, and they really did make us feel very welcome there. This program was Chris's birthday present (his 40th) and I'm very pleased with how well it worked out!
- This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
Pick up your rental car (we recommend from the Bordeaux airport or train station). Michele or Pascal will meet you to assist with your car rental, and you will then follow them to the Maison.
Welcome dinner this evening at the Maison.
After breakfast, Pascal will show you around his Château, a beautiful stone house that has watched over two centuries surrounded by 42 acres of rolling vines in an especially lovely Bordeaux landscape. Pascal will explain to you his way of making wine and take you through a tour of the vineyards. In his cellars, you will see the year’s wine, peek at the vats and barrels and share in the life at Bujan.
Lunch will be served at the Maison, in the garden or by the pool, weather permitting.
Bujan is open to you all afternoon. You can walk in the woods or the vineyard; you can look in on the work of the season outdoors or in the cellars. You can take a dip in the swimming pool, discover the banks of the estuary of the Gironde, or simply lie down with a good book!
Breakfast. Board the ferry that crosses the Gironde at Blaye with Michele and take the route des Chateaux.
All the dream Chateaux are here: Margaux, Latour, Mouton-Rothschild… You will visit one of the Chateaux, and if the Cellar Master is in good humor, he will entrust you with a few secrets while you savor the latest vintages.
You can continue the visit in the afternoon or head to Bordeaux for the return wine tour.
Around 7.00 p.m. your dinner will feature the Médoc wines and regional dishes such as cold cuts and Pauillac lamb.
After breakfast, we will head for Sauternes, one hour away by car.
In a small 25-acre property, you will discover the secrets of this golden wine. You will be shown the processes that make this wine so particular. During the tasting, you’ll discover that this sweet wine goes well with both salty and sweet appetizers.
In the afternoon, you’ll probably want to visit the magnificent chateaux and immerse yourself in their glorious past. Wandering through Sauternes’ country roads, you will make the surprising discoveries of Chateau Yquem, Chateau de Malle with its gardens, Chateau de la Brede where Montesquieu, the famous philosopher who wrote The Spirit of the Laws, lived.
Everyone meets again at 6.00 p.m. to prepare a meal together that will feature Sauternes wines: foie gras in all its forms, parsley seasoned cheeses, Auvergne blue cheese, Fourme d’Ambert or Roquefort, orange salad…
Around 9.00 a.m., we will set off for the outdoor market at Blaye. Blaye is a lovely town dominated by a 17th-century citadel, classified a world heritage site by UNESCO. We will buy some of the things we need for lunch.
Back at the Maison, we will cook and have lunch together.
Free afternoon and dinner on your own.
Saint Emilion has some of the oldest vineyards in the Bordeaux region. Surrounded by undulating valleys, the very “civilized” village has a distinctive and authentic charm. We will tour the property of a typical chateau of this renowned appellation.
After a look at the grounds, you will enter the heart of the Chateau, the cellar, where you will taste the wines that are made there.
The mediaeval village of Saint Emilion is worthy of all your attention and most probably all your afternoon. The site with its many monuments is remarkable. You will find craft and art shops to visit and some famous and enticing restaurants.
We will see you again at the Chateau Bujan around 7.00 p.m. We will recap this outing with the wines of Saint Emilion and the dishes that accompany them so well: roast duck, autumn game meat, gratin dauphinois, Saint Nectaire cheese, pears in spiced wine with soft macaroons (small almond cakes made only in St Emilion!).
Depending on your desires, we will take the ferry across the estuary and make our way to the Bassin d’Arcachon where we will spend the day, or we will visit the town of Bordeaux, which has been classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
If we visit the Basin the day will include where possible a visit of an oyster farm, lunch on your own beside the Basin on the Arcachon or Cap Ferret site, a climb of the Dune du Pyla or a walk in the pine forest, or perhaps an exploration of Arcachon. However, recent problems in the oyster farming trade might make the trip to Bordeaux more attractive.
Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful and distinctive cities in France, and well worth exploring.
Friday night’s dinner will give us the opportunity to taste again the wines that you preferred and to select, depending on the season, dishes that would best accompany the wines: roasts or stews, garden vegetables, tasty cheeses.
Breakfast and a reluctant farewell. We suggest a departure around 10:00 am.
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