from France to Spain
This trip begins in the ancient walled city of Carcassonne, heads east toward the Mediterranean, then follows the coast into Catalan territory, where we'll leave you in the vibrant city of Barcelona. As you can imagine, this will be a mountains meets the sea culinary and vineyard tour, including tapas, lively rosé from the Mediterranean, the famous tieilles of Sete, fish on a plank, and a smattering of olive oil producers to keep things healthy.
You'll meet seven unique wine personalities, from the exuberant young upstart to the nutty professor-type. Yes, we'll keep you busy eating, drinking, and hiking, yet there will be plenty of free time to explore small villages, walk on the beach, do some shopping, or relax by the pool and read a book. Two optional baking classes will round out the fun.
Savor the fall sunshine and beginnings of the fall color that October brings. Stock up on warm memories for the winter to come!
Where we'll go:
We'll be following some ancient footsteps, from Cathar ruins to the Santiago trail. Along the way, you'll traverse the terraced hillside vineyards of Collioure and Banyuls, stroll the pedestrian alleyways of Girona, and visit the most charming seaside village imaginable. Market forays into the lesser-known cities of Vic and Narbonne will fuel our bellies and our brains. To top it all off, we'll finish amidst the bustle and architectural wonders of Barcelona.
Who we'll meet:
We'll meet 6-7 winemakers, some on hidden farms that may never make their way into guidebooks, taste their wines right in their vineyards, and maybe even ask if we can get our hands dirty disgorging Cava. Personalities we'll encounter range from the ex-rugby player who views running his restaurant as a contact sport to a winemaking duo that met in their teens playing soccer.
What we'll eat and drink:
With a broad expanse of cultural and historical influences, the culinary and viticultural leanings of this trip tend toward the bold and exciting. Think spices, fresh seafood, slow-roasted tomato-based sauces, and a myriad of sausages, all begging to be washed down with bright and quirky whites, luscious rosé, and teeth-staining, rustic red wines.
Be the end of the trip, you'll have tasted an amazing array of wines - young, old, sparkling, sweet, and fortified. This corner of Europe has it all. A winemaker in Montsant will cook paella for us in his wood-fired oven, we'll picnic among the pines of Terra Remota, and lunch at Chez Babel, smack-dab in the middle of the Narbonne market.