June 5-11, 2016

Join us for a week of ‘through the cellar door’ small winery domaines of the Central Loire Valley. Traveling the short distance from our Manoir location, we will enjoy up close and personal visits and tastings with local vintners as they discuss their wine making process and what makes them so proud! Relaxation, sight seeing and Gourmet food, awesome accommodations included!

Available for up to 11 Adventurers!

Day One—Sunday

We will meet you at the Chinon rail station in the early afternoon and transport you to your Manor home for the week.  Enjoy a meet-and-greet with homemade hors d’oeuvres and locally produced wines, followed by a tour of the Manoir. The manor house is surrounded by gardens and a walled vineyard. The owner, is a wine journalist and author, and has injected new life (bio-dynamic) into this forgotten gem of a vineyard, first established by the Capucins monks in 1604. The monastery was burnt down during the French Revolution. The house that now stands on the site is part 18th/part 19th Century. It has a warm family-house feel. Views from every window are exquisite, some straight out of a XVIIth century painting – lush countryside with the meandering river, vineyards, chateaux…. A five minute walk from the manor will lead you down a cobbled street lined with medieval to Renaissance buildings, and then onto the main square with a fountain and cafés of Chinon.  After the tour, relax on the front lawn overlooking the River Vienne and the medieval town or explore the estate until it is time for a welcome dinner.  (Dinner prepared by “chef” Walter)


Day Two—Monday

After breakfast, we will visit a local English-speaking wine expert and viticulturist couple Cathy and Nigel Henton of Le Tasting Room. The day begins with coffee and sweets, and includes a comprehensive tasting and lunch in the comfort of an old barrel cellar. Enjoy a tutored tasting of 6 wines reflecting the diversity of this great wine making region in the comfort of their 16th century tasting room.  They run through the basics of tasting technique, discuss the geography of the region and unravel the mysteries of French wine labeling. Relax in the garden with an aperitif before moving into the cellar for a delicious home-made 3 course lunch with wine in their old barrel maturation cellar beneath the house.  Indulge in a selection of dishes creatively prepared using local ingredients sourced from their neighboring potager or village garden, and herbs from their garden. After lunch we drive to one of the many famous appellations and visit a winery where you’ll have the chance to taste a range of wines, stroll around the vineyards and buy wine at cellar door prices.  Dinner at the Manor. (Breakfast/Gourmet Lunch/Dinner included)


Day Three—Tuesday

Morning breakfast at the Manor. We then drive through the French countryside of the Loire, via the Loire River, where we will enjoy a gourmet picnic on the river Vienne in the town of Candes-Saint-Martin.  A fortified collegiale church and the chapel Saint Martin dominates the village. The church was built in the 12th century, although much of the decoration was added three centuries later. It is especially known for the many statues that decorate its facade, and for the stained glass windows tracing the story of the relics of Saint Martin. The main village lies between the church and the Vienne River, and has an attractive old center with some pretty streets and houses to explore and admire. Built in the lovely white stone of the area and with grey slate roofs the slightly austere look is softened by the fine detail given to some of the stonework and the plants springing up from every available spare bit of ground.  Above the village there are some troglodyte cave dwellings set in the cliff.  We will then continue on to our destination of Angers, capital of the ancient province of Anjou. You will have the opportunity to explore the city of Angers on your own. Highlights include great shopping, eateries, and the beautiful Castle, home of the Fourteenth Century Apocalypse Tapestry, the largest tapestry in the world. Don’t miss a great opportunity for gift-shopping. Dinner in Angers restaurant.  (Breakfast/ Gourmet Picnic Lunch included)


Day Four—Wednesday

Awake rested and ready to go. We will enjoy breakfast and head to the village of Beaumont-en-Veron, in the appellation of Chinon.  You are invited to discover wines of different styles produced on different soils in the Véron. You will be able to taste a selection of wines made by their 26 winemakers. The region of the Véron nestles at the place where the Rivers Loire and Vienne join up almost forming an island in the heart of Parc Naturel Régional. This micro region distinguishes itself with the richness of its soils for growing vines and with its exceptional natural landscapes. It is part of UNESCO world heritage.  Regular flooding of this area due to the water of the Vienne that is pushed back by the Loire has meant that the local inhabitants, also known as Bedouins due to their Saracen origins, have built their homes over the centuries on mounds of earth and limestone islands.  Here we will meet a local wine representative, sample the local wines, then tour a vineyard.  We then journey the short distance to our home town of beautiful Chinon, famous for the legend of Joan of Arc. Dinner in Chinon at a local restaurant (Breakfast/Lunch included)


Day Five—Thursday

After breakfast, we will get an early morning start to the town market of Chinon to shop for the freshest ingredients for tonight’s dinner prepared by Walter, lend a hand if you like!  Roam around the typical French Market (English widely spoken).  Lunch on your own in town, perhaps a freshly made gallette at a market stand, or buy local cheeses, olives, sausage and fruits (and wine!) and walk across the street to the Vienne river for your own personal picnic. Discover Chinon, shop at the market or in town or just relax by the river.  Then head back to the Manor for a relaxing afternoon and tour of our host’s own vineyard and winery (Breakfast/Dinner included)


Day Six—Friday

A personally guided day in the Anjou countryside with Nigel and Cathy Henton of Le Tasting Room.  Anjou is home to some of the Loire’s finest elegant dry whites and also top quality sweet wines, both from the Chenin Blanc grape. We’ll walk around the rolling hillsides of Anjou and discover some of the Loire’s best kept secrets. Head off out into the vineyards of the Layon valley, walk in the vines and enjoy the spectacular views over the vineyards stretching for miles and miles.  Les Treilles, a unique vineyard owned by renowned producer Pithon-Paillé is perched high above the Layon river.  A protected site that is farmed organically, the vineyard  provides grapes for the elegant dry Chenin Blanc Les Treilles as well as the delicious sweet wine Belargus (named after the tiny rare blue butterfly of the same name that has its home here).  We’ll climb up to the top of the vineyard and appreciate its unique terroir before enjoying a tasting at the winery afterwards.  Lunch will be in the tiny vineyard village of Savennières, home to some of the most famous white wines of the Loire.  Le Chenin, the tiny village restaurant serves as local bar, post office and restaurant and here we’ll enjoy a 3 course lunch before heading back off into the vineyards of Anjou to meet another well known organic producer Patrick Baudouin who produces a wonderful range of wines in Anjou.  There will be something for everyone as both the producers also make fabulous red wines too from the Cabernet Franc grape.  Dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast/Lunch included)


Day Seven—Saturday

Breakfast at the Manoir, then transportation to Chinon train station for your return home (or your next destination).(Breakfast)


2016 Adventure

$3600 pp single occupancy

$3450 pp double occupancy

  • The Adventure cost covers rail by high speed TGV train originating at CDG airport to and from Chinon station, ground transfers to and from the Chinon rail station, daily ground transportation by air conditioned van, all breakfasts, most lunches and most dinners, accommodations and wine and soft beverages with meals at our accommodations.  

  • Tour cost is included.

  • Airfare is not included.  

  • Airport meet and escort by host is available for additional fee of $500 per group.  

  • Travel Insurance is HIGHLY recommended.  

  • Nonrefundable deposit of $750 pp due upon booking.