Trip to the Rhone River, Chapoutier Vineyards and Paul Bocuse

August 2, 2008

Following last year’s successful trip to Alsace (Strasbourg and the Route du Vin), the Wessex bailliage organised a trip to the Rhone River and Chapoutier Vineyards, followed by Dinner in the famous Michelin 3-star restaurant Paul Bocuse in Lyon: 2-5 August.

On 1 August a group of about 20 members from the Bailliages of Wessex, Cotswolds and Bonita Springs, Florida, flew to Marseille to start a journey by boat through this legendary winegrowing area.

The first evening, the party enjoyed dinner at the Michelin-starred Péron restaurant on the cliffs of the Corniche looking out over the Mediterranean to Chateau d’If.

The following evening, after dinner on board MS Camargue and a welcome from the Chapoutier staff, we joined 30 other wine enthusiasts including vineyard staff and owners from Europe, Australia and the US as the journey north began.

Each day was full of tutorials of wines from all Chapoutier vineyards, visits to vineyards and small towns en route, plus a matching of different wines with each course at both lunch and dinner – about 20 wines different wines each day.

At Chateau d’Estubiers we had a wonderful barbeque at the winery, at Hermitage an introduction to Bio-dynamics and walks through the famous vineyards – La Pavillon, Le Meal and Ermitage, etc., including a climb by the enthusiasts to the Chapel at the top of the Hermitage hill! The reputation of the Chaîne was maintained by winning the blind tasting on the last day. A final treat from our hosts, the marvellous 1998 Côte Rôtie La Mordorée with our lunch!

We disembarked on the afternoon of 5 August in Lyon – which the Burgundians claim is the gastronomique heart of France. Our final evening was dinner at the great Paul Bocuse Restaurant – one of only two restaurants worldwide to have held three Michelin stars for forty years.

A warm welcome from Madame Bocuse, then we settled into the Salle Ferdinand Point for a stunning private dinner – what skillful cooking and superb service. The evening will live long in our memories.

Download the Paul Bocuse Dinner menu (PDF 192KB)

This event is from the Wessex Bailliage, see more Wessex Events.