We didn’t know what to expect. Or
rather we knew it would be a high quality, interesting, friendly, well-informed
week in our favourite part of France.
But we have never been wine-tasting, were wary of wine snobbery,
reluctant to spit out a good mouthful of a stunning wine but can’t imagine good
food without good wine. And then, what
would our companions be like? We weren’t
worried - just conscious we were entering a week of novelty.
So we threw ourselves into
Jean-Michel’s life and it was wonderful.
He is a delightful host, chauffeur, steeped in this territory (we met
his mother in the market) and clearly an expert recognised by the domains we
visited. He had found a beautiful house
for us to stay in – with a pool (for the next trip perhaps). Huge variety – one day a barbecue tasting the
wine made by one man working on his own; he had bottled his annual 8,000
bottles the day before. Next, a smart,
international, but still hand-made, domain, bottling 9 million bottles a year
with a very elegant restaurant. Lunch
overlooking the blue Mediterranean; then in the St Chinian mountains. Stunning food, from foie gras lollipops to a
picnic amongst the vines, with hampers, tables, and wine tasting. And so it went on.
It was the best holiday we have
ever had – and we are thinking we might go again. Our companions were great, knowledgeable and
ready to make the whole trip fun.
Jean-Michel is a star – a man of
energy, style and determined that we would enjoy the food and wine of his
Jean-Michel's Languedoc Wine Tours really work as food/wine
and holiday package. They offer the chance to sample the food and wine of the
region with a range and a connection that would be difficult to achieve in any
other way. The learning and the living is easy, but one really gets a real feel
for the culture of the local cuisines and viticulture from local producers and
restaurants. Throw in the varied and
beautiful towns and countryside, Jean-Michel’s knowledge of his home patch and
some relaxed company, and it is hard to
think of a better way to spend a few days really raising the spirits. A real joie de vivre experience.
As a bespoke wine and food tour, this could not have been bettered. The range of experiences showed the Languedoc at its autumnal best (September 2014). The food and wine varied between very good and excellent! Jean-Michel even managed to arrange a very memorable sheet lightning storm above his home village of Combret sur Rance.
Just brilliant. Where else can you be chauffeured around the country and all you have to worry about is "Do I want red wine or white" and "OMG not another course. That must be six now". Seriously, a superb one week break made all the more enjoyable by the fact that you didn't need to think about anything. The organisation is excellent and the variation in eating and drinking gives a real flavour of Languedoc living. One warning. Unless you have an unbelievable constitution don't go for longer than a week or be prepared to do a serious diet!
Jean Michel's tour of the Languedoc was the most wonderful experience. From the beautiful accommodation, to the delicious food and wine, I was consistently blown away. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves to travel, discover new wine or taste incredible food. The best holiday I have ever had!