Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adventures in Provence Food and Wine

The "refined-rustic" Crillon Le Brave  is one of the loveliest hotels in Provence. It's also one of the foodiest, offering a number of culinary and wine-themed experiences throughout the year. Here are the next three, coming up soon. 

The Vendange Package will be offered two different weekends, Sept 16-19 and Sept 30-Oct 3. It lets you participate in the annual wine-grape harvest, with three nights accommodation, breakfast and dinner each day, and two half days of harvest activity at the Château Pesquie vineyard, where grape cultivation dates to the 14th century. With the vineyard's owner as your guide, you'll learn all about grape varietals and the wine making process...and do plenty of tasting of course.

In October, the hotel's well-known five-day six-night Cooking in Provence Program (Oct 17-23rd) will give you a crash course in the culture and cuisine of the region. You'll work in the kitchen with head chef Philippe Monti, then head out to visit village markets and meet local farmers, winemakers, food purveyors and more.

The hotel's Truffle and Wine Weekend, offered three times in October and November,  is a fantastic opportunity to join one of Provence’s great
truffiers as he sniffs out the black Périgord truffle known as the "black diamond." A truffle cooking demo is included, as is a visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a tour and tasting and the option of squeezing in a visit to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for antique shopping. This three-night, Thursday to Sunday package is offered Oct 28-31, Nov 11-14 and Nov 25-28.  

Located at the top of a hill  with commanding views over the countryside, the 32-room Crillon Le Brave, a Relais & Chateaux,  is comprised of a collection of old village houses linked together by cobbled streets. It's located 25 miles northeast of Avignon and 75 minutes from the Marseille Airport, which is served by BA, EasyJet, Ryanair,  Flybe and a number of other carriers. For more info or reservations: (0)4 90 65 61 61.


  1. Hi Julie ~ they all sound fabulous but the "Cooking food from the region" would be the one I would choose. I stayed in the nearby village of Caromb the end of last year and walked from there to Crillion-le-Brave-via Moderne ~ a delightful walk through vine-yards and wonderful views then the only place open for a cafe-creme was the hotel ~ great memories!

  2. Hey, Julie. That's great information. We stayed at Crillon a few years ago at the very end of December and found it lovely at that time of year, too.

  3. Julie, you make us all dream! Thanks for the "nudge" I needed.

  4. Paying to do the Vandage? Les paysans must be having a good old laugh into their chapeaux. We used to do it as students to get cash to suplement our grants (in the good old days that was.....)

  5. They all sound wonderful..I'd pick the cooking in Provence program. So much to learn & an absolutely lovely setting to do it in. Thanks for sharing..saving my Euros for a stay at the Crillon someday..

  6. What a wonderful post! Practical and gorgeous, i.e. perfect.
    Nice to have stopped by here again; it'd been far too long.
    Take care,

  7. Fabulous info as always, Julie! I am sending your blog on to all our Provence Perfectly Tour clients and potential clients. It is a must read for everyone considering a trip to beautiful Provence! You are a gem!