In the Rhône Valley, meet an American who fell in love with France 25 years ago, the wine expert or sommelier Kelly McAuliffe, who introduces you to the diversity of the vineyards. One of the highlights of his wine tours is meeting the winemakers, showcasing the unique experiences they provide.
What’s special about your wine tours?
I offer a variety of wine tours covering the vineyards of the whole Rhône Valley, an incredible mosaic of wine areas. These circuits are always tailored to the precise needs of the client, be they wine professional or tourist. In the Gard region, I love to introduce people to the Tavel and Lirac wines, but also to Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau and Séguret, from closer to the Vaucluse region, not forgetting the wines of the Luberon and Ventoux. All these little villages are part of the areas and official wine districts of the Rhône, which I love to travel through. Each time, I explain the history of the vineyards, the wine districts, the wine varieties, and the incredible diversity, not to mention organizing meetings with the winemakers, which is always a unique experience.
What do you like the best?
I particularly like to go to the Côté des Dentelles de Montmirail, at Gigondas, in the Vaucluse region, and wander through the charming lanes of the medieval village of Séguret, one of the most beautiful villages in France. At the end of the day, you can admire the stunning sunsets.
You were the sommelier (wine expert) at Ducasse and Christian Étienne. What are your preferred combinations of food and wine?
A Gigondas red with lamb. The fatty taste of the lamb combines wonderfully with the tannin taste of this Côtes-du-Rhône wine. Or a Côte-Rôtie red with a slice of foie gras pâté and pigeon accompanied by a chicken sauce with a touch of ... liquorice.
Can you describe the Rhône wines in a few words?
Full-bodied and authentic, because they are real wines, made in vineyards which have retained their human dimension. And finally their diversity, because this is what makes the wines of the Rhône Valley so rich.
Kelly McAuliffe Wine Tours
11, rue Candau
30133 Les Angles
Phone: +33 (0)6 22 54 23 35