Established more than two hundred years ago in the Rhône Valley, Maison M. Chapoutier produces the greatest wines.
Since 2009 Chapoutier’s very own École des Vins has been running wine courses, with the tasting workshops intended for the general public, focusing on carefully-chosen, fun themes. Top picks are Wine and Chocolate in partnership with Valrhona (the premium chocolate manufacturer); Wine and Cheeses with the backing of a local cheese merchant; and the best-selling Wines and BBQs, which could be pretty useful with summer on the horizon. Having said that, what we’d really recommend in your case (without wanting to over-inflate your ego) is the monthly workshop. These sessions, which are longer and aimed at a higher level, are based on scrutinising regions, such as Rhône and Burgundy, or reflecting on more advanced subjects, such as the day devoted to Wine and the Sea. In any case, the workshops always start with a tasting in the company of the sommelier (and, depending on the theme, a lecture by an expert), followed by lunch with suitable pairings of food and wine at the M. Chapoutier’s table d’hôte, finishing off with a tour of the Hermitage vine plots.
Vineum Jaboulet: Based in the town of Tain L’Hermitage on Place du Taurobole, this is a wine cellar and bar as well as being the restaurant of the Domaines Paul Jaboulet Ainé. Expect fresh, seasonal and local products with old-fashioned cooking and traditional dishes revisited by the chef or a casserole dish of the week. It’s a tasty little number, Vineum Jaboulet.
Hôtel de la Villéon: In Tournon-sur-Rhône, opposite Tain l’Hermitage on the other bank of the Rhône. This charming, four-star hotel is a listed building dating back to the eighteenth century. It has 12 luxurious rooms and four suites. The setting is romantic, the decoration a mix of tradition and modernity. The services are high-end, and there is a bar and tasting cellar, not to mention hanging gardens with fine views over the Hermitage vineyards.
18, av Dr Paul Durand, B.P.38, 26601 Tain, France
Tél : 0 475 082 865