Wine Tour in Lyon
A wine tour in Lyon is an absolute must! We booked with Rhone Trip for a morning visit to the vineyards. We were in an intimate group of 4 for our half day trip on Saturday morning starting at 9am. Julie collected us from Place Bellacour (very central) and we embarked on our journey to the Rhône Valley! From the outset, Julie was extremely personable and friendly and even brought us fresh local pastries for breakfast.
The Rhône district is split into the north and south. We visited two vineyards in the north which only make up 3% of the Rhône district! On the way to the vineyards, we stopped off at Côte-rôtie hill Belvedere to take in the amazing views and taste some grapes
Les Vins De Vienne
By 10am we had arrived at our first vineyard – Les Vins De Vienne. The name comes from a Roman City and the vineyard is only around 20 years old, the owners having planted a vineyard on the site of a Roman vineyard. The company is owned by three wine connoisseurs, Yves, Francois and Pierre. They say that “Our tastes may differ but we share the same philosophy about wine and all agree when it comes to quality. We have this desire to do things well, like a musical trio where each one plays his own score whilst playing for the group”. What a lovely motto to have!
We embarked on a tour to discover how the wine was produced by the vineyard and the different methods for white and red wine! I didn’t realise that the barrels could be oak, concrete or metal. The vineyard produces around 43 different wines and exports to USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand and the UK.
We sampled 6 different wines from the Croze-Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Cote-Rotie and Condrieu appellations, with one red coming from the Roman Vineyard (IGP Des Collines Rhodaniennes). Our favourite white wine was the JeanRaude from the Condrieu appellation made from 100% voignier grape. Red wine wise, we loved the Sotanum made from the Roman vineyard which is 100% syrah (as is all red wine from the Rhone valley) which was silky and smooth. Definitely the earliest I have drunk 6 glasses (small ones of course) of wine!
Vignobles Verzier Chante-Perdrix
Around 11.30 we travelled to a smaller family run vineyard which has been operating since 1988 – Vignobles Verzier Chante-Perdrix. Situated up on the hills, it offers amazing views of Lyon! Similarly to Les Vins De Vienne, we discovered this vineyard’s process for making both its red and white wine. Our favourite white wine was the Authentic, another voignier from the Condrieu appellation which was floral and citrus-y and our favourite red wine was the Indiscrete, which was powerful and full of dark fruits.
It if wasn’t for the pesky liquid allowances, we certainly would have been bringing back lots of wine from these vineyards!
Other wine facts!
Here are just a few snippets of what I learnt during my trip:
· The only grape for red wine from Northern Rhône is Syrah (Shiraz) and it is the types of soil that give the different taste to the wines
· The appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters. It is not the easiest to obtain!
· For large wine makers like Guigal and Chapoutier, their names were historical and still are signposted on their land. This is no longer permitted for newer wine makers.
· The grapes are manually harvested for 2-3 weeks. Around 15-30 people assist depending on the size of the winery
· The vineyards are on the slopes to get more sun and the soil is better (granite)
I would thoroughly recommend a wine tour in Lyon with Rhone Trip! Julie was so friendly and knowledgeable, we learnt (and tasted!) a lot and the whole tour was well run and organised. Now where can we find a good voignier in London…
East London Girl: Rhone Trip
Click Here to see where I stayed in Lyon