Wine Tour experience trip for 3 days and 2 nights with vintage VW Combi transport on day 3
The Jurançon vineyards extend over 1200 hectares on the hills facing the Pyrenees Mountains. They produce both the traditional sweet white wine, full of character and ideal as an aperitif, as well as dry white wines to rival the better-known grape varieties. Thanks to a marriage between both ocean and mountain climates and the balmy Indian Summers of the Béarn, with gentle southerly winds, the grapes are provided with the ideal climatic conditions in which to grow and ripen.
The grape varieties of both Petit and Gros Manseng give full fruit flavours, and carry the taste of the terroir, the nobility of the land that is cultivated here with passion.
Jurançon wine is famous in France for its history and heritage. The wines have been celebrated since the middle ages, and it is claimed that Jurançon wine appellation was in force as long ago as the late 14th Century. The best vineyard areas were identified and developed by the House of Navarre in the sixteenth century and Jurançon began to game fame.
This fame was helped by the seigneur de Navarre, Henri d’Albret, who at the baptism of his son, the future King Henry IV of France, was said to have rubbed the child’s lips with garlic and moistened them with Jurançon. This tradition, said to give strength, health and good character was perpetuated in the House of France, forming part of every royal baptism from then on.
In the Jurançon you won’t find the big chateaux of elsewhere, but ‘Domaines’. Here our vignerons, both men and women, lovingly cultivate small parcels of land, nestled in the slopes, surrounded by stunning vistas.
Lovers of good wine, come and seek out the flavours of the Jurançon! Discover the secrets of these wonderful wines, be welcomed to the Domaines by passionate winemakers and, of course, enjoy the opportunity to taste their wines.
You will stay in characterful accommodation and benefit not only from the discovery of the wines, but from a stay that will allow you to profit from the legendary ‘gastronomie francaise’ in the heart of this little known and historic gem in South West France.
Day 1 Discovering the ‘Terroir’
9h30: Welcome meeting with the professionals at the Tourist Office in Monein, the centre of Jurançon wine production. These knowledgeable experts, specialists in all there is to know about their region, will welcome you, together with a bilingual guide. From here you will be accompanied to your accommodation, if required. The guided tour, via car or mini-bus, will begin.
10h30: Visit and tasting at ‘La Maison des Vins et du terroir du Jurançon’ in Lacommande, followed by a visit to the village and its historic monuments.
Presentation on the Appellation and an introduction to the wines of the Jurançon.
In 1986, 60 independent producers came together to create the ‘Route des Jurançon’ and the ‘Maison des Vins’ in order to better showcase their knowledge and passion for their wine. 150 Jurançon wines are now represented at the ‘Maison des Vins’.
The ‘Maison des Vins’ is situated in the village of Lacommande. Founded at the beginning of the 12th Century by Gaston IV ‘le Croisé, La Commanderie is one of very few examples of such buildings still standing. It, along with the ancient church of St Blaise, decorated with remarkable Romanesque sculptures, are both classified as Historic Monuments. The cemetery contains circular funeral stones from the 17 and 18th centuries.
The Commanderie was a resting point for pilgrims on the Santiago de Compostela route and a visit here will help you to comprehend the history of the terroir and its region.
12h30: Lunch in restaurant, featuring local produce
Guided vineyard tours:
15h: Visit and tasting at a Domaine
17h: Visit and tasting at a Domaine
18h30: Return to your accommodation for dinner and an evening at your leisure.
DAY 2 Meeting with the vignerons of the Jurançon
Guests will be collected from their accommodation by their bilingual guide and set out for a day of tasting and exploration amongst the vines.
10h: Monein, l’Eglise de Saint Girons
No trip to the Jurançon would be complete without a visit to this magnificent church, standing in the heart of the centre of the appellations main growing region.
The largest Gothic church in the Béarn, St Girons is crowned by its huge slate roof, a feature unique in France. The enormous structure, more than 50m long, is made from a double oak frame, supported by an astonishing superposition of Saint Andrew crosses, aligned vertically one above the other, up to the top of the church. As popular a draw for tourists as for architecture and history buffs, it is often enhanced by a ‘son et lumiere’.
11h30: Visit and tasting at a Domaine
12h: Lunch in restaurant, featuring local produce
15h: Visit and tasting
17h: Visit and tasting
18h30: Return to your accommodation.
20h: Transport via taxi to a local restaurant chosen for you for a ‘Diner Gastronomique’ (return to accommodation approximately 11pm)
Day 3 Pau; Capital of the Béarn
10h: Leave Monein in a chauffeur driven vintage VW Combi
10h30: Treasure hunt and wine tasting at a Jurancon Domaine
12h: Meet with your bilingual guide in the centre of Pau for an afternoon discovering this historic City.
From medieval charm to the magnificence of the Renaissance, from the imprint of the Romantics to the first tourists in what became known as ‘la ville anglaise’, Pau, the vibrant departmental capital, still reflects all facets of its past.
12:30: Lunch at a restaurant, featuring local produce in Pau
14:30: Visit to the Chateau de Pau
An emblematic monument of the city, the Chateau of Pau was in turn home to the viscounts of the Béarn, a fortified castle under Gaston Febus and a royal residence during the Renaissance. It is perhaps best known as the birthplace in 1553 of Henri IV, king of France and Navarre. His baptism was an important occasion in the history of Jurançon wine.
Now transformed into a national museum, this majestic building, classified a Historic Monument, holds an impressive collection of Flanders and Gobelin tapestries from the 16th to 18th centuries.
16:30: Your guided visit will end here to allow you time to explore the historic town at your leisure, to take in the architecture and the views, and perhaps a little shopping before you make your way home.
NB Timings can be adapted to suit arrival and departure times of the guests.
The stay includes:-
2 nights with breakfast in charming accommodation
A welcome gift
1 meal at your accommodation
3 lunches at a local restaurant, featuring local produce
1 gourmet dinner
7 visits and tastings to different Jurançon Domaines
Guided tours in English
Guides and transportation, as itemised in the program