Eat, Drink, and be Merry in the Gers
Nov.15-20, 2023 SOLD OUT
These are small group tours for no more than 6 people.
Since the 14th century Gascony has been producing France’s oldest brandy, Armagnac, a lusty yet remarkably elegant spirit. involving a copper still, an alambic, invented by the Jabir Ibn Hayyan, considered the Arab father of chemistry. No additives are permitted at any stage from grape to bottle, making it the most natural brandy in France. Its grapes are grown in three distinct areas— Haut-Armagnac, Ténarèze and Bas-Armagnac. Our tour will focus on the Bas Armagnac region, considered by connoisseurs to produce the best Armagnac in Gascony.
From the middle of September to the end of October grapes are harvested, crushed, and placed into stainless steel or wood vats to ferment. Once the fermentation is complete, distllation begins and our Armagnac Adventure is underway..
Following your arrival at Blagnac airport in Toulouse we will drive through an unspoiled paradise into one of the most rural, least industrialized corners in France that boasts the purest air and longest living population. Your accommodations in the Gers is the charming Les Bruhasses, a beautifully restored 18th century chateau surrounded by vineyards and forests.Once settled you’ll enjoy aperitifs in the salon and tour the grounds. A fabulous farm-to -dinner table meal will be provided in the evening and you’ll be able to sample some of Chateau Millet’s armagnac which has been produced at their estate for over 5 generations.
After breakfast we will be joined by oenologue Tom Fiorina, who will accompany us to two of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – Fourcès, the smallest, round medieval village and Larressingle, a fortified village considered a petite Carcassonne.We’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch below the 13th century ramparts at the Auberge de Larressingle.
After lunch we’ll drive to Armagnac Duffau, run by two very affable brothers, Gérard and Roland, who produce outstanding, unblended Armagnac. For those with a hearty appetite we’ll dine by the fireplace at the highly rated Henri IV restaurant in Eauze.
We’ll set off for the farmers’ market in Lectoure, a lovely hilltop village, originally a Celtic stronghold. We’ll have lunch at Racine, a fabulous new restaurant that offers a delicious twist on contemporary cuisine de terroir. Afterwards we’ll drive to Domaine de Lagajan, a family-run Armagnac estate for 11 generations who labor for 7 days and nights without stopping to create their eau de vie, using a wood-fired distillation process.
After the previous evening’s festivities, we will have a relaxing day. We’ll visit the Abbaye de Flaran, a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1151, situated along the banks of the Baïse River.This substantial complex is now a cultural center, and houses a collection of Saint Jacques de Compostelle pottery and relics, as well as a small collection of artwork from Manet to Cézanne, within its beautifully restored buildings. We’ll have lunch at the Ferme de Flaran just Outside the abbey or the Auberge de Larressingle.
6 days, 5 nights
$1,975.00 per person