Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 study trips won't be operating. Study trips will resume as soon as the situation allows. Thank you for your loyalty to the Wine Scholar Guild Study Trips, and please stay in good health!
Embark on our 2020 Piedmont Study Tour with on site professional-level instruction!
Embark on our 2020 Rhône Valley Study Trip with professional-level instruction on site coupled with a certificate program!
Rhône Wine Tour and Study Trip Highlights:
Traveling to the Rhone Valley is rather like touring two regions for the price of one! The narrow, cooler slopes of the Northern Rhone with its famous Hermitage and Côte Rôtie appellations produce some of the most sublime Syrah wines in the world, while the vaster and warmer Southern Rhone offers up the great Grenache blends of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine and other rich wine appellations.
- Discover this remarkable Rhone wine region with your instructor Andrew Jefford, the multi-award-winning writer for Decanter and World of Fine Wine magazines, recently appointed overall Academic Advisor for Wine Scholar Guild
- Visit the most renowned estates of the Northern and Southern Rhone. Tour the stunning vineyard sites with winegrowers for a detailed and precise study of the unique terroirs of appellations such as Condrieu, Côte Rôtie, Hermitage or Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
- Meet the winemakers and enjoy extensive insider tastings of some of the best Rhone wines. Experience the depth and exceptional quality of these seductive yet not always well-known Syrah, Viognier or Grenache-based wines.
- Lunch and dine in the region's best restaurants and enjoy tasting Rhone wines in a gastronomic setting, perfectly paired with creative local cuisine.
Travel with a group of wine students who are serious about wine, either as wine professionals or committed wine lovers. Share an educational, epicurean and unforgettable experience while acquiring extensive first-hand knowledge of Rhone Valley wines. Trips are open to people from all countries, and are held in English.
Your Tour Instructor & Guide: Andrew Jefford
- Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor
- Award-Winning wine journalist for Decanter Magazine
- Featured presenter for Decanter Education's masterclasses
- Author of twelve books on wine including The New France
He went above and beyond with a serious and significant effort to enhance the learning value of the study trip through his daily talks on the bus, his commentary on the visits, his portable reference library and his impeccable follow through on every single question that came up"
Enjoyed Andrew’s lectures and accounts which had no wasted words, precise and insightful. He is a true professional and up-to-date scholar (rare) whose precise explanation was very helpful"
Andrew Jefford was gracious, charming, knowledgeable and dedicated. I would love to do future tours with Andrew as leader."
Your Tour Manager: Mary Kirk
Assisting the instructor and making sure logistics run smoothly and that your needs are answered will be Mary Kirk, Sommelière-Conseil. Mary has been leading wine tours in France for over 10 years, and teaches wine in the Paris area. A graduate of France’s Université du Vin, she has earned the prestigious degree of Sommelier-conseil.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18
- Participants arrive independently in Lyon at 4-star Hotel Mercure Lyon Centre Gare Part Dieu, ideally located next to the main Lyon train station in the center of Lyon.
- Take the evening to explore this beautiful city with our suggestions for great restaurants.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 19 - CÔTE RÔTIE, CONDRIEU | B,L,D
- On your way to the vineyards, Andrew will review the main features of the Northern Rhône wine region.
- Enjoy an extensive tasting and walk in the vineyards at Maison E. Guigal.
- Lunch in Condrieu at the elegant restaurant Beau Rivage overlooking the Rhône River.
- Taste at a top producer of Côte Rôtie like Domaine Ogier, Rostaing or Gerin
- In Condrieu, visit a great winemaker like Yves Cuilleron or Georges Vernay.
- Check into your 4-star hotel in the center of Tain l’Hermitage, Fac & Spera Hotel & Spa.
- Your gastronomic welcome dinner is at the great Le MangeVins restaurant in Tain.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20 - CONDRIEU, CROZES HERMITAGE, HERMITAGE, ST. JOSEPH | B
- Start the day with a visit and tasting at highly rated Domaine François Villard.
- Visit two top producers in Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage like Domaine Combier or Domaine du Colombier.
- Lunch on your own in Tain l’Hermitage with our restaurant suggestions.
- Visit La Cave de Tain l'Hermitage, including a tour of different terroirs of the Hermitage Hill and a comparative tasting of their Northern Rhône wines.
- The evening is yours to enjoy Tain and dine on your own, with our restaurant suggestions.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21 - CdR VILLAGES, CAIRANNE, GIGONDAS, VACQUEYRAS | B, L
- Travel to the Southern Rhône Valley and visit the most prestigious of the Côtes du Rhône named villages, Cairanne, at great producer Domaine Brusset.
- Gourmet lunch at one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the area, Côteaux et Fourchettes.
- In the cru village of Gigondas, enjoy a vineyard walk with a discussion of the geology of this key
appellation with famed winemaker Louis Barruol. Then join Louis for a tour and tasting at his
estate, Chateau de Saint Cosme.
- In the Vacqueyras appellation, visit and taste at Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux or Domaine Les Amouriers.
- Check in to 4-star Hotel Mercure Pont d’Avignon Centre, centrally located in the walled historic district.
- Dinner on your own in Avignon, with our suggestions for great restaurants.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22 - TAVEL, LIRAC, COTE DU RHONE VILLAGES | B, L, D
- Walk to the Inter-Rhône Maison des Vins and explore the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations with a presentation and comparative tasting.
- Head to the vineyards of the Right Bank and enjoy a gastronomic lunch at beautiful Michelin 1-star countryside restaurant Entre Vigne et Garrigue.
- Explore the terroir and wines of the Right Bank in Tavel and Lirac at great estates Domaine de la Mordorée and Chateau de Montfaucon.
- Your farewell dinner will be a special treat at one of Avignon’s top restaurants, La Mirande. You’ll dine in the private and intimate atmosphere of their 19th century kitchens, where you’ll meet and talk with the chef and then enjoy a special dinner matched with great wines of the region.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 - CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE | B, L
- Begin your exploration of Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a visit and tasting at a legendary estate like Chateau de Beaucastel or Vieux Télégraphe.
- Enjoy a special grouped tasting and luncheon with winemakers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Tavel at restaurant Le Verger des Papes.
- See the remains of the Pope’s summer palace on the village’s highest hill and enjoy the amazing views over the vineyards.
- The afternoon holds another tasting at a great Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer like Domaine de la Janasse or Domaine Usseglio.
- Late afternoon, transfer to Avignon TGV station.
Legend for meals included in your tour: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
* Itinerary subject to change: every effort will be made to keep the itinerary as close as possible to what appears here; however, the final itinerary and estates/winemakers included may vary due to wine producer schedules, availability and factors beyond our control. The wine estates visited during this trip will all be of the highest quality.
Your 6 Day, 5 Night Rhône Valley Immersion Study Trip includes:
- Instruction throughout by renowned wine columnist for Decanter Magazine, Andrew Jefford
- Services of a Tour Manager throughout, to provide customer service and logistics support
- The complete Rhône Master Level Wine Scholar Guild online course, including the written manual, online webinars and online exam
- Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach transportation throughout, with bottled water on-board
- 1 night at 4-Star Hotel Mercure Lyon Centre – Gare Part Dieu in Lyon, double occupancy
- 2 nights at 4-Star Fac & Spera Hotel & Spa in Tain l’Hermitage, double occupancy
- 2 nights at 4-Star Hotel Mercure Pont d’Avignon Centre in Avignon, double occupancy
- 3 gourmet lunches with fine local wines, including one at a Michelin 1-star restaurant, expertly matched with top-quality wines of the region
- Special grouped tasting and gourmet lunch with winemakers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Tavel
- 2 gastronomic dinners, expertly matched with top-quality wines of the region
- 5 buffet breakfasts
- All professional-level tours and extensive tastings at top-quality wine producers
- All hotel and other taxes, and gratuities for included restaurants
Price per person, double occupancy: US $ 4,690.00
Enrolled Student Price per person, double occupancy: US $ 4,395.00
(Enrolled Student Price is for registrants already fully or partially enrolled in the Rhône Master-Level program**)
Single Supplement: US $ 295.00
Deposit upon reservation: US $ 1000.00 per person, per trip
Get US$ 150 off each additional trip you take! ***
NOTE: There are a limited number of twin rooms available (2 single beds). Please let us know if you’d like to share a twin room with another participant to avoid the single supplement and pay the double occupancy price instead.
**The Enrolled Study Price applies to those currently studying in the Rhône Master-Level program or who have completed it. Full registration in the Rhône Master-Level program means students who have previously ordered the Rhône Master-Level study manual, exam registration and online study program.
***After you have reserved your first study trip in 2020 you will receive a discount of US $150 for each additional study trip you take in the same calendar year. This discount will be deducted from the final balance payment for each additional study trip. You must pay for the first study trip in full to be eligible to receive the discount for additional study trips.
Space is limited to 18 participants, so reserve your space today!
Check out the exclusive wine tastings and prestigious Rhône valley producers from our past Rhône wine tours
The Rhône is France’s second largest producer of AOC wines (after Bordeaux). Its viticultural history dates back to the Romans who sculpted its terraced topography and introduced the vine.
The river itself links to the Rhine, Seine and Loire through a network of canals and waterways effectively connecting the Mediterranean with the rest of northern Europe. As a principal trade route, this region has long been the cultural nexus between Burgundy and the colder climes to the north and Provence and the warmer regions to the south. Come feel the wind and sun!
In the Rhône, a continental climate meets up with a Mediterranean one and this collision of north and south finds manifest expression in the local food culture. Lyon is the culinary heart of France. Here the cuisine au beurre (butter) mixes with the cuisine à l’huile (olive oil). There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in this French city than in any other (outside of Paris)! Taste what people are talking about!
It is in the Rhône where east also meets west. The granite and schist of the Massif Central (west) collide with the sedimentary soils of the Alps and its foothills (east). Touch it!
The wines of this region are as powerful as the geology, topography and cultural history that has shaped it. The wines themselves are living legacies. There is no place like Rhône.
The following quiz is part of the WSG's French Wine Scholar study & certification program. Enjoy!
- E. Guigal with Philippe Guigal
one of the best negociants of the Rhône Valley and still a family business
- Domaine Jean Michel Gerin
crafting a pure expression of Syrah from Côte Rôtie
- Domaine Francois Villard
a talented Chef who became a very talented vigneron and winemaker
- Domaine Laurent Combier
all the fruit and charm of Crozes Hermitage
- Cave de Tain
a high-quality cooperative with the best parcelary approach to Hermitage single vineyards
- Chateau Saint Cosme
exceptional Gigondas with its Gallo-Roman fermentation vats
- Domaine de la Mordoree in Tavel
where tradition and great modern winemaking meet
- Chateau de Montfaucon in Lirac
going back in time at this singular Chateau with vines over 100 years old
- Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape
one of the enduringly stellar producers of this great appellation
- Domaine de la Janasse
talented young generation on the other side of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the village of Courthezon.
- Overview of Côtes du Rhone Villages at La Maison des Vins des Côtes du Rhône in Avignon.
- Trade tasting exclusively for our group by top Chateauneuf-du-Pape winemakers.
Estates visited on previous Rhône Wine Tours
We thank the following estates and individuals for having welcomed us and our students on passed study wine tours to Rhône.
Northern Rhône based:
Maison E. Guigal
Domaine Yves Cuilleron
Maison Jean-Luc Columbo
Domaine Georges Vernay
Domaine Alain Graillot
Maison Delas Frères
Maison Michel Chapoutier
Domaine les Hauts Chassis
Chateau de Beaucastel
Domaine Bosquet des Papes
Domaine de la Janasse
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe
Domaine Raymond Usseglio
Southern Rhône based:
Domaine La Croix de la Mûre
Chateau de Saint Cosme
Domaine de Cabasse
Domaine le Sang des Cailloux
Domaine de la Mordorée
Domaine de la Citadelle
Domaine de la Reméjeanne
Philippe Cambie (Œnologue)
Georges Truc (Geologue)
All upcoming tours:
AlsaceJun 07 - Jun 12, 2020
ChampagneJun 23 - Jun 27, 2020
PiedmontSep 13 - Sep 18, 2020
BordeauxOct 04 - Oct 09, 2020
LoireOct 11 - Oct 16, 2020
SicilyOct 11 - Oct 16, 2020
RhôneOct 18 - Oct 23, 2020
BourgogneOct 25 - Oct 30, 2020
Languedoc-RoussillonOct 25 - Oct 30, 2020