Daren Oleksyn, Stephanie Yuen, Guénaël Revel, Véronique Rivest, Rod Phillips and Malcom Jolley are journalists and write about wine in various Canadian media.
They landed in Marseille on Sunday 17 January, and found themselves, a quick hour’s drive later, on the banks of the Rhône river, in the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They were welcome at the Domaine de l’Hers by the hostess of this charming B&B, Laure Giansely, by Michel Blanc, Director of the winemakers’ Assocation (Fédération des Syndicats de Producteurs) and their Press Officer Béatrice, who presented the details of their trip – with wine and truffle as its keynote! The evening was also an opportunity for them to talk with Harry Karis, author of 500-page « Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine Book », the authoritative and exhaustive book on the appellation.
Part of their programme included:
- A discovery of the terroirs with oeno-geologist Georges Truc,
- Truffle-hunting with winegrower Frédéric Maillet (Vignobles Mousset-Barrot),
- A blind-tasting session of white and red wines with world-class sommelier Kelly McAuliffe,
- Visits of wineries and meals with local produce, many of them along a wine-and-truffle pairing theme, but also tasting the cheeses of Claudine Vigier, paired with old white vintages on the first evening, and with reds the following day.
After two days of intense visit and exchange, the journalists headed to the vineyards of Tavel, before a final trip to Cahors to end their stay in the south of France.