Oceania Cruises is proud to partner with Food & Wine Trails, America’s foremost culinary travel company, in the offering of this tour. Food and Wine Trails tours are always kept intimate and visit sites not typically offered by mainstream travel suppliers. Their tours are always led by a knowledgeable, English-speaking sommelier, wine or food expert, cooking instructor or chef, who enjoys introducing visitors to some of the best and most authentic food and wine of their region.
Enjoy a day in the Luberon wine region of Provence, the setting for Peter Mayle’s acclaimed book A Year In Provence. Your hostess is a Canadian wine-writer who, like Peter, left her homeland to move to one of the most beautiful regions in the world. As in Mayle’s book, your visit to the Luberon will introduce you to poetic landscapes, charming towns and wonderful food and wine.
Just north of Aix en Provence is Val Joanis, a 980-acre estate, where a 16th Century nobleman built himself a country manor. Four hundred years later, the Chancel family bought the property with dreams of making it even more splendid than it once was. As a result of their long, arduous labor of love, Val Joanis’ gardens were voted French Garden of the Year in 2008 and since their first grape harvest in 1981 their wines have collected more awards than any other winery in the Luberon region. In 2011, the property passed into the hands of a Dutch-German family, who made their fortune in horticulture. Under their expert managements, Val Joanis is flourishing more than ever!
Upon arrival at Val Joanis, you will enjoy a private tour of the estate, followed by a white wine aperitif tasting paired with a selection of estate grown olive oil. Afterwards, you will have time to take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and the well-stocked gourmet boutique, before sitting down to a Provencal 3-course luncheon paired with 3 different wines.
Depending on time in port, some groups will first stop in the coastal painter’s village of Estaque, but all groups will have free time in the afternoon in Aix en Provence, the lovely “town of a hundred fountains” that was once home to the famous painter Cézanne. Here, you are free to explore the tree-lined avenues and little lanes on your own, enjoy the lively atmosphere of its many sidewalk cafés or do some shopping in the many tempting boutiques that sell everything from designer wear to Provencal fabrics, artisan soaps, olive oils, perfumes and confectionery.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There are gravel paths and a stairway to the barrel room at Val Joanis to negotiate. This tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. On occasion, due to last-minute operational issues at the wine estate, an alternate winery estate of similar quality and ranking may be substituted. Given it is a set meal that is served on this excursion, guests with any dietary restrictions should advise the Destination Services Desk once on board the ship.