Wine tasting holiday

Region Aquitaine, Lot-et-Garonne, France

per person

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Holiday Itinerary

This gorgeous isolated setting offers a unique experience to combine stunning luxury accommodation with a chance to get to know all about French wine on this 6 night / 7 day wine tasting holiday.

Your holiday hosts at the accommodation, Martyn and Tas, have teamed up with Defining Wine to bring you this unique holiday. Defining Wine is an accredited training provider and you’ll spend the week in the company of Amanda Rowley, an experienced WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) tutor.
In addition to learning about how to serve, store, taste and pair the wine, there is plenty of free time to take in this amazing area or simply relax in the surroundings of the stunning manor house.
Your accommodation has been beautifully renovated to the highest standards; extensive gardens, private ponds, terraces, a balcony and two swimming pools all await you. After a day sipping wine, head to the local bar with Martyn for a drink before heading back to reward yourself with a 3 course meal served at the manor house with your fellow guests.
Arrive an amateur and leave a connoisseur while enjoying the best wine, regional food, local vineyards & cultural hotspots - everything you need for the perfect, relaxing wine holiday.

Who is it suitable for?
- Wine weekends are suitable for all levels from complete novices to wine connoisseurs
- Minimum age 18
- All wine classes are taught in English but feel free to practice your French with the locals

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- Courses have a maximum of 12 people in each group, singles are very welcome as you'll meet others with similar interests
- There are no single supplements; private rooms are allocated on a first come first serve basis so be sure to book early
- If you miss out on a private room, there will be the option to share with another solo traveller if you wish

When can I start?
- Every holiday week starts with arrivals on Sundays
- Holidays are for 6 nights / 7 days
- If you wish to stay for extra nights, please email to check availability for your preferred duration and we will do our best to accommodate you
- All holidays are on request so please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible

Typical itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:
- Each day will begin with a breakfast buffet, followed by a 2 hour wine learning session on different topics
- Lunches are up to you; whether you want to grab something on the go, try something locally, or pack a picnic
- Afternoons will either be spent on local excursions, in vineyards, or give you free time to explore
- All dinners with either be at a local restaurant, or back at the manor house

Day 1 - Sunday
- Arrive, check in, and make yourself at home
- Enjoy a welcome drink and meal while you get to know each other and learn what to expect in the upcoming week

Day 2 - Monday
- Have a leisurely breakfast before enjoying a 2 hour wine session including an introduction to wine styles, how to taste like a pro, and how wine is made
- Stop for lunch at a local village, followed by a vineyard tour and tasting
- Dinner will be at a local establishment

Day 3 - Tuesday
- Today's morning session will focus on types of classic grape varieties and the wines they produce, plus tasting of local wines
- This afternoon is free for you to make the most out of the area or relax by the pool

Day 4 - Wednesday
- The morning focus will be on different wine styles and how to store and serve them, what makes wines different, plus food and wine pairing
- This afternoon you'll head over to Bergerac and enjoy the old town, followed by a visit a traditional chateau wine estate for a tasting of classic regional wines
Day 5 - Thursday
- Enjoy your morning with a visit to the local market to explore and choose food for dinner
- In the afternoon, you'll have a winery tour and tasting at either Monbazillac or Buzet
Day 6 - Friday
- This morning will consist of a short revision session and multiple choice test to see how much you've retained (in between the wines)
- Next you will plan for the evening's celebration dinner
- Use the rest of the day free to relax and visit the local area
- Finish your holiday with a bang at the celebration dinner at the house with selected wines to perfectly match each course
Day 7 - Saturday
- Breakfast and departure

About your wine tasting tutor - Amanda Rowley
- Amanda is a Director and Senior Trainer of Defining Wine; a company which specialises in wine education
- Her approach is to make learning about wine both fun and engaging; all while meeting new people
- Amanda is a supportive and experienced tutor looking to get the best out of any student with a focus on the individual needs of students and their personal development

What will I learn?
- Wine styles
- How to taste like a pro and get the most out of it
- How wine is made
- Classic grape varieties and the wine they produce
- Knowing the regional wines
- How to store and serve different wines properly
- The best wines to pair with certain foods

Wine & Spirit Education Trust Certification
While on your wine tasting holiday, you can also opt to take a qualification to take home with you. Each level costs £50 to be paid locally.

Level 1
- The WSET Level 1 Award in Wines (formerly known as the Foundation Certificate) is intended to establish the basic skills and product knowledge required in the service and retail of wine; it is ideal for preparing a person for their first job in hospitality or retail
- This course is also an introductory first course for the wine enthusiast who wishes to study in a structured way: the qualification will cover skills such as identifying wine styles, practice of storing and serving wine, and food and wine matching
- No previous experience of Wine Tasting is necessary to register on this course

Level 2
- Level 1 qualified candidates can also study for Level 2
- The WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits (formerly known as the Intermediate Certificate) is intended as vocational training in product knowledge for those employed in the drinks industry who have little previous knowledge of the broad range of alcoholic beverages available
- The qualification is suitable wherever a good level of product knowledge is required to underpin job skills and competencies
- The course is also a great option for those not employed in the drinks industry who wish to study wine using a structured curriculum and formal assessment

Where will I be staying?
- The gorgeous manor house on this 18 acre estate accommodates up to 12 people, in single/twin or double rooms to suit your needs
- There are no single supplements for solo travellers, however rooms will be assigned according to your needs on a first come first serve basis
- This is a truly stunning estate, where you will find other historic buildings, mills, a pond, river walks, and so much more to take in the great French countryside during your time here
- Feel free to use the swimming pools, go fishing, lounge in the sun, play table tennis, darts or pool in the games room, enjoy the garden, or take some time out inside when you need a rest
- The rooms are wonderfully spacious, remodelled for every modern convenience, yet retaining their old charm, while being furnished to the highest standards
- There are 3 lounges that are used for communal spaces to enjoy a fire, a movie, or satellite TV - grab a book from the library or enjoy a glass of wine out on the terrace
- If you are travelling solo, you can share with another solo traveller of the same sex, or book early to guarantee a private room (allocated on a first come first served basis)
- Your hosts have thought of everything for you to make the most of your time and budget here, there is a fully equipped kitchen along with refrigerators, freezers, and all you need to cook, washers, kettles, hairdryers
- Free WiFi throughout the property
- Accommodation is included for 6 nights / 7 days
- Check in anytime after 4pm on day 1 and check out by 10am on day 8 - however feel free to enjoy the grounds at any time

Are meals included?
- Breakfast is a continental spread of croissants, baguettes, cereal, fruits, yogurt, jams, eggs on request, and beverages provided daily
- Lunch is up to each individual, as everyone works at their own pace and place, and people generally do their own things between the painting sessions
- There is a small mini mart in the village of Saint Front, just a 5 minute walk away, although it is basic
- If you don’t have transportation, your hosts will be on hand to take you to the main supermarket to stock up, or can do a run for you
- Often guests start a kitty for basics like milk, butter, wine, or any basics, as the manor has a great communal feel to it, everything is up to you and your own budget
- On the other hand, feel free to try a village restaurant or cafe while you are out on an excursion
- All dinners are provided for and will be held in the early evening at the manor house, and each night you’re in for a treat
- Every night will feature a different cuisine for dinner, and your hosts get an idea on the first day of food preferences, then do a three course meals each evening
- Their specialties include French, Italian, and Indian
- Note that tea, coffee and water is always available for you at the house
- Special diets will be catered for with advance notice, but please do request this at the time of booking

What can I do in my free time?
- During your free time, this is a paradise for those that love the outdoors; enjoy hiking and walking trails next to the rivers, relax in the swimming pool, or relax in one of the 3 lounges with a movie, a fire, or a borrowed book
- The local village of St Front sur Lemance is 2 minutes away, with a general provisions shop and a bar; Martyn will usually take the guests along to the village bar before dinner for those who want to, whilst others may laze beside the pool after the activities have finished
- If you have your own car, you are in the midst of amazing wineries, castles, history, and a foodie haven
- If you don’t have a car, your hosts are there to help you plan and how to get to what you would like to see