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Celebrate All Things Truffle on our Early-Spring Truffle Tour 

Provence Truffle Tour, Early Spring 2015

The Queen of Truffle Tours – Hunting for Black Gold in Southern France

Experience the power and passion of the truffle at peak season on our truffle immersion tour!

Our Truffle Gourmet Tour Ingredients: Rendezvous with a local guide and his dog and follow them on an exciting truffle hunt, Provençal style… Visit local estates and experience Rhône and Drôme wines where they’re madeJoin in the fun at a village truffle market… Learn how to cook with the magic mushroom at a truffle-themed cooking workshop… Visit lavender and olive estates, and stock up… Enjoy all-day antiquing at the best antiques market in France… Savor Provençal cuisine at a farm meal and stay in comfortable boutique hotels. Enjoy, learn and revel in Provence!Truffle Tour www.treasuresofeuropetours.com

PROVENCE DURING TRUFFLE SEASON is like Provence no other time of year. The pace is slower. Tourist season is still months off. Winter is on the way out, and with Spring inching around the corner, there’s a wonderful expectant feeling in the air. Nowhere is the watchful waiting more intense than in Provençal Truffle Country. It’s the best time of year for a Truffle Tour.

Mention truffles and most people think of the Périgord area. The truffle is alive and well there — sort of. truffle tour wwew.treasuresofeuropetours.comConnoisseurs and buyers still flock to the Périgord  region, but yields have plummeted in the last few years. This region will forever be linked with the tuber in the popular  mind, but the richest truffle country in France is further to the East. So when we put this trip together, it was a no-brainer: Périgord may have its plus points, but our truffle tour would zero in on the part of France where 80% of the truffles are harvested. We’re focusing on a particularly rich swath of Upper Provence, in the East, where the underground mushroom has been harvested for centuries.

We don’t want to get too technical, but to avoid any fuzziness, the truffle that put Périgord on the map is the same one that grows in Provence. We’re talking about Tuber melanosporum — the iconic Périgord Truffle, not the lesser Tuber aestivum or Tuber macrosporum. You can rest assured that this is the real deal.

The Experience


Like many great things in life, the truffle is best experienced in context. That’s what this trip is all about.

It’s one thing to enjoy a lovely meal which includes truffles and to try to imagine what went into it. You can do that at home. It’s something entirely different to experience the passion of the truffle live and up-close — to connect with the people, experience the markets, follow a local scout on a hunt, hear truffle lore over a glass of wine, and learn how to to unleash the magic of the truffle in a hands-on cooking workshop. You can only do that in France.  

truffle tours Rhone wine tasting tour www.treasuresofeuropetours.comDistinctive and Exclusive


Call us quirky, but since we’re the only U.S. travel company offering a truffle immersion tour and since we do our level best to make sure your experience is absolutely unique and exclusive, we don’t publicize all the details. 
Our quest will take us to the départements of Vaucluse and the Drôme, which also happen to be the home of the Rhône and Drôme wine regions. We’ll be making stops in Richerenches, Grignan and other choice spots.

The truffle is a pricey pleasure to be sure. Prices for Tuber melanosporum  reached 1200 – 1500 euros per kilo in parts of France last season — that’s  $708 – $885 per pound! A lot of rain in the fall or not enough frost in the winter will reduce the yield and drive up prices. Regardless of fluctuations in the market, this is a tuber with cachet and nearly everything connected with or involving the truffle costs a lot more than it would otherwise.

Truffle Hunt France Truffle Tour www.treasuresofeuropetours.com Avignon


The truffle hunt is the most spine-tingling highlight of the tour. It’s a stirring mix of passion and patience. We’ll be hanging with a local scout (Rabassier) for a good part of the day. As the scout takes us in tow and initiates us into the secrets of the search, all eyes are on the dog. The Rabassier is key, but his dog is actually the star of the show as he darts among the oak trees. It’s absolutely electrifying when the dog sniffs out a truffle and it slowly surfaces in the hands of the Rabassier! We get the truffles. The poor dog is rewarded with pat on the head and a chunk of sausage. After the hunt, we’ll adjourn to the farmhouse kitchen for some truffle awesomeness.

Highlights 

 

  • Airport transfers and ground transportation with a private driver
  • Comfortable hotel accommodations with private bath (village hotel and hotel in Avignon)
  • Eleven meals (seven breakfasts, 1 lunch and three dinners)
  • Truffle hunt with local scout, and meal
  • Hands-on, how-to cooking lesson built around the truffle
  • Shared truffle meal, following the cooking lesson
  • Visit to a small-town truffle market with lunch
  • Tastings of Rhône and Drôme wines
  • An insider look at local olive estate and an olive mill, including tasting
  • Visit to a regional lavender farm
  • Traditional Provençal bourgeois meal at a local farm (herberge ferme)
  • All-day antiques shopping at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the largest antiques center outside of Paris
  • Close-up look at the Enclave des Papes, including Avignon, one of France’s most striking medieval jewels, where the popes ruled in the 15th and 15th centuries.

Price: $4.250 per person, based on double occupancy. Single rooms are available for a supplement of $390. The tour starts and ends in Marseille. Transportation from and to the airport and accommodations for the last night are included in the tour — no need to deal with taxis or shuttles.

Truffle Immersion Tour, Spring 2015   Your Itinerary 


Day 1 Grignan

Airport transfer from Marseille. Settle in and welcome. Free-style exploration of Grignan. If you don’t have Obsessive Culinary Disorder going into this tour, you’ll develop it by the end of the week.

Day 2 Carpentras Area

We’re off to the biggest and best market in the area. It’s an El Dorado for Slow Foodies and Locavores, with an immense selection of regional terroir products, including artisanal cheese, Provencal olives and olive oil, cured meats, wine, honey, nougat and pastries. We’ll graze and assemble goodies for lunch. The focus of the day: Hunting for truffles with our guide, who will ply us with local lore and initiate us into the secrets of the search. We’ll close the day with a special truffle meal at his farm.

Day 3 Richerenches Area

The most important truffle market in France, in the village of Richerenches, brings truffeurs and truffle lovers together for the weekly dance. It’s great fun to watch the pros sniff the wares and cut deals. Local villagers dish out the traditional market lunch after the festivities are over — gently scrambled eggs studded with truffles, salad and cheese. Rhône wine flows freely. In the afternoon we’ll explore a medieval hill town in the region, get a close-up look at a traditional lavender distillery and visit a local olive estate.

Day 4  Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

The flea market to end all flea markets. Brocante (bric-a-brac), antiques, art and vintage items drive the economy in this town on the Sorgue, which is the antiques capitol of France (unless you’re a Parisian, in which case it’s Paris!) After a day combing shops and market stalls for treasures, we’ll close out the evening with a terroir-based dinner at a local farm.

Day 5  Richerenches Area

More truffles! We’ll explore glorious truffle products at the source, including oils, pastes and preserved truffles. You’ll have the opportunity buy specialties to take home. The focus for the rest of the day will be on cooking with truffles. We’ve engaged a generous cook to lead a hands-on truffle-themed workshop.

Day 6 Avignon Area

The entire area around Avignon was a papal estate (enclave), and part of it remained under Vatican rule long after the popes returned to Rome, until it came under French control in the late 1700s. The day’s highlights will be a special tour of Avignon with our own guide (inlcuding the pont). We’ll explore the Medieval town wall, see other historical treasures and hear about the reign of the popes.

Day 7 Avignon Area

Just north of Avignon, and still in the former papal enclave, the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape produces wines that have won their own Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). We’ll visit the area and sample the wines, which have been championed by U.S. critic Robert Parker. You’ll be able to do last-minute shopping for goodies to take home later in the day. No need to spend your last day in Provence without eating truffles. You’ll be able to indulge at a bistro or restaurant in the evening!

Day 8  Southern Provence

Connect from Marseille and return.

The truffle is proof that there is a God and that she loves us. Let our truffle immersion tour make a believer of you. Join us in February.

Use the Reserve button to get on the list. It’s easy! Click on the button, fill out the form and click “Send.” We’ll alert you as soon as the trip dates are firmed up.

 

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