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PILGRIMAGE TO BURGUNDY

On the Paths Surrounding the Cote d’Or

13 – 19 MAY 2019
&
14 – 20 OCTOBER 2019

 
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MONDAY, 13 may or
14 OCTOBER

We begin the journey in the morning departing from the Geneva airport by private car for the drive over the mountains to the charming town of Arbois. This ville in the heart of the French Jura is the site of Neal’s small, intimate hotel, La Closerie les Capucines, our home for two days. A moment to refresh and repose after arrival, a light lunch at a local bistro or perhaps at La Closerie itself, then begins a deep dive into the wines and tradition of the Jura with a tasting at one of the many wineries with which Neal works in the region. Dinner at the Michelin 2-starred Maison Jeunet will place an exclamation point on the first day.

 
 Arbois, the Jura. The River Cuisance flows past 16th-century stone buildings some with 12th century cellars.

Arbois, the Jura. The River Cuisance flows past 16th-century stone buildings some with 12th century cellars.


tuesday, 14 may or
15 OCTOBER

After a luxurious breakfast at La Closerie, we set out for Pupillin and the cellars of Mickaël Crinquand for a tasting of his famed wines created from the Ploussard grape (Pupillin being the acknowledged home of this scarce, local variety) and other pleasures of the Crinquand cellar. A short drive follows to visit the famed cheese affineur, Marcel Petite, recognized the world over for the Comté he produces. An elaborate cheese tasting...otherwise known as “lunch”... will provide a moment to relax. Later in the day, we will visit Domaine Montbourgeau, the estate of Nicole Deriaux, whose wines from L’Etoile have surprised and dazzled those most knowledgeable about wine. Dinner at Chateau de Germigny, with its cutting edge cuisine and its fine wine list, closes our time in the Jura.


wednesday, 15 may or 16 october

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The morning begins with a short drive to the Cote d’Or where we will taste first with one of Neal’s fine producers in the Cote de Nuits; lunch at La Cabotte in Nuits Saint Georges in the company of another of Neal’s growers will follow. The afternoon will continue our exploration of the Burgundian landscape with another cellar encounter ... this time in the Cote de Beaune. A relaxing, short drive in our private car will take us to the Auberge du Paradis, a romantic retreat in the heart of the Beaujolais district. Cyril and Valerie, proprietors, will greet us in their chic inn and we will dine on Cyril’s masterful and creative cooking — a one-star Michelin table that will surprise and haunt.


thursday, 16 may or 17 october

There is never enough fine Burgundy to taste, so we will start the day with a return visit to the Cote de Beaune for a tasting and a lunch with one of Neal’s growers. A final cellar visit completes the afternoon before returning to the Auberge du Paradis. Dinner will be at any of a number of outstanding bistros that dot the landscape of the visually stunning Beaujolais and Maconnais hamlets.

 Ghislaine Barthod, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny, Côte Nuits, Burgundy.

Ghislaine Barthod, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny, Côte Nuits, Burgundy.


Friday, 17 may or 18 october

It will be difficult to depart Auberge du Paradis, particularly after having indulged in one of the finest breakfasts available anywhere — but our visit to the vineyards and a tasting of the wines of Domaine Cheveau in the village of Pouilly will enhance our understanding and appreciation of the grandeur of Burgundy. Lunch at Courtille de Solutré will provide renewed energy to tackle the excitement of the city of Lyon, our next stop. Lodging at the gorgeous Cour des Loges, we will spend the evening at one of the fine theatres in this lovely city, perhaps the “Celestin Theatre de Lyon”. A light dinner or perhaps a larger dining indulgence will be the day’s “dessert”.

 “Spiro”, Chateau le Puy, Saint Cibard

“Spiro”, Chateau le Puy, Saint Cibard


Saturday, 18 may or 19 october

The last day before departure will be busy and beautiful. We might start with a visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts; then, we will gather our belongings and drive to Lac du Bourget and the restaurant Lamartine with its fine table and achingly lovely view over this enchanting lake. Perhaps one of Neal’s producers in the Savoie will join us for a leisurely lunch before we head off for Geneva where we will spend the last night at Les Armures, a fine hotel in the old part of the city. An evening boat ride on Lac Leman with a break for dinner at the Auberge de Dully, one of the best-kept secrets for a fun evening of food and wine, will close out our pilgrimage.


Sunday, 19 may or 20 october

On this final day together, we will have a leisurely morning with a robust breakfast at Les Armures — perhaps while sitting on the square in the shadow of the Cathédrale de St. Pierre. Then will come our short jaunt by private car to the Geneva Airport for the return home.


  • €5950 per person based on double occupancy


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Torino

And its neighboring wine regions Alto Piemonte, Canavese, Valle d’Aosta

8 -14 APRIL 2019
&
9–15 september 2019

 
 Carema, where Italy borders Switzerland and France, home to vineyards on steeply terraced land and known as a wine growing area for two thousand years.

Carema, where Italy borders Switzerland and France, home to vineyards on steeply terraced land and known as a wine growing area for two thousand years.


MONDAY, 8 april or 9 september

The voyage begins at the Milan Malpensa airport in the morning. A private car awaits to make the short trip (45 minutes) to Lago Orta. There will be time to recover and refresh at the lakeside hotel and have a light lunch in town at La Motta overlooking the lake. The afternoon is dedicated to an initiation into the magic of the wines of Alto Piemonte with a tasting and vineyard visit with one of Neal's team of dynamic vignaioli, perhaps Massimo Clerico in Lessona or the Conti sisters in Maggiora who produce a fine Boca. Dinner will further immerse us in the traditions of the Alto Piemonte as Gianluca and Raffaella of the agriturismo, La Capuccina, will cook their farm-raised produce for us before we return to Villa Crespi to recharge for the coming days.


tuesday, 9 APRIL or 10 september

 Antonello Rovellotti, Ghemme, Alto Piemonte

Antonello Rovellotti, Ghemme, Alto Piemonte

A morning private boat ride to enjoy the natural splendors of Lago Maggiore will include a visit to the renowned cheese affineur, Eros Buratti, with a lunch table set with the finest cheeses and other produce sourced from local farms. Then, Antonello Rovellotti and his family will open the doors to their cantina in the historic town of Ghemme at the center of which is the "ricetto", a walled compound that served as a refuge for people of the area during times of strife and war. This tenth century citadel of 12,000 square meters eventually evolved into a communal storehouse for the agricultural products native to the area — with most of the surface dedicated to wine. It is there that much of the work of producing the Rovellotti wines takes place, The evening will be dedicated to dinner at the hotel, Villa Crespi, recognized as the finest table in the region.


 Valle d’Aosta

Valle d’Aosta

wednesdaY, 10 APRIL or 11 september

The day begins by traversing the border between the Alto Piemonte and the rarely visited but quietly beautiful Canavese district in northwestern Piedmont. There we will spend time with Andrea Bianco, beekeeper extraordinaire and Neal's long-time friend and supplier. We will taste a stunning variety of flower-specific, vintage-dated honeys and, if the weather and timing are right, we will be witness to the release of the bees to work the flowering trees and herbs in the Parco Nazionale di Gran Paradiso. To match the bees' hunger, lunch will follow at Ramo Verde, a rustic trattoria in Carema, home to the rare wine of the same name. Lunch-time companions will be Roberto and Andrea Ferrando, masters of Carema, the most noble version of Nebbiolo. A hike in Neal's steeply terraced vineyards in the shadow of Monte Bianco will end the day's activities and prepare us for settling into the lovely Auberge de la Maison in the village of Entreves, the final outpost in Italy immediately below the summit of Mont Blanc and at the edge of the frontier with France.


thursdaY, 11 APRIL or 12 september

We will begin the day on the funicular to the summit of Mont Blanc, providing us with spectacular views of this heavenly place. At 15,781 feet, it is the highest mountain in Europe and the roof of the old Continent. We will then descend for a tasting with an- other of Neal's growers, Ermes Pavese, with whom we will have a delightful lunch as we get to know his exceptional Blanc de Morgex, wine produced from some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world. The late afternoon will provide time to indulge at the spa at Auberge de la Maison or perhaps enjoy the thermal baths in the neighboring village of Pré St. Dider. Dinner at Dandelion, a local and delicious neighborhood trattoria will conclude this day.


Friday, 12 APRIL or 13 september

 Luigi Ferrando, Carema, Alto Piemonte

Luigi Ferrando, Carema, Alto Piemonte

We leave the high mountains and on our descent to Torino, we will first stop in the village of Arvier to visit with Danilo Thomain, the producer of the sole estate-bottled "Enfer d'Arvier", a rustic red wine of mythic dimensions. A pass through the terraced vine- yards that sit exposed to the sun all year long will imprint this wine on your soul. The wine tour of the Valle d'Aosta will conclude with a stop in Ollignan, perched high above the town of Aosta, where the Grosjean family will receive us and then present the full range of their organically produced red and white wines that have made this family famous. A light lunch (is that possible here in the high mountain passes where the rough conditions foster hunger? We shall see...) will break up the trip to Torino. Once in that fabled city, one of Italy's best-kept secrets for history, architecture, great contemporary art and the capital of the increasingly influential Slow Food movement, we will spend an hour or so on an architectural walk in the company of a local historian. Dinner will be at Scannabué, located in the happening district of San Salvario, where it joins modish restaurants and bars that line the lively streets.


saturday, 13 APRIL or 14 september

The day begins with a visit to the world-renowned Egyptian Museum. Then, we will convene for lunch at Del Cambio, established in 1757 it is one of the oldest restaurants in the world. In 2014, it underwent a massive restoration by a team of 100 craftsmen and today features the dishes of chef Matteo Baronetto, who worked for nearly two decades under Milan-based chef Carlo Cracco.

The afternoon will provide free time to shop, relax or visit one of the city's stellar con- temporary art collections, including options such as:

The Castello di Rivoli, a cutting-edge contemporary art museum that also features great medieval, Old Master and modern paintings. The building is a former royal residence of The House of Savoy, built in 1718, but its foundations date back to 1159, which makes the museum a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike.

The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, established in 1995 by major art patron Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. The foundation supports young Italian and international artists with particular focus on commissions and the production of new work. The museum space is one of the premier destinations to view experimental con- temporary art in Torino.

And, if we cannot take it all in, let's plan for another visit to this magnificent gem of an urban landscape!

In the evening we will attend a performance at Teatro Regio, Teatro Carignano, or an- other cultural venue in this city of multiple temptations and perhaps have a late-night treat at Caffé Mulassano, an historic café in the heart of the city that will leave you with another unforgettable moment.

 Vincent Grosjean, Grosjean Freres, Ollignan, Valle d’Aosta

Vincent Grosjean, Grosjean Freres, Ollignan, Valle d’Aosta


sunday, 14 APRIL or 15 september

After grabbing a morning pastry and a coffee at Al Bicerin, we will depart Torino by private car for Milan Malpensa and the journey home. This unique cafe, opened in 1763, is well known as a place where the most fashionable women of Torino enjoy a morning coffee after receiving communion at the Santuario della Consulata, the baroque church across the plaza.



We look forward to
hearing from you