We are happy to announce a new Wine Appreciation charter cruise through the Bordeaux region aboard hotel barge Rosa. It will be led by a local wine expert, who will conduct tastings on the barge with the passengers and pass on some of his viticultural knowledge.
The itinerary will feature several private tours and tastings at some long-established wineries producing grand cru and premier cru wines, such as Château Beau-Sejour-Becot near the famous town of Saint-Emilion. Other cruise highlights include visits to Château de Malle, an exquisite winery set in Italian-style gardens; to a traditional cooperage to see how the barrels are made that enhance the great wines of Bordeaux; to the “Maison des Vins” a unique venue recounting the wine-making traditions dating back to the 12th century. There is also a stop at the Lapeyrade Estate for a cellar tasting of Armagnac, the oldest alcohol in France.
Castet-en-Dorthe to Boé
Sunday, Day 1 Castet-en-Dorthe
Guests are met in Bordeaux and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Rosa. Following a champagne and canapés welcome, there is time for a stroll before returning for your first dinner on board. A knowledgeable sommelier also visits the barge to give the first of several talks during the cruise on the vineyards of Bordeaux and ensures that everyone has mastered their wine-tasting technique!
Monday, Day 2 Castet-en-Dorthe to Meilhan-sur-Garonne
This morning is spent cruising the picturesque canal, following the River Garonne, to the port of Meilhan-sur-Garonne. In the afternoon, we visit the medieval town of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and centre of the most famous of the Bordeaux appellations. Later, we stop at Château Beau-Sejour-Becot, a long-established, family-run producer of some highly-praised premier and grand cru Saint Emilion wines, where we are given a private tour and, of course, enjoy a tasting. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Meilhan-sur-Garonne to Le Mas d’Agenais
After breakfast, we cruise to the charming little village of Le Mas d’Agenais, the perfect time to walk or cycle the towpath through stunning countryside with views over the valley of the Garonne. After lunch on board, we visit Château de Malle, an exquisite residence set in Italian-style gardens with vineyards situated in some of the most sought after wine-growing land in the region. Since being built in the 17th century, it has remained in the hands of the same family and produces its renowned sweet wine, Sauternes “Grand Cru Classe”, a recognition awarded back in 1855, as well as red and white Graves wines. After a tour, we enjoy a private tasting of these delicious wines. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Le Mas d’Agenais to Buzet-sur-Baise
This morning, we enjoy a relaxing afternoon cruise past Damazan, a pretty fortified village with pastel-coloured houses, to our mooring at Buzet-sur-Baise, a town at the heart of the Garonne terroir that produces some excellent wines. In the afternoon, we visit the 14th century Château de Duras, an architectural wonder, which has been both a fortress and a stately home over its 900-year history. We wander through its 35 rooms and museum, then take a short drive to the nearby “Maison des Vins”, with its exhibition telling the story of the wine-making that has taken place in the area since the 12th century. After returning to the hotel barge for lunch, Dinner ashore this evening at a charming waterside restaurant, Le Moulin des Saveurs.
Thursday, Day 5 Buzet-sur-Baise to Serignac-sur-Garonne
In the morning, we visit the traditional cooperage of St. Martin, where we discover the secrets of making the barrels that enhance the great wines of Bordeaux. Before returning to the barge, we also visit the Buzet wine co-operative, Les Vignerons de Buzet, for a tour of the cellars and tasting. After lunch on board, the afternoon is devoted to relaxation and cruising further along the canal, where you will be able to spot some of Gascony’s famous pigeon-houses, before arriving at our mooring in the little village of Serignac-sur-Garonne. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Serignac-sur-Garonne to Boé
We start the day with a visit to the fascinating Cork Museum in Mézin, a small town at the centre of an area that boasted over 50 cork factories back in the 1800’s. There, we learn about the history of cork-making and see an exhibition of tools and machines used by workers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Later, we see the medieval riverside village of Lavardac and some of the nearby cork trees, then stop at the Lapeyrade Estate for a cellar tasting of Armagnac, the oldest alcohol in France. In the afternoon, we cruise towards our final destination of Boé, crossing en route the Plan Canal d’Agen, one of the longest aqueducts in France which spans the River Garonne. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Boé
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Bordeaux.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On certain weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.