This is a biennial event.
Booking for 2019 will be available in autumn 2018.
Nowhere boasts a more interesting range of grape varietals than the southern Rhône. The flagship appellation is, of course, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, yet some of the best value wine is sold under the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages label.
3D’s Côtes-du-Rhône vineyard, Domaine des Grands Devers - owned by the Bouchard brothers, from the eponymous, historic and famous Bouchard Merchants in Burgundy – is situated high in the hills in the northern extremes of the Côtes du Rhône, surrounded by vines, pine trees and truffle oaks. Here Paul-Henri and Louis-Pascal produce exclusive wines for Partners, including a fruity and spicy Grenache and Syrah blend as well as a white and rosé.
The brothers work hard to protect the nature and typicité of their terroir through restoring a healthy organic life in the vines and soils. Amongst the vines the family also nurture a plot of truffle oaks. We have been following the development of the truffle plot with great interest, so when Louis-Pascal mentioned the idea of an exclusive truffle hunting event for Partners, we instantly bit his hand off!
Our weekend coincides with that most romantic of days – St Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate than to be surrounded by the beautiful Southern Rhône countryside, enjoying a sumptuous feast of truffles!
Our base will be in Valaurie at the hotel Les Mejéonnes. We will dine there with the Bouchards on Friday evening before the activities commence on Saturday.
On Saturday morning our first port of call will be a visit to Richerenches for the largest truffle market in France. It markets 30% of the total truffle production in France with 200 – 800kg of truffles exchanged each week. Louis-Pascal describes the trading environment as ‘professional between brokers and wholesalers’ and it’s not easy to buy. So he will come along and guide us through this unique experience.
We then head to Domaine des Grands Devers for a tasting and lunch before heading out for our hunt.
Our evening meal is aptly called Le Dîner de Prestige aux Truffes Noires (sample from previous events) Salade truffée petite brouillade, guinea fowl with broad bean and white truffle risotto, followed by Brillat-Savarin and Mont d’Or aux truffés cheeses and dessert. Naturally, many vintages, young and old, of the Bouchard’s wine will be served and it will be fascinating to see how, as their wines mature, the match with truffles becomes sublime!
Whilst in this striking region of France, we will also visit Montirius, our 58-hectare domaine, spread out over the beautiful countryside around Gigondas and Vacqueyras, where the ever-present Dentelles de Montmirail offer an amazing backdrop to the vines. We will dine with the family at the impressive Château du Rochegude.