9 Gourmet Experiences in the Vallée de la Gastronomie

Looking for the ultimate Gourmet trip? Head out to the Vallée de la Gastronomie (Gastronomy Valley) a collective venture gathering the valleys of the Saône and the Rhône to the Mediterranean. This 385-mile itinerary from Dijon to Marseille is where French know-how is served on delightful dishes. Enjoy hot Calissons from a local confectioner inspired by sustainability or pedal through the vineyards of an organic winemaker. Get a taste of France with these 9 experiences!

Cooking with a chef in Charolles

He "loves everything" about Charollais! That's why chef Frédéric Doucet (1 Michelin star) is an ambassador of choice to explore this generous region renowned for its exceptional beef. His hometown of Charolles, at his parents' former inn, is where he invites you to share his passion during a morning full of flavors. A meeting over coffee where you can pick up some culinary tips, a visit to the vegetable garden and a Charolais meat producer, an aperitif with the kitchen team... You will immerse yourself in the world of a chef who loves nature before tasting his small locavore dishes, in gastronomic or bistro versions.

Immersion au coeur du charolais (External link)
Maison Doucet (External link)

Wine and Cheese Pairings

One can't go without the other, but do you know how to pair wines and cheeses? At Domaine Gérard Brisson, in the heart of the Beaujolais region, witness firsthand the wisest and wildest combinations of local cheeses and house nectars. Nose to the wind, we start by walking through a plot of the classified vineyard Morgon Les Charmes, a climate renowned for its red fruit aromas, before diving into the depths of the 18th century vaulted cellar. In the barrels, wines mature, certified Terra Vitis and HVE (High Environmental Value). On the table, the cheeses selected by a master cheesemaker delight the nostrils, and all the senses are brought to life to compose a pairing, for the best of course!

Atelier vins & fromages (External link)
Domaine Gérard Brisson (External link)

Making Cheese from Goat's Milk in the Bouches du Rhône

From milking goats to making cheese, welcome to the Brégalon farm near Aix-en-Provence for an introduction to goat farming! It’s a passion for the Girard family who pampers their herd with feed rich in barley, sainfoin and alfalfa entirely cultivated on the farm in order to produce quality milk. You can taste it while it's still warm before getting to work. Moulding cheese cases from curdled milk or mastering the delicate process of turning the moulds: see what makes an artisanal cheese so special. With Provencal herbs or shallots, semi-fresh, creamy or semi-dry, it's hard to resist the goat's delicacies.

Fabrication de fromage à la Ferme du Brégalon (External link)

Ferme du Brégalon (External link)

Awaken your senses in an olive grove in Drôme

In the heart of the Drôme Provençale, the olive tree has always been part of the scenery and has been cultivated for more than 2000 years! To understand how this tree has shaped landscapes and know-how, go to Vignolis, the cooperative of Nyons, for a walk in the olive groves at sunset. Under the guidance of an olive grower, we climb the hills. Between silvery foliage fluttering in the breeze and trunks crumpled by the years, small anise green balls are getting ready to go through all the colors: the Tanche, a unique variety in the world, is only cultivated in the Baronnies. Picking, sorting, preparing in brine or making Nyons black olive oil, the first in France with a designation of origin... Excellence has its own specifications, and the result is there: tapenade or anchovy paste, under the olive tree you can enjoy the 1001 ways to prepare the fruit.

Escapade sensorielle au cœur des oliviers du nyonsais (External link)
Vignolis (External link)

Tasting Freshly Made Calissons

An almond-scented melted paste that is synonymous with hugs...Treat yourself to a sweet interlude at one of the oldest manufacturers of the famous calisson d'Aix-en-Provence: the Roy René confectionery which celebrated its 100th birthday last year! On the banks of the mythical Route Nationale 7, the epic story of this age-old delicacy begins at the center of the large garden where an almond grove dedicated to the company's own production and a heritage orchard containing some fifty almond trees representing 19 Provencal varieties flourish. A pioneer in sustainability, the company is at the origin of the revival of the almond tree of Provence whose perfume envelopes the factory. At the museum, you can learn how to make these treats step by step. A third of almonds, a third of candied melon from Apt, a third of hot sugar syrup ... The recipe has not changed since its creation for the wedding of King Rene, then King of Provence in 1454!

The Calissons factory - Confiserie du Roy René (External link)
Calisson Museum (External link)

Bike through organic Vineyards in Ardèche

At Domaine Notre-Dame de Cousignac, in Bourg-saint-Andeol in the Ardèche, the Pommier family has been cultivating vines for seven generations! The winegrower's table is an organic bistronomy, the vines are certified High Environmental Value (HVE), the enology is 100% natural version. On an electric mountain bike, we follow Simon our guide, on the secret paths through the vineyards, the woods, and the lavender fields. At the end of the ride, there is a tasting of organic house wines. One of the cuvées, the Vinolithic - Saint Andeol Rouge 2017 has aged for 12 months in the Saint-Marcel cave 80 m underground!

Bike ride at Domaine Notre Dame de Cousignac (External link)
Domaine de Cousignac (External link)

Uncover the secrets of truffles in Gard

a truffle from the pitchfork to the fork! At the Truffle University of Maison Garniac in Gard, we tell you all about this exceptional product, which is a must for the most famous tables. It all starts at the foot of a tree: in the truffle arboretum, you will discover the species that are conducive to the development of the famous mushroom, white and green oaks but also lime trees, hornbeams or rockroses. Often, the presence of truffles under the ground can be spotted by the absence of vegetation around the trunks: in the past, they were called witches' circles. Today, the only magic can be found on the plate. The summer truffle (tuber aestivum from mid-May) or black truffle (tuber melanosporum) from December to March, nothing is better than a delicately prepared truffled dish to measure its incomparable flavor.

The secrets of the truffle at the Maison de Garniac (External link)
Maison de Garniac (External link)

Gastronomy Immersion in Dijon

In Dijon, all roads lead to gastronomy! The proof is in the form of a gourmet itinerary where we unroll the thread of emblematic regional specialties. We start out with the sweet flavors of Masion Mulot & Petitjean, the last remaining artisanal manufacturer of gingerbread and nonettes, who never ceases to refine a know-how inherited from the Dukes of Burgundy. Other typically Burgundian delights: the blackcurrant berry (https://www.france.fr/fr/bourgogne/liste/cassis-de-bourgogne) that the Maison l'Héritier-Guyot makes into creams and liqueurs, and the mustard whose secrets are revealed by the Maison Fallot in its boutique-workshop with a mustard bar! And as gastronomy rhymes with fine wines, go to the top of the Philippe Le Bon tower for an aperitif tasting 100% in Burgundy, 46 meters high!

Les gourmandises de Dijon : Les gourmandises de Dijon : parcours étoilé (External link)

Gourmet Shopping at Halles Bocuse in Lyon

Want to know why Lyon is a reference in gastronomy? Dive into the heart of the Halles Bocuse for a gourmet tour with a guide who loves good food. The epic of the "mères Lyonnaises"( Mothers of Lyon) who forged the reputation of the bouchons lyonnais, or the saga of great chefs like Paul Bocuse... In the middle of the stalls of local producers perpetuating the tradition of excellence, you won't lose a crumb of this historic appetizer. Still a little hungry? It's time to taste the exceptional products: Coussins de Lyon (chocolate and almond ganache), pralines (hazelnuts or almonds coated with caramelized sugar), or quenelles with cabbage paste, poultry or pike... And as always in Lyon, we end up sitting down to eat a mâchon, the traditional snack, with cold cuts and cheeses from the region.

Gourmet visits by Tasty (External link)
Tasty Lyon (External link)