Dordogne Food & Wine Tour - September 8-15, 2023 - 2 spots left!

Dordogne Food & Wine Tour - September 8-15, 2023 - 2 spots left!

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Product Description


Join Keli Sim DeRitis of Poggi Bonsi Tours and Marilee Bramhall of iola wines for a food and wine tour of Dordogne, France.

The Dordogne, called the Perigord in antiquity, is a region rich in history, full of charming villages and breathtaking landscapes, plus it offers unique culinary traditions. Gourmet delights such as duck, foie gras, pate, Perigord noir truffles, and world-renown wines are found here. This area of France is a carnivore's paradise; this tour is not ideal for vegetarians. Enjoy a week relaxing, visiting historical sites and markets, indulging in delicious meals prepared by our private chef and in local restaurants, all while tasting the best wines the region has to offer.

Our home for the week will be Chateau di Rouffillac, a fairytale castle with 9 luxurious ensuite bedrooms perched high on a hill overlooking the Dordogne River. The chatea dates from the 12 century and has been immaculately restored. Amenities include a swimming pool, gym, walking trails, and a vaulted gourmet kitchen.

Tour Cost

per person standard double-occupancy room (1 room available)

$4250 per person twin room (SOLD OUT!) 

$4,750 per person for the Royal Suite (SOLD OUT!)

$4,750 for a single King room (SOLD OUT!) 

A $500 per person deposit holds your spot.* Balance is due June 15, 2023.

Tour Highlights (a detailed itinerary will be emailed 90 days before the departure date)

There will be time to relax and enjoy this beautiful property. Our first day will be spent at the chateau enjoying all that it has to offer. You will have the opportunity to take a walk around the property, swim in the pool, read a book by the river, or just nap in the sun. We'll walk to the nearby village of Carlux for lunch and you'll be introduced to local gourmet delights and wines with a guide tasting dinner presented by Keli and Marilee.

We'll get our "gourmet fix" at the weekly market in Sarlat as we sample our way through booths featuring local produce, artisan cheese, breads, pastries, and local specialties such as duck, foie gras, pate, and Perigord noir truffles. Lunch will be on your own this day, so you can "graze" your way through the market or find a little bistro and partake in village life.

Even though the cultivation of the vine was established in this region before it was in Bordeaux ... the Romans brought viticulture to the Southwest region of France in the first century BC ... this continues to be overshadowed by its iconic neighbor. Interestingly, we find many similarities between the wines of Bordeaux and the wines of the Southwest in terms of grapes cultivated and wine styles produced. In addition, there are 120 grape varieties indigenous to the this region, the most famous being Malbec, native to Cahors, which produces well-structured inky wines with gusty tannins and aromas of black fruit, plum, licorice, tobacco, sometimes even truffle and dark chocolate.

With Marilee as our guide, we'll get acquainted with many of the wines of southwest France by looking at regional wine history, terroir, grapes, wine styles (which include red, white, sparkling and sweet), and of course by pairing these captivating wines with the sumptuous cuisine of the region.

We'll get a glimpse into pre-history at the Lascaux caves as we view paintings by ancient artists. The original artwork is not open to the public, but we'll see hundreds of exact reproductions and learn about their discovery and preservation. We'll also visit other prehistoric sites as time permits.

One morning we'll take a stroll through the magical Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, the most-visited gardens in the Dordogne.

Composed mostly of boxwood (over 150,000 of them,) sculpted during the mid-1800s into animals and other fanciful figures; the gardens will offer some time for peaceful contemplation. There's a lovely little terrace cafe here also, so we'll relax and enjoy a sip and nibble as we take in the spectacular view of the Dordogne Valley.
Rocamadour, a stopping point for religious pilgrims for centuries because of its many sanctuaries, is on our itinerary. We'll climb the 216 steps (not crawl on our knees as was the custom) up to see the world-famous Black Madonna, the small walnut statue attributed with many miracles. On the way we'll stop at a goat farm that produces the renoun Rocamadour AOC goat cheese among other specialties.

On September 11, 2023 we will host a wine reception with Martin Walker, author of the Bruno Chief of Police novels, as our special guest. We'll be serving some regional specialties using recipes featured in the new Chief Bruno Cookbook. By happy cooincidence Mr. Walker's latest mystery in the Chief Bruno series takes place at Chateau de Rouffillac,our home base for the week. Mr. Walker has graciously agreet to autograph a copy of this latest book for each of our guests. This promises to be an evening to remember!

What's included?

  • Ground transportation to and from Bordeaux train station.
  • Charming Double-occupancy Rooms with king or queen beds (all with en-suite bathrooms). Sorry, there are no single rooms available on this tour.
  • 6 breakfasts featuring fresh pastries from the local bakery, 4 lunches, and 6 dinners including award-winning French wines. Evening meals will be prepared by our personal chef Lisa Jonsson.
  • All field trips and ground transportation.
  • All cooking classes and wine education.
Tour is limited to 16 participants 

About Your Guides

Keli Sim DeRitis is an artist, entrepreneur, enthusiastic traveler, and cookbook author. After many years working as a graphic designer, a life-changing trip to Italy in 2000 led to a new career. Keli founded Poggi Bonsi, an Italian-themed kitchen store in 2001. Owning the shop required extensive travel through Italy and France to source products and cultivate partnerships. Along the way Keli learned to prepare regional specialties from both home cooks and professional chefs. Keli has been teaching cooking classes and organizing tours to the European countryside since 2014. She closed her beloved kitchen business in 2017 to focus on leading tours and sharing the unique history and culinary traditions of areas off the tourist track. Keli is the mother of two adult sons who both love to cook and travel ... she lives in Seattle with her husband and their two dogs Dante and Remi.

Marilee Bramhall, wine educator and founder of Iola Wines, vividly remembers her first sip of wine; a left bank Bordeaux which paired perfectly with a wonderful dinner prepared by her Dad. That single sip led to a lifetime of curiosity and wonder. After nearly a decade in the WA and CA wine industry Marilee began her study of old-world wines. Since then, she has completed, with the Highest Honors, the certifications for French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar. She has completed WSET L3 with Merit and is an Approved Instructor for the Wine Scholar Guild's French Wine Scholar program. In addition, Marilee has completed programs with the Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins De Bourgogne in Beaune, France: A Masterclass for Wine Educators and a Five-Day Bourgogne Wines Intensive Masterclass in Bourgogne, France. Marilee sources and direct imports organic wines from top women winemakers in France and Italy for the online wine shop and wine clubs at  Marilee lives in Seattle with her husband Christopher.

Price does not include airfare which can be arranged through Bob Kerr at Travel House

Email or call Keli Sim DeRitis at 206-714-8278 for more information.

*Deposits are non-refundable. Trip insurance is required so we are all protected if an emergency prevents travel. Trip insurance is reasonable and can be purchased very  from Travel House or through