Dordogne Food & Wine Tour - September 18-25, 2022 - SOLD OUT!!

Dordogne Food & Wine Tour - September 18-25, 2022 - SOLD OUT!!

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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 Forge du Roy (also known as Chateau des Truffles), a luxury 10-bedroom complex consisting of a main house and a restored barn set on 184 acres near the village of Rouffignac St. Cernin. The chateau, originally built as a hunting lodge for French nobility, was transformed into an ironmaster's forge around 1730 and is said to have fabricated cannon balls for Napoleon's army. The property features extensive gardens, a river (with a bridge), a 4-acre lake, and plenty of walking trails to explore. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, sauna, fitness studio and gym, boules pitch, croquet lawn, a pergola, and an outdoor firepit.

Tour Cost

per person standard room (double occupancy). Sorry, there are no single rooms available on this tour.

$4,250 per person premium room (PREMIUM ROOM IS SOLD OUT)

There are 3 bedrooms available that have twin beds.

A $500 per person deposit holds your spot.* Balance is due June 15, 2022.

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. The morning will offer boules and croquet tournements and a French macaron making class.You'll be introduced to local gourmet delights and wines with a guided tasting luncheon presented by Keli and Marilee and a suptuous dinner prepared by our private chef.

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.

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.
The Dordogne is rich Templar history and we will spend a day in the fortified bastide village of Domme walking in the footsteps of the famous knights.

After their arrest on the fateful day of Friday, October 13, 1307, many Templars were held captive in the Porte de Tours in this village. Our group will have the opportunity to see the graphiti scratched into the walls of tours by the doomed knights imprisoned here.

What's included?

  • Ground transportation to and from Bergerac 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 local wines. Some evening meals will be prepared by our personal chef, some will be enjoyed at local eateries, and a few will be prepared by our group.
  • All field trips and ground transportation.
  • All cooking classes and winery tours.
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 and lives in Seattle with her husband and their two dogs Dante and Remi.

Marilee Bramhall vividly remembers her first sip of wine; a left bank Bordeaux paired with a wonderful dinner prepared by her Dad. That single sip has 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 the examination for WSET L2 with Distinction and is an Approved Instructor for the Wine Scholar Guild. 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 lives in Seattle with her husband Christopher and their yellow lab Aspen.

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 unless tour spots can be filled by the deadline for final payment. Cancelation due to COVID-related travel restrictions will result in a full refund. Trip insurance is require so we are all protected if an emergency prevents travel. Trip insurance is reasonable and can be purchased very  from Travel House or through AAA.