Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Day 4 - Tournon and Tain I’Hermitage

During the night we sailed 90.8 km south on the Rhone river from Lyon to Tournon-sur-Rhone and Tain L'Hermitage - the towns are opposite each other on the banks of the Rhone river. We had chosen the 'Tourney and Tain walking tour and wine tasting'.
After breakfast, we started a guided walk in the vineyards on the slopes north of Tain L'Hermitage - here we heard about the importance of the soil for the quality of the wines as well as pruning and climate. The grapes cultivated are Chardonnay and Syrah. After the trip on the 'wine mountain' we visited M. Chapoutier who produces 30% of the grapes in L'Hermitage. We tasted a wine made on the Chardonnay grape and then two Syrah wines - one made of grapes grown at the bottom of the mountain and the other of grapes grown on top of the mountain - there was marked difference in the wines.
Valrhona chocolate is produced in Tain L'Hermitage - we visited the factory sale and tasted the many different chocolates - also bought a little home. There was a heavy thunderstorm but we reached back for a late lunch on the ship without getting too wet. In the afternoon we went to an Alma Rosa Winery wine tasting where Richard Sanford told us about the difference between the grapes from different fields and the individual years of Alma Rosa Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In the evening we got Vol au vent, Prime Striploin and Baba Au Rhum for dessert.

SS Catherina in Tournon
Visiting the Vineyards
Alma Rosa winetasting