Roussillon Wine Tour

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Roussillon, the wine region of the spectacularly beautiful French Catalonia

— Roussillon, in the southernmost part of France, in the French part of Catalonia, is a spectacular wine district, close to mountains and sea and with a unique and exciting wine tradition. It is quite hot and dry, but the vines have learned to adapt to local conditions. Grapes such as grenache, carignan and the white macabeu thrive here. Both the red and the white wines, and of course the fortified VDN wines, can be sensational. This is a region to discover now.

Tour Highlights

  • 4 nights
  • Private tastings, ca 10
  • Stay in Perpignan
  • Mediterranean gastronomy
  • Price: [sample programme]
  • Rising stars
  • Spectacular sceneries
  • Collioure, Vallée de l’Agly och Les Aspres
  • Expert wine guide

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Please Note: This Is A Sample Programme

This is a sample programme, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the programme, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.

Next Wine Tour To Roussillon

  • This tour is currently not on our tour schedule. Contact us for information about future dates or to discuss a custom tour.

If we follow the Mediterranean coast west in France, we come to Roussillon, on the border to Spanish Catalonia, a region with which Roussillon shares much history and culture.

Here, we are greeted by the azure Mediterranean, high mountains, old castles and picturesque villages. It is spectacularly beautiful down here, with the Pyrenees to the south and the Corbières limestone massif to the north. The sun wastes its rays.

The climate is warm, and they have no problem getting grapes properly ripe. Roussillon has previously been best known for its sweet fortified wines, vin doux naturel (VDN). It was these wines that laid the foundation for Roussillon’s fame as a wine region. For a long time, VDN accounted for well over 50% of total production. These are wines that few are familiar with, but that can compete with the world’s great fortified wines.

Demand for VDN wines has declined, however, and today more and more producers are focussing on “regular” red and white wines. Red wine dominates the production here in the south, often both powerful and elegant. But one should not forget the whites that can also be magnificent. Despite the heat, the best producers get a surprisingly good acidity and freshness in their wines. And there are plenty of good producers. Roussillon is living an exciting phase.

Vineyards, sea and mountains in Collioure, Roussillon
Vineyards, sea and mountains in Collioure, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
Vineyards, sea and mountains in Collioure, Roussillon
Vineyards, sea and mountains in Collioure, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

We will have Perpignan as the base for our trip, the largest city in Roussillon. It is strategically located for access to the whole region, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants, bars and cafés. This was the royal residence of the kings of Mallorca when Roussillon belonged to the Kingdom of Mallorca. High on a hill, you can admire the royal castle, le Palais des Rois de Majorque, completed in 1309.

From Perpignan, you quickly reach the charming twin towns of Collioure and Banyuls on the coast, as well as up to the mountainous Vallée de l’Agly and to Les Aspres, the district around the villages of Thuir and Trouillas which has become a Mecca for young, promising wine growers.

During our days in Roussillon, we will meet some of the region’s brightest stars. We will get to know the excellent local gastronomy and how to best pair it with the wines. Sometimes lunch will be at a producer’s home with the producer himself.

We meet in Perpignan. You make your own way there. (See more info below.)

It is also worth noting that we at BKWine have written an internationally award-winning book about Languedoc-Roussillon, a book with up to date information about the region and its winegrowers. You can hardly get a better guide to this wine region. More about this below.

The tour is led by one of BKWine’s expert guides, a specialist in wine and travel. The trip has a limited number of participants to ensure the quality of all visits.

A walk in the vineyard with a winemaker in Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon
A walk in the vineyard with a winemaker in Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
A walk in the vineyard with a winemaker in Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon
A walk in the vineyard with a winemaker in Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

Programme — Roussillon wine tour

Preliminary programme.

Contact BKWine for more details.

Sample programme

This is a sample programme, an example. You can find the wine tours currently on the schedule here, or you can explore a custom designed wine tour by contacting us.

There may be changes to some details of the programme, e.g. which wineries we visit. We put great effort into making your visits both exceptional and memorable. For this reason we often visit other than the most obvious, big-name producers (where there are often a number of guides employed). Instead we chose to give you a more unique, personal experience at our carefully selected estates, often (but not always) meeting the owner or the winemaker.

Programme overview

  • Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Perpignan
  • Day 2, Thursday — Vallée de l’Agly
  • Day 3, Friday — Collioure and Banyuls
  • Day 4, Saturday — Les Aspres
  • Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home

Wednesday, day 1 — Arrival in Perpignan

You arrive in Perpignan in any way that suits you best. Check-in at our centrally located hotel.

Perpignan is a city of around 120,000 inhabitants, 25 km from the Spanish border and 13 km from the sea. Perpignan was the capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca during the 13th century and a bit into the 14th century. The beautiful central parts have a strong Catalan influence. The immense royal palace, le Palais des Rois de Majorque, with Gothic and Romanesque architecture, is located on a hill just outside the old town, overlooking the sea.

Free evening. We recommend a walk in the city’s central parts, maybe an aperitif at a bar and then a delicious dinner.

Vineyards plunging into the Mediterranean in Roussillon
Vineyards plunging into the Mediterranean in Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
Vineyards plunging into the Mediterranean in Roussillon
Vineyards plunging into the Mediterranean in Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

Thursday, day 2 — Vallée de l’Agly

Our bus picks us up at the hotel after breakfast. We’ll start exploring Roussillon. Today we go up to the Vallée de l’Agly.

This beautiful valley, with some fairly high mountain peaks, is located just north of Perpignan and extends a fair distance inland. Here, you find villages such as Rivesaltes, Calce, Espira de l’Agly, Vingrau, Maury, Estagel, Tautavel and Latour-de-France. All have several exciting wine producers. Some examples are Domaine Le Soula, Domaine Gauby, Olivier Pithon, Domaine Cazes, Domaine Pouderoux, Domaine des Schistes, Domaine Gardiés.

Vallée de l’Agly became famous for its red wines around 15-20 years ago. But the region has long been known for its sweet vin doux naturel from Rivesaltes and Maury. Producers, like Mas Amiel, with fantastic cellars, and many others make equally outstanding old VDN wines aged in large oak casks. Now, a new generation of winemakers has emerged, inspired by e.g. Gérard Gauby, one of the pioneers of the “new Roussillon”.

We visit three producers this day. We start by going far into the valley, to the village of Tautavel for a visit to one of the new big stars, a young winemaker who quite recently took charge of his parents’ vineyards. His enthusiasm is contagious, and we get to try some exciting wines, red and white and also VDN.

Lunch will be local specialities at a winery not far from famous Rivesaltes. It might be escalivade (grilled vegetables), fraginat de boeuf (meat stew with maury wine), crème catalane, or something else delicious. With matching wines, of course.

We end the day with another visit in the afternoon, and then we go back to Perpignan.

Late afternoon we are back at the hotel. Free evening.

Vineyards and mountains in the dramatic Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon
Vineyards and mountains in the dramatic Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
Vineyards and mountains in the dramatic Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon
Vineyards and mountains in the dramatic Vallee de l'Agly, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

Friday, day 3 — Collioure and Banyuls

After breakfast, we jump on the bus that takes us south, along the coast. We’re going to the two small twin towns of Collioure and Banyuls.

The villages are amazingly beautiful, and the vines grow on steep, break-neck slopes. Some of Roussillon’s best wines are made here by producers such as Domaine Madeloc, Domaine de la Rectorie, Domaine Coume del Mas and others.

We start with a visit to a relatively large producer in Collioure, an incredibly picturesque little town. We visit the vineyards and get to see with our own eyes the breath-taking, austere slopes where the vines, and the winegrowers, struggle. After a visit to the cellar, we will have an exciting, and extensive, tasting.

From a wine point of view, Collioure and Banyuls share the same land. The difference is that AOP Banyuls is for sweet VDN wines, and AOP Collioure is used for table wines.

The red wines dominate, of course, but they also make some outstanding white wines here, with strikingly good acidity and fresh fruit, thanks to southern grape varieties that can take the heat. Macabeu gives a light, floral and fruity character to the wines and grenache blanc and grenache gris give body and substance.

Lunch will also today be with local specialities, with the sea as the theme. We have time for an afternoon visit before heading back to Perpignan.

Late afternoon we are back at the hotel. Free evening.

Vineyards by the Mediterranean sea in Roussillon
Vineyards by the Mediterranean sea in Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
Vineyards by the Mediterranean sea in Roussillon
Vineyards by the Mediterranean sea in Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

Saturday, day 4 — Côtes des Roussillon Villages Les Aspres

After breakfast, we get on the bus again. Today we will travel a short distance south-west, towards the exciting district of Les Aspres.

Since 2003, Les Aspres, just south-west of Perpignan, has had its own designation of origin (AOP). In the rocky, lean soil and with a tramontane wind that sometimes blows hard, both white and red wines become excellent. Many growers have very old carignan and grenache vines. Some exciting producers are Domaine Vaquer, Domaine Treloar, Domaine La Casenove, Domaine de la Meunerie and Domaine Sanac.

The morning visit will be in the village of Trouillas, where we visit an exciting property founded some 15 years ago. The owner couple then decided on a career change, and they have not regretted it. Production is small, exports important. And the terroir feeling is also important.

We head to a neighbouring village and a small wine estate that also has a restaurant specializing in Catalan gastronomy for a delicious lunch. Here you can munch on delicacies such as foie gras aux figues marinées au muscat de rivesaltes, filet de canard aux cerises de céret (duck fillet with local cherries), boules de “picolat” au foie gras et ceps (a kind of meatballs with porcini mushrooms and duck liver) and much else. This goes well with their full-bodied grenache blanc or fruity cinsault. And you should not miss their local goat cheese served with rosemary honey.

The last visit of the tour will be one of our really big favourites, in the village of Tresserre. The woman winemaker has really old vines, both grenache and carignan, planted in the 1940s. The wines turn out fantastic. We take the opportunity to ask all the questions we have not yet had answers to, and then it’s time to head back to Perpignan.

The evening is free for relaxation and new gastronomic adventures.

Vin doux naturel (VDN) maturing in the sunshine in demi-johns, Roussillon
Vin doux naturel (VDN) maturing in the sunshine in demi-johns, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
Vin doux naturel (VDN) maturing in the sunshine in demi-johns, Roussillon
Vin doux naturel (VDN) maturing in the sunshine in demi-johns, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

Sunday, day 5 — Heading back home

The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.

There may be changes to some details of the programme, e.g. which wineries we visit. We put great effort into making your visits both exceptional and memorable. For this reason we often visit other than the most obvious, big-name producers (where there are often a number of guides employed). Instead we chose to give you a more unique, personal experience at our carefully selected estates, often (but not always) meeting the owner or the winemaker.

Go For It!

We’d love to have you with us.

Old oak vats in a wine cellar in Maury, Roussillon
Old oak vats in a wine cellar in Maury, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography
Old oak vats in a wine cellar in Maury, Roussillon
Old oak vats in a wine cellar in Maury, Roussillon, copyright BKWine Photography

More travel information

Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:

Even more info

We have written a lot about Roussillon and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.

The Roussillon and Languedoc Wine Book

One of the many internationally award-winning wine books we, the BKWine Tours founders, have written is on Roussillon and Languedoc, but unfortunately, it is not currently available in English. It is called “Languedoc-Roussillon, the Wines of Southern France”. It has been awarded the OIV Book award (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) and became “Book of the Year – Best in all categories” in the Gourmand Awards in Sweden.

Languedoc-Roussillon, the Wines of Southern France is our tenth book. It gives you everything you could need to know about this beautiful wine region. Having written this book and many others, we feel confident that you will enjoy a top-quality tour experience with us.

As far as we know, no other wine tour operator has a track record of authoring ten wine books, so you can rest assured that you will get the most competent and high-quality wine tour with BKWine.

More on the book here: Languedoc-Roussillon, the Wines of Southern France.

 

Languedoc-Roussillon, the wines from southern France, book by BKWine
Languedoc-Roussillon, the wines from southern France, book by BKWine

More wine books

We have written more than ten wine books. They have won both national and international wine writing awards.

No other wine tour organiser has a comparable knowledge, competence and experience.

A collection of wine books written by BKWine

Tour Details — Roussillon Wine Tour

Dates: [this is a sample programme]

Price per person: [this is a sample programme]

Single room supplement: [this is a sample programme]

Sample programme

This is a sample programme, an example. You can find the wine tours currently on the schedule here, or you can explore a custom designed wine tour by contacting us.

Included in the price:

  • 4 nights hotel accommodation, double occupancy, including breakfast
    • 4-star hotel in Perpignan
  • Meals as described in the programme above (*):
    • 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches including a tasting of different wines; at wine estate or local restaurant
  • Start and end point: Perpignan
  • Bus transport during the whole trip
  • All vineyard and winery visits
  • Private, top quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
  • Translation from French as needed (some visits may be in English)
  • Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide

(*) See below for more important information on our meals.

Not included:

  • Travel (flights etc) to the destination and back to your home location.

You are responsible for organising your travel to and from Perpignan.

If you would like assistance organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.

There are several different ways to get to Perpignan. You can, for example, fly to Paris and connect with a domestic flight or take the high-speed TGV train from Paris. You can also fly to Barcelona, only 200 km to the south, and take a train or a car.

We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time. It is a very interesting place and well worth some regular, non-wine related tourism too. We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights as needed.

For this tour to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered by the “book before” date. Maximum number of tour participants: 8.

Book This Tour

Book before: [this is a sample programme]

Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of [sample programme, this varies by trip]. Full payment should be received at the latest [sample programme, usually one month or 60 days, depending on the trip] before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.

It is important that you read our travel booking terms and conditions.

We also invite you to read more on why you should travel with BKWine, about customer protection, and about what you can expect from our wine tours in the section below “More on our wine tours”.

You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:

  • phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
  • Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
  • email: info@bkwine.com, or use the contact form below

“I want to book this tour” or “I want more info”

* = required

Important: We automatically send you a copy of this email when you submit it. If you have not received it within a few minutes: 1) check your spam folder, 2) consider resending it, you might have misspelled your email address. Or simply send us a normal email using our address noted just above.

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More on our wine tours

Why travel with BKWine?

We are Britt and Per Karlsson. We are specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also experts in wine in general. We are internationally published wine writers and have written ten award-winning wine books.

No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tourism and gourmet travel.

We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours, and this is what we love to do. We take it very seriously – it is not a sideline or a hobby – and what we want more than anything is to share all these wonderful experiences with you.

All our tours are led and managed by guides who have in-depth wine knowledge, and in many cases we lead the tours ourselves.

Read more on why you should choose BKWine for your wine and food tour.

Thousands of happy customers

Over the years, thousands of wine lovers have travelled with us. Many come back to tour again and again with BKWine to new wine regions. Our record-breaking client has been on more than ten BKWine tours. We are happy and proud to have such faithful customers.

Read more on what travellers have said about our tours.

Awards and Mentions

We’re pleased and proud to have received many accolades, including:

  • “World’s Top Wine Tours”, Travel+Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
  • “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
  • “Recommended Wine Tours”, Munskänkarna, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year”, Gourmand International awards, and many other book prizes
  • Three OIV book awards, International Organisation of Vine and Wine
  • “Wine Personality of the Year”, an honour bestowed on Britt Karlsson by Munskänkarna in 2011, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • Inclusion on the Wine Media Power List, by Wine Business International magazine

About the wine producers and wineries we visit

Our aim is for you to experience some of the very best and most interesting aspects of the wine world, in terms of wine and food.

We put great effort into creating outstanding winery visits, and in this way we are quite different to many wine tour organisers. It is not always the most renowned, internationally known estates that offer the best experiences. Organising a wine tour featuring famous names of the wine world is relatively easy: it is merely a question of making lists and ticking boxes. On those kind of “bucket list” wine tours, you rarely meet the winemaker or the owner. You will simply be one of thousands of visitors they receive each year.

We do things differently. With BKWine Tours, you will meet the people behind the label, often the winemakers and/or the owners. Thanks to them, you will have a unique, truly personal experience and an insight into the wine world that no one else can offer. When you travel with BKWine, you are more like a special guest than a tourist.

We have personal connections and unparalleled knowledge thanks to more than 20 years as wine journalists, with 10 wine books published, and as wine tour organisers with more than 30 years’ experience. You can be sure of getting the best wine travel experiences with BKWine Tours.

Read more on the wine producers and wineries we visit.

A true gourmet experience: food and gastronomy

For us, wine and food are intimately linked, and this is a fundamental part of our wine travel philosophy. For this reason, a wine tour with BKWine is always an outstanding culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A BKWine tour is a gastronomic voyage that explores the deep relationship between food and wine.

Read more On Meals: Food and Gastronomy on Our Tours.

Customer Protection,  Financial Travel Guarantee, and Terms and Conditions

You can always feel safe when you book your tour with BKWine. BKWine has a bonded bank guarantee that gives full protection according to EU and Swedish law. BKWine is a Swedish limited company and as such is regulated by strict rules.

Read more on Customer Protection, Financial Travel Guarantee. and our Terms and Conditions.

When you book a tour it is important that you read the terms and conditions. BKWine’s booking terms and conditions follow the guidelines developed by the Consumer Protection Agency.

Health, vaccination and allergies

Our tours have no particular health requirements although inevitably we will be walking a certain amount in wine cellars and vineyards. Sensible footwear is a must.

Most of our travel destinations have no particular health guidelines or requirements for vaccinations or medical certificates, but if in doubt, you should always consult a medical professional, vaccination centre or relevant embassy in your country of origin.

We can always accommodate food allergies. However, in order for us to manage such requests you must let us know about any allergies before the tour starts.

Read more in our FAQ and in our Terms and Conditions.

Travel insurance

BKWine does not sell travel insurance. If you want travel insurance, check if your regular home insurance policy includes some kind of travel insurance, or contact your regular insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.

Custom Tours

We also offer custom wine and food tours if you want to travel on different dates, or if you want something different to what we currently offer on our scheduled tours. This tailor-made service can be offered for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.

Important information

Our groups are always small. The number of people in the group may vary. The maximum can range from 8 to around 20; check the details in each programme. But our groups are always modest in size. This is important because it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.

Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!

You are expected to organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours, but once you are at the location, we take care of everything.

For more inspiration

Read our wine travel blog. For more, read our online wine magazine the BKWine Magazine with articles from all over the wine world.

And also:

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Subscribe to our free wine and travel newsletter, the BKWine Brief. Each month, it gives you news from the world of wine, restaurant recommendations, tips on our favourite wine producers and much more. It will also keep you updated on forthcoming wine and food tours.

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