Join me for 7 days and 6 nights in the heart of Le Périgord. We will be welcomed by Diane & Eric Athoniessen at their Chateau Ladausse for gastronomic meals, elegant accommodations, swimming, and of course a river of local wine.
We will assemble at the market in Le Bugue (Saint-Denis in the books) where we will meet many of the characters who supply the victuals that figure so prominently in the books, by a tasting at Julien de Sauvignac, producer fo Cuvée Bruno followed by a lunch at one of Martin's favourite bistros.
Indeed, while the characters in the Bruno novels have access to all the great wines of the world, they often choose to drink their local bottles, like one of Bruno’s favorites, Château de Tiregand in Pécharmant, which also happens to be one of Mr. Walker’s favorites.
Together, we visited Tiregand, where we had lunch with the proprietor, François-Xavier de Saint-Exupéry (a distant cousin of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), and drank several older bottles. I was most struck by the 2005 Pécharmant. These reds are made from the same grapes as Bordeaux, the powerful neighbor on the coast, grown in similarly gravelly soils. It was earthy and lovely, intense and refreshing. At 12 years of age, the youthful fruitiness was just beginning to give way to complex minerality.“We like to hunt, we like mushrooms, we like a glass of wine,” Mr. Saint-Exupéry said, speaking to traditions that have sustained Pécharmant for centuries.Eric Asimov NY TImes
May 4: arrival by later train, transfer to Chateau Ladausse, relax, welcome dinner
May 5: Market Day inLe Bugue including wine tasting and festive lunch
May 6: Visit to Bergerac, then Tiregand, wine tasting, picnic on site
May 7: Visit to prehistoric Cave de Rouffignac, Truffle hunting and truffle lunch
May 8: Monflanquin Market and Chateau de Biron
May 9: Cahors, market and cathedral
May 10 departure
The trip to the Perigord with Terrance was like a dream come true. Eric,the owner of Chateau Ladusse met us at Agen station and we were off. The scenery took my breath away, all shades of green and Lilacs in bloom everywhere. I felt as if my 'Fairy Godmother ' had waved her magic wand and put me into one of the most beautiful rooms. my view of the grounds was spectacular. The wine and food presented by Eric and Diane was beyond Michelin stars. Then came the next highlight -- meeting the celebrated author Martin Walker. We were invited to his home for a grand lunch prepared by his wife. Martin's Bruno,chief of Police series has been most successful. Even the wine he produces carries the Bruno label. Needless to say,the wining and dining with exclusive company was over the top. By all means,this is an adventure not to be missed!
Angela Bellante, Petaluma, CA
Our recent trip into the Perigord was fantastic. To begin with, Chateau Ladausse was a great place to stay: the rooms were everything one could hope for, Diane’s meals were over the top, and Eric was a great guide. Lunch with Martin Walker after his tour around Le Buge was the hi light—he was a gracious host, and the lunch itself in his dining room was truly memorable, full of lively conversation, with food reflected all the wonderful things one hopes for in the region. Martin’s wife Julia was equally interesting and charming, and a tremendous cook to boot. It was a treat to meet her, and Martin’s friend Raymond as well—a real character. Our tour of Cahors, the lunch at Chateau Mercues, and the walk around Chateau Biron added even more interest to an altogether wonderful experience in Perigoridian history and gastronomy. Thanks for putting together a sojourn we won’t soon forget.'
Gil and Patsy Diekmann, Tiburon, CA
'This was our second trip and it was a delight. Chateau Ladausse is a wonderful place and Diane and Eric make the experience very special. Martin Walker and his wife Julia were also superb hosts. They welcomed us with delicious food, conversation, wine and hospitality! Altogether , a terrific time in Le Périgord.'
Berry Stafford & Pat Holt