The Wine Safari Indian summer
le 17 août 2016
There are some shared adventures that you simply never forget – and the Wine Safari is one of them. The setting? The Domaine Riberach – an ecolodge hotel nestling in the former cooperative Bélesta wine cellars in the South of France. Its gastronomic locavore restaurant ‘La Coopérative’ and the wines from the Riberach cellar, which all bear the French organic ‘Nature et Progrès’ label, are the proud fruit of an unstinting commitment to sustainable development.
Luc and Karin, owners and architect-winegrowers had just one wish : to share this place with others. And so they came up with the Wine Safari, offering their guests the perfect opportunity to take time out, to meet new people and share some of the history of a terroir, its cultivation, and the people who make it happen.
The Wine Safari is ideal for those who like to step off the beaten track, for example by sleeping in a vat and then setting off the next morning to explore some of the most stunning panoramas of the Agly and Têt valleys by Land Rover.
As the sun rises, Luc and his colleagues share the secrets of the vine and the soils. And after the ‘Esmorzar’ break (the winegrower’s breakfast), the team takes you on a journey through a whole range of different grape varieties, against the stunning backdrop of unspoilt wild landscapes.
In Llèbres, one of those places blessed by the gods of the Mediterranean, a picnic or barbecue awaits you in the shade of a hundred-year-old plane tree beside the pool, before you slip into a delightful siesta. The afternoon sessions take place in the cellar, offering you a chance to taste the best vintages from the vat, barrel and bottle in the former Cooperative winery built in 1925.
Those who wish can then tarry a while longer, taking a dip in the natural pool or trying out the ‘5-vat’ spa.
And when evening falls, why not round off the day with a gourmet meal served up by chef Laurent Lemal, winner of the Bocuse d’Or 2016, who will represent France at the World Competition in 2017. Step out of time amid the vines, and savour the slow sweet taste of life lived to the full.
Wine Safari & Dinner : on reservation; including picnic basket and ‘0 km’ locavore menu and glass of wine €/140 pers. For 4-8 people and on request for groups of more than eight. Languages: French, English, German, Spanish.
Wine Safari & Lodge : with a night in a Junior Suite ‘in the vats’, gourmet breakfast and ‘1925’ menu with matching food and wine (5 courses) €330/pers.
In summer, request the Rambling through the vines option, for groups of 4-8 people (duration: 3 hours). Discover the vineyards and varieties in a Land Rover, or visit a production site (in the former Cooperative) and enjoy a tasting at the Wine Shop for €50/pers. (€99/pers. with a ‘0 km’ locavore menu designed by chef Laurent Lemal at the Coopérative.)