Imagine me last November, after I had decided to quit my job and just begin traveling, sitting in my home office... On my laptop...
Google: "Bordeaux Wine and Culinary Tours"
Up popped a few opportunities in the search results. But the one that caught my eye was for a chateau in the Bordeaux region, that offered a week of wine education, vineyard tours, and cooking lessons.
"PERFECT!" I said to myself.
I never considered myself a "Francophile", and really didn't (and will never) like Paris (other than for it's hand in the sartorial world). But Bordeaux could be very different. And besides, I figured, I would be drinking wine.
"It's a WIN!" I determined.
And six months later, I found myself in a taxi pulling into the gates that held this...
It's the Chateau Coulon Laurensac. It's owned by a couple and their two teenaged sons. A few times a year, they host groups of people to educate them on Bordeaux wines, the wine-making process, and offer a few cooking lessons to pair with the wines. The husband is a wine master. The wife was in charge of the cooking experiences.
It was a far different experience than the trip I took to Bordeaux just two months ago. With that trip, I stayed in the city center of Bordeaux, and took a day trip with a wine tour operator. And while I enjoyed it, the Chateau Coulon Laurensac experience was a much more amazing experience.
It was the attention to detail. From the rooms we stayed in... To the planning of all the things we did... To being able to tap into the wine master's knowledge and connections to vineyards that don't offer too many tours... It was perfection. We got to tour some of the top vineyards in the region. And everything flowed so smoothly together.
Plus, I got so many decorating and styling ideas just being in the chateau. Look at this chef's kitchen...
Critical to the Chateau, because of the various cooking lessons we had... It makes me want to build a place and have a kitchen like this.
The Chateau itself dates back to the 1720s. And the inside of it was a wonderful mixture of old architecture with updates elements.
One of my favorite days was when we sat outside on the deck...
This was right off of the kitchen. Though, where we ate breakfast every morning was fantastic too...
Such beautiful light from the big windows. And a great view of the gardens.
Admittedly, though, one of the best parts of the Chateau itself was this little lady...
The family dog. Her name is "Easy." (Though I'm not sure if that's how it is spelled.)
We were all charmed by her. It was fun to watch her run and play, and then come back inside and sit amongst wherever we were in the kitchen.
In some cases, she would sit right on us. At the dining table.
Clearly this place held many charms. And it was an exciting week.