I spend about 60% of my conscious life working for a prominent high-tech information security company, but a trip to Provence will keep me juiced all year until the next “all too rare” opportunity to go back over and hang out.  Staying close to the “wine road” in Drome Provence is the best advice I can offer to anyone who has but a couple of weeks to enjoy summer in Provence.  France is a big country.  There is more to do in Provence than one can consume in several trips.  I have had friends actually ask me about doing a bicycle tour of Provence for a wine tasting tour.  Maybe in Napa; not in Provence.

Sure, you can make a day trip happen and a good place for that would be the main route between Suze-La-Rousse and Rochegude with perhaps an overnight stay in each.  This route is only a couple of hours of biking with plenty of quaint spots to stop.

I would say rent a couple of bikes and hit the market the evening prior to make sure you have baguettes, pate’, saucisson,

SAUCISSON ARDECHE

A must for the Provence picnic

cheese, local peaches and a good bottle or two of the Cotes du Rhone.  You can start in Suze-La-Rousse and head downhill (always a good way to start) just a few blocks and stop at the local wine cave where they will actually let you fill a few plastic jugs of the local blend for dirt cheap.  I would recommend, however, buying a nice Cotes du Rhone at the market because a good domaine or even château is quite affordable.  Also, the cave runs odd hours of operation and you don’t want to be sitting in the parking lot waiting for the doors to open.

Up the hill from the local cave is the Suze-La-Rousse castle which has been converted into the Wine University.  Climbing this hill is well worth it.  During the tour you can look out from the castle and see your biking destination; the Chateau Rochegude.  After gazing at the gargoyles and imagining life as a professional sommelier, set out in the correct direction and enjoy the day!

Arriving in Rochegude, one must visit the Chateau Rochegude and even spend the night before returning your bikes.  Take a backpack with some fine threads and enjoy a gastronomic dinner that will last about four hours.  You know that when the palate cleanser (perhaps the frozen red wine sorbet) is about the best thing you’ve tasted all year, then the meal will surely be over the top.  Thomas Jefferson actually stayed there and wrote in the guest book that the Chateau Rochegude was the best wine he had ever tasted.  Some endorsement!  Get up in the morning and after breakfast walk that path through the castle woods to the Roman pool across the grounds petting the tame castle deer along the way.  I start and end the day with a glass of Reliv which provides quick energy and soothes the muscles after the workout.

Too much to see, do and visit from here so ciao for now!

For a real TechVoyageur experience visit historic Rochemaure Castle in the heart of Provence!

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