Last week I embarked for 2 days with the Agency of Development of the Ardeche to the discovery of the region. You will surely laugh since I am Ardèche I should not need to be visited. And yet! As one often says one visits the other end of the world more easily than under his window. Let yourself be guided to be astounded by the Ardèche.
The tour starts in Tournon sur Rhône, I know more about the industrial areas than the small alleys related to my previous commercial life. It is therefore the opportunity to discover what is hidden there, the streets are full of character and charm, out of another era. The big doors contain treasures that is what we discover by pushing the door, registered with the Historical Monuments for more than 90 years, of the 2 street Davity. We discover a mansion that after having changed owners several times over the centuries is now a hotel.
I fell in love with the photo above, I can imagine to work in one of its armchairs, bringing my technology in a decoration of the XVIIth century. Let me dazzle each day by the floor and by the splendid chandelier that brings a touch so chic to the room. Let’s come back to reality two minutes, it’s a perfect place for a romantic weekend, the opportunity to take yourself for a princess, in truth!
Behind this renaissance hides a blow of heart of the new owner. He loves wine and beautiful stones. He wants to indulge himself by proposing a different luxury hotel offer. He wants to preserve the soul of the house that is why many materials have remained original. After 2 years of work his wish is fulfilled for our greatest pleasure.
Find all the information on their website. Room between 100 and 300 €.
It is in a village just a few minutes from Tournon sur Rhône that we stop lunch. The facade of the restaurant does not necessarily attract the eye but believe me if you eat there once you will never miss this storefront. The meal was a delight from the start to the dessert. Damien Barjon the chef and owner of the restaurant “Du jardin à l’assiette” came to greet us at the end of the meal, we were able to exchange and from one subject to another we came to speak of vegetarianism, sometimes sensitive subject in the Restaurants. And well thumb in the air for Chef Barjon who told me delighted to welcome vegetarians and even more delighted to have to break his codes and push his limits to satisfy them. As a reminder, I am not a vegetarian but many of my friends are, so I am quite aware of this. Be sure to book a big week in advance to come on weekends. More info on the website.
It is on the heights of Saint Péray that our walk continues, in a place that I know since childhood, which I have visited many times but whose history I really did not know: the ruins of the Castle of Crussol. Here you will hear more about the castle of Crussol than about ruins but I prefer to warn you do not expect an “entire castle”. This is one of my favorite places in the area. The view is incredible, you dominate the Drôme, you can admire the Vercors, see under his feet Saint Péray, Cornas, Le Rhone and our beautiful Valence too. Better than words. Images. Although the picture is not great because of the clouds the view is still nice no?
It is still a castle built in the 800s, yes yes there is strong, very long! It is part of the first castles built in stone, it remained in the state of the 11th century, impressive. If it has managed to remain in this state through the centuries it is thanks to its owners, a very powerful family that does not need to be protected. They therefore did not modify the castle as it was possible for others to improve their protection, for example the first door gives direct access to the city, access to 3 hectares, 150 houses Rather remains). 700 people lived at the time between these walls, mainly craftsmen. The proximity with the Rhône and the Isère makes it a very commercial area since it is easy to navigate. At that time, Valence, just across the Rhone was not a part of France but of the German Empire. Throughout the centuries the region has seen people, stories, exchanges, sales, purchases, wars, meetings, families. It’s always crazy to imagine that long before us other people walked on the same floor.
All information about the castle on the site of the tourist office Rhône Crussol.
We ended our day with a visit to the vineyard of Rémi Nodin, around a 800 year old farmhouse, this young winemaker made his first cuvée in 2008. He took over from his great-grandfather who Bought the premises in 1907, the latter was specialized in polyculture. Afterwards Rémi’s father will specialize in arboriculture and viticulture. Since 2008 Rémi Nodin specializes in the cuvées of Saint Péray.
We visit the cellars, we learn a lot about the history of Saint Péray, among other things that after Napoleon the vines of Saint Péray occupied 500 hectares. At present there are more than 100 hectares.
The tour ends with a wine tasting, so for me who am not a great amateur it is less simple to make a return, I can not compare, I can not pretend that I can give you a notice Professional and fair. But I can tell you that we were very well received, that Rémi Nodin is super nice and really took into account the fact that I was not a regular wine by asking myself questions and explaining myself some things. I was a little apprehensive about the moment when I was going to have to say that I knew nothing about it, he was super understanding. Plus one for him too;)
All the information about Rémi Nodin on his website.
The day ends at the Cedar de Soyons where we will have dinner and spend the night, a very nice welcome as well. Still a little fun to sleep a few miles from home;). The next day was also very rich so I decided to divide these 2 days into 2 articles, history that is digestible enough for you 😉
Thanks Ardèche Guide for having us.
Belle soirée mes petits loups à frange.