This 7-night cruise through the Rhone River Valley is just 129 miles from start to finish. Within this relatively short distance the scenery transitions from the verdant green French countryside of Lyon, Beaujolais and Tournon, to the more arid, Mediterranean hillsides of Provence, with the truly Roman cities of Avignon and Arles. The ancient Romans used the Rhone River as a nautical highway to conquer France, planting vineyards on the steep hillsides that today produce the remarkable and highly prized wines of Cotes-du-Rhone, Condrieu, Cote-Rotie and Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Pont du Gard and Palais des Papes in Avignon, the coliseum in Arles and historic wineries along the way. Rhone wine varietals and blends include Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. The cuisine here is marvelous and will not disappoint! Lyon is considered the gastronomic capital of France. Join your hosts, the Russell family on board the lovely AmaCello, sampling their best wines, paired with regional cuisine. Special events are planned along the way.
California winemaker Erich Russell founded Rabbit Ridge Winery and Vineyards in 1981, in Healdsburg CA, building a substantial operation. In 1996, he married the lovely Joanne James, a native of St. Petersburg FL. In 2001, they relocated Rabbit Ridge to the fast growing central California area of Paso Robles.
The area’s calcareous soil conditions are very similar to France’s Rhone Valley, a part of Europe that Erich Russell knows intimately. He has visited and studied Rhone winemaking for decades. Implementing design ideas from Tuscany and France, Erich and Joanne have built a stunning winery that is both regal in look and Old World in feeling. Rabbit Ridge Vineyards today farms over 200 acres of premium grapes, producing 10,000 cases of delicious Rhone-style wines sold nationwide. The next generation is prepping to take the reins. Daughter Sarah and husband Brice Garrett manage the Rabbit Ridge tasting room and produce their own wine label called Serrano.
Join the Russell family on a remarkable voyage and wine extravaganza down the beautiful Rhone River, France’s nautical highway since the time of Julius Caesar.
Please note: This Rhone River Cruise 2019 (hosted by Rabbit Ridge Winery & Vineyards) wine tour and cruise program is created by our tour operator Tours & Wine (by Expanding Horizons of Tustin, California), and in conjunction with AmaWaterways. The pre and/or post-cruise tour program may contain private meals, tours and/or visits to attractions. These additional services are exclusive to guests on this cruise who book their reservations with Expanding Horizons. Persons booking with alternative travel agencies will not be included in these activities.