April 23-28, 2023
*alumni tour*

Saturday, April 22 (pre-tour)

If you arrive early, consider lunch at  Cocottes et Bouchons in the City Center, then enjoy exploring the city, the cathedral, the Opera House, and the many, many tasting rooms around town, including Bar a Vin, a tasting room run by the Bordeaux Visitors Bureau that has an amazing selection of wines by the glass – wines you’d otherwise never have a chance to taste without buying a very expensive bottle!

If you need a hotel in the city center, I suggest the Best Western Premier (don’t let the “Best Western” drive you away – it’s very nice and very centrally located), the Intercontinental (sort of the “grand dame” of the city), or the lovely boutique Hotel de Seze. If you have Hilton or Marriott points, just check out their websites and I know you can find those brands in Bordeaux, as well. 

Highly recommend the Intercontinental’s rooftop bar “Night Beach” for cocktails.


Sunday, April 23 (first official tour day)

The group gathers in central Bordeaux around 9:30am Saturday morning and promptly heads to one of my most favorite places on the planet: Saint-Emilion.

Saint-Emilion, Gironde, Bordeaux, Aquitaine, Frankreich

We’ll begin with a tour and wine tasting at Chateau la Dominique, then ascend to the rooftop terrace for lunch with wine pairings at La Terrace Rouge.

La Terrasse Rouge

After lunch, explore the village of Saint-Emilion, including a tasting of sparkling wine at Les Cordeliers.

Then we’ll head on to our home base for the week, which we have reserved exclusively for our guests: an 8-bedroom chateau with private grounds, a spa area with hot tub and sauna, and a heated swimming pool.

**Please note, with a French chateau, room sizes and features will vary. All rooms are unique, beautifully appointed and have ensuite baths. Double rooms will be configured with twin beds for ease of room sharing. **

Jenni will lead an introductory session and guide us through setting our intentions for the week, then Julie will provide an overview of Bordeaux wines while we enjoy a selection of charcuterie and cheeses as a light dinner at our chateau this evening.

Monday, April 24

Morning meditation, then breakfast at the chateau.

Drive to the famous Bordeaux wine appellation of Margaux in the Medoc, where we’ll tour and taste the rich red wines of famed Chateau Prieure-Lichine.

Afterwards, we’ll head to La Gare Gourmande for a three-course lunch with wine pairings – hopefully the weather will be nice enough for us to dine on the vine-draped veranda!

La Gare Gourmande

Zip by for photos at the famous Chateau Margaux en route to an afternoon Medoc wine overview and tasting at La Cave D’Ulysse.

Chateau Margaux

A selection of charcuterie and French cheeses for dinner at the chateau this evening


Tuesday, April 25

Breakfast at our chateau.

Morning session/meditation

Depart for the village of St. Germain du Seudre, where Julie was based during part of her 2016 year in France. We’ll begin the day with a tasting of “pineau,” a sweet local wine blended with Cognac, intended for aperitifs or night caps.

The ever-charming Jean-Marie (pictured below) of Domaine du Chene will show us around his vineyards and winemaking operations.

Now, get excited about this: the hosts who were so gracious to let me live in their beautiful French home in 2016 have invited us for pre-lunch aperitifs! Their place is knock-your-compression-socks-off gorgeous, and I’m so thrilled to share it (and my friends – José and Greg) with all of you!

Next, we’ll have a divine lunch with wine pairings at Domaine du Seudre. I had dinner there on my birthday one year – it’s a special place run by dear people. Lunch ends with their absolutely delectable signature Cognac soufflé!

A bird’s eye view of the Domaine du Seudre, our lunch stop!

Wednesday, April 26

Breakfast at the chateau

Morning session/meditation

Enjoy a tasting of whites, rosés and reds at the family winery of Veronique Barthe, Chateau La Freynelle, the domaine that’s been in her family for many generations. After we’ve discovered new favorite wines that you can find in many local shops in the US, head to lunch at the quaint French bistro, Caffé Cuisine, in the tiny riverside village of Branne.

Veronique Barthe, winemaker extraordinaire!
Caffé Cuisine in the riverside village of Branne.

Afternoon meditation.

Charcuterie “picnic” dinner at our Chateau this evening.

Thursday, April 27

Stay tuned! We’re working on a fabulous series of wine and culinary delights for today! Likely to include a visit to the Cotes de Bourg and Chateau de Rousselet for a wine tasting with wine producer Emmanuel Lou.


We’ll have our closing session this afternoon before heading out to a celebratory final feast.

Friday, April 28

Morning meditation (time permitting, depending on flight and train times).

Breakfast at the chateau and final farewells.

Transfer to the City Center – airport, train station, or a city hotel.