First Trip To Rhone - Guidance Needed

Hello Fellow Berserkers

I’m taking my wife to France for her 40th birthday next year. We will start in Lyon and end in Provence. The wine-focused days will be in Beaujolais, North Rhone and South Rhone. We will have a car, however the million dollar question is do we self-guide ourselves or do we join a private/semi-private tour. I’ve recently passed my WSET Level 3 so very interested in the intimacy/knowledge of the various stops. I’d appreciate any recommendations on tours, producers that appreciate wine geek tourists, hotels, and restaurants in the area. Insider recommendations go a long way in my book! I’m not as familiar with the producers in the South Rhone other than top ‘famous few’ as the geography/appelations are vast compared to North Rhone. Thanks in advance for any help!

We hired a guide using TripAdvisor reviews. We paid about $300 for the day. He drove. We had lunch. Did two tastings in the morning, two in the afternoon. All costs except lunch were covered. We met one on one with winemakers and had private tastings. Well worth it and we’d do it again.

Do you recall which tour guide on Trip Advisor or perhaps have a link you are willing to share? Thanks!

Soon after our trip we received an email from him stating he was no longer guiding, but starting a French centric wine club.

This is the type of search we used, but I am sure there are sources other than TripAdvisor.

Thank you for your intel!

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Brian, I’ve had great luck self-guiding my own tours. Typically reached out via email (using Google translate). On my trips I’ve visited Levet, Rostaing, Sorrell, G. Gilles, Voges, Barroche, Pegau, Janasse among others booking on my own. I’ve also done a tour.

As a WSET 3 you might find self-guided more interesting and engaging if you’re willing to do the work ahead of time. A tour is certainly nice enough if you don’t want to send a bunch of emails.

Pickpockets, pickpockets, pickpockets. You’ve been warned.

I would definitely go the route of self-guided. I reached out to the places via email (in French using Google Translate) with very few issues scheduling visits. Tons of recommendations on this board for places to taste as well eat in the region. We did visits with Gonon, Gilles, X. Gerard and ate in the Tain-l’Hermitage area.