"the gastronomic capital of the world"
In 1935, the noted food critic Curnonsky called Lyon "the gastronomic capital of the world."Since then, little has changed — Lyon continues to reign supreme. Lyon became the birthplace of nouvelle cuisine in the 1970s under Paul Bocuse, and in recent years was chosen to be the international capital of Gastronomy.. Boasting incredible dining experiences in Bouchons—the Lyonnais restaurants that serve local fare like sausages, duck pâté, and local wines—the city of Lyon has been a favorite for food lovers and you can count us big fans!
Our time in the Jura will be focused on the area’s incredible wine and cheese. Jura wines are made from the region’s unique grape varietals and our adventure in the mountains will take us to the tasting rooms of several producers, from Cremant du Jura to the incomparable Vin Jaune. If cheese is your thing, then hold on tight because we’ll be touring the mothership of France’s most popular cheese: Comté. Our visit to Fort Saint Antoine, where the cheese is aged under the auspice of affinage master Marcel Petite. This will be a food tour for the ages.
The trip is designed for experienced travelers with a passion for great food made the traditional way. A bit of curiosity for new foods and flavors is good to have as well. We encourage open minds, adventurous spirits, and a deep passion for traditional foods. Our guests are adults of all ages with a love for walking and exploring places on their own, as well as with the group. We keep the group small. No more than 12 guests will travel with an experienced host from Zingerman’s, plus our partner Maisie Wilhelm of Palatine and wine expert Bernardo Conticelli.
What About Accommodations?
You will be staying in a clean, conveniently located in the heart of Lyon. There is a small hotel bar and several surrounding restaurants with great outdoor seating should you find yourself a free moment to relax.
In Jura we’ll be staying in a charming hotel located in a lush valley just outside of Arbois. This hotel is a great base for nature filled walks int he charming local village or to the nearby cascades.
Amazing food – all breakfasts, most lunches, and several dinners. We will enjoy traditional regional specialties made with local, fresh ingredients.
Behind-the-scenes visits with artisanal producers, local farmers, and hands-on cooking experiences.
Visits to some of Lyon + Jura’s most traditional and exciting food & wine producers–old and new–along with several days trips into the surrounding hills. We’ll take walks around vineyards and learn from some of the areas most passionate traditional food producers.
A Zingerman’s tour host and our guides will be at your disposal at all times.
Hotel accommodations for 7 nights.
What’s Not Included?
Alcoholic beverages (other than beverages with dinner or when they are specifically included in the itinerary)
Personal spending money
At our centrally-located hotel in the heart of Lyon, we will meet for introductions in the early afternoon. We’ll kick off our time together that evening with dinner at one of Lyon’s 100 year-old Bouchons. The Chef will welcome us with Lyonnais classics sure to set the mood for our food-filled journey over the days.
After breakfast, we’ll make our way into town for a deep dive into the local chocolate scene. We’ll head to Maison Bernachon, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker and Lyon staple since 1953. We’ll tour the facility, learn about their process of chocolate making, and then taste it all!
With our bellies full of chocolate we’ll burn some calories with a stroll through Marché Les Halles, one of the most memorable food markets in all of Europe. We’ll sample the seasonal offerings before finding ourselves a nice corner to have lunch while rubbing elbows with the locals.
For dinner this evening we’ll be eating at Le Suprêmeone of Lyon’s newer establishments. Founded by two chefs who met and fell in love in the US before settling in Lyon, they’ve been reimagining classic bistro fare, giving a modern twist on classic French cuisine. We will receive a lesson in Poulet de Bresse along with other regional specialties, and enjoy an informal but delicious supper.
After breakfast, we’ll put on our walking shoes and make our way to the Marché de la Croix-Rousse. We’ll meet up with a local guide to take us through the stalls as we admire the bounty of fromages, spit-roasting chickens, braided garlic strands, and more. We’re sure to work up an appetite.
Inspired by the offering at the market we’ll get our hands dirty and prepare some regional classics as we make our own lunch as a group.
After a brief rest, we’ll meet up in the early evening for a lesson in charcuterie. We’ll visit one of Lyon’s famous charcuterie boutiques, C. Reynon. We will tour the boutique (where the last four generations have worked) and have a private session with the charcutier chef himself! Together we’ll learn about the famous Rosette de Lyon salami and end the evening with a small lesson in local French wines as well as a light dinner.
After breakfast, we’ll hop on the bus and head out of town to meet our friend Loic Mounier from Agriz Farm. Loic is the young CEO-Farmer of Agriz, a collection of fruit and vegetable producers in the Rhône-Alpes region. They offer a responsible and sustainable approach to agriculture, putting taste back at the center of production methods while respecting people and the environment. We’ll sit down for a fresh lunch prepared by a local chef right there on the farm.
Tonight we’ll enjoy a classic meal in an official Bouchon serving tradition Lyonnais fare in a lively and fun atmosphere. Bouchons are all about conviviality, generosity, sharing great food, and enjoying oneself with friends - just like you would at home. We’ll dine at Joseph and Françoise Viola’s Lyonnais bouchon and feel the spirit of the area as a group.
Pack tonight - you must check out in the morning as we depart for the Jura!
This morning we’ll make our way to our next destination: the Jura region, a department of Bourgogone-France-Comté. We’ll be staying just outside of the town Arbois in the heart of the Jura wine country. Our 4-star hotel will make you feel like you’re stepping into another time and place as you marvel at the surrounding cascades and wildlife.
We’ll have lunch and enjoy a tasting at one of the area’s leading wineries - Domaine de la Pinte. We’ll drink, walk the vineyards, and eat overlooking their estate. The view is spectacular.
Our evening will be filled with a class on Jura wines by our personal wine guide, Bernardo Conticelli. Dinner will be in Arbois at la Finette, a local favorite that is simple and always good.
After breakfast, we’ll head toward the Swiss border to visit one of Zingerman’s favorite locations: Comté Fort St. Antoine. The fort was built in 1882 near the eastern border of France, to defend against the Prussians. In its heyday it housed hundreds of soldiers. After World War II it was obsolete and abandoned. In the 1960s, Marcel Petite, a fifth-generation Comté maker, was looking for a place to begin aging Comté when he happened upon the decaying stone buildings. Now it’s the premier aging cave for Comté in all the Jura.
After our lesson in Comté, we’ll head up to a mountainside restaurant just outside of the town of Metabief for a light lunch and beautiful views.
On our way back to Arbois, we’ll visit one of the oldest distilleries in France, Pontarlier-Anis. Founded in the 1890’s, we’ll learn about the golden age of Absinthe and the local botanicals.
After a very full day we’ll head back to the hotel, shower, rest, stretch and then meet with the hotel chef and owner for a private, traditional cooking demo followed by dinner.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll head to the nearby village of Poligny for a visit with the winemaker of Domaine Morel. In 2014, after nearly 30 years of business, Jean-Luc Morel decided to pass his estate on to his son, Valentin. With a history set in Law, Valentin decided to take a new approach in wine production and we’ll learn about his story during our visit, take a walk in the vineyards and discover the Jurassic soils that make their wine so unique.
From Domaine Morel, we will head into the town of Arbois for a fresh local Lunch at Le Comptoir des Docks. After lunch, we’ll have a bit of free time to walk around the city center and explore some of the local shops and tasting rooms.
From town we’ll make our way back to our little valley to freshen up before a special evening we’ve planned in the cellars of DomaineRolet. This evening will be full of surprises and sure to leave a lasting memory.
After breakfast we’ll head to Salins-les-Bains and visit a UNESCO world heritage site for a private guided tour at Salines de Salins.
From Salins-les-Bains there we’ll make our way to one of the oldest estates in France, Chateau d’Arlay, dating back nearly ten centuries. We’ll be hosted by the Count Alain de Laguiche for a personal lesson of his wines and the estate. After our time at Arlay, it’s back to Lyon for our final evening together.
Everything you’ve learned about Lyonnais cooking should crystallize in tonight’s finale meal! We’ll make a pilgrimage to Paul Bocuse’s 3-Michelin starred Auberge au Pont de Collonges, one of the world’s most renowned institutions, and learn about the haute cuisine traditions that spawned a new direction--la nouvelle cuisine--and birthed a new generation of cooks who continue to inform dining today.
Today we enjoy breakfast at our hotel and depart
*One thing to note: this itinerary is the current plan, and, things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described above. However, the nature of the places we’ll be visiting — not typical tourist destinations — means that plans may change at the last minute. Also, you always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.