French Country Adventures’ Seasonal Samplers

Unleash your spirit of adventure on these guided, custom tours, limited to no more than six people, anytime throughout the year. If you are already living in, vacationing or globetrotting through France to somewhere else, these seasonal samplers are a perfect combination of slow travel and simple pleasures, the perfect antidote to the complexities of city life. 

A French Country Culinary Adventure 

Liberate your senses in the Gers, the heartland of Gascony, where white clouds languish in deep blue skies, canary yellow fields of sunflowers follow the light, and rows of vines stretch to the horizon. Isolated from main highways and train lines, the people who live in the Gers are rooted in the terrain. In this land of plenty, good food tasting and smelling like the season it was grown in, is not a luxury, but a priority. You will find nourishment for your soul in the local cornucopia of bountiful fruits and vegetables, garlic, foie gras, duck confit, and armagnac soaked croustade sold at farmers’ markets and used as ingredients in restaurants tucked into medieval corners of the landscape. There is no secret recipe for happiness except a good meal.
Aperture Adventure
Capture beautiful images and discover spectacular photographic opportunities during these small, highly personalized, two full-day sessions. If you have a digital camera and aren’t sure how to use it, this course will increase your confidence as a photographer. You will learn basic handling and usage of your camera: automatic settings, shutter speeds, apertures, focal lengths, and depth of field, as well as composition and helpful techniques for using available light. You will also learn how to improve your printed image with digital photographic software. The photography sessions are held by Colby Chester, an American fine art photographer and resident of France.
Wine & Armagnac Enthusiasts Adventure
 
Taste and learn about the wines and Armagnacs of the Gers, Hautes-Pyrénées and Landes départments. Led by oenologist, Tom Fiorina, you will visit charming, local, family-run wineries and Armagnac distilleries and familiarize yourself with the history and process of production in these areas. Tom will explain the fine points of local varietals, vintages and appellations for a better grasp of how winemaking is central to this region’s local way of life.  You will enjoy dégustations of the wines of Pellehaut, Villa Dria, Chirolet, Plaimont and Madiran. Not exported, Madiran wines have the highest level of anti-oxidants in southern France.  Dégustations of Armagnac, the oldest French brandy, will be from Domaine de Ognoas, Delord, Chateau du Busac-Maniban, and Domaine de Saoubis, the only organic, sustainable Armagnac distillery in the area. Consider a special event, Armaganc en Fête: Every year at the end of October, the 12th century village of Labastide d’Armagnac hosts an opportunity to sample from every small, family-run distillery in the famous Bas-Armagnac region. Lunch will be prepared by Slow Food International in the village square.  
French Country Adventures’ Brocante and Antique Tour 
 
Brocante, vide-greniers, and marchés aux puces, also known as flea markets gather crowds of devotees and onlookers in search of a bargain, a rare item, a decorating idea or a souvenir. The Barcelone-du-Gers Brocante & Vide-Grenier is the top of the list of must-see flea markets. It takes place the first Thursday in August. Join me on this 4 day antiquing extravaganza. Friday we’ll visit the 13th century Château des Brocanteurs, an antique treasure chest in the bastide of Lectoure. Saturday we’ll wander the vide-grenier in the old Roman village of Eauze, and on Sunday we’ll choose the best offering to punctuate this long weekend. As a special treat we might even have a private tour of a local château. We will dine at some of the areas finest restaurants. The best antique markets in Gascony are found every weekend from April – November and can be customized to meet your location and needs.