Quick Visit & Lunch in Tain L’Hermitage
If you’re a Northern Rhone fan, a visit to Tain L’Hermitage is well worth your time. Seeing the land for yourself will show you things you will never learn from a book or an article. After our morning visit at Jean-Louis Chave, we had a little time to explore before we caught the train back to Lyon.
Vineyards: Hermitage vs. Crozes- Hermitage
Looking at the hill at Hermitage, you will clearly see why it is such a special place. No level ground, a perfect exposure to the sun and a variety of soils well suited to stress grapevines to their limits.
The Crozes-Hermitage appellation was created to give credit to vineyards immediately adjacent to Hermitage but not quite up to that special location. Over time, however, the limits were extended far outside the places immediately next to the Hermitage hill. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Crozes-Hermitage wines. When you see the vineyards, you will know why the wines are available for $20 and not $100+. There are some Crozes-Hermitage wines that are on Hermitage-adjacent slopes, you just need to search them out.
Tain looks like a fun little town. Our visit didn’t allow us to linger and explore, but we will certainly return! There is a nice village square with a beautiful series of fountains at its center. It’s surrounded by cafés, shops, tasting rooms and a hotel.
Chapoutier maintains a nice looking tasting room.
A nice looking hotel right on the town square if you’re staying overnight.
The Valrhona chocolate factory is a five minute walk from the main square. They are opening a large visitor center in October 2013. In September, it looked like they were running a bit late, as the new building still had lots of construction going on! Visitor center or not, you can stop in the factory store.
They have treats for sale and so many samples to try!
Le Mangevins – a Lunch to Remember
If you find yourself in Tain L’Hermitage (or anywhere in the area!), you should definitely get a reservation and enjoy a meal at Le Mangevins. You will enjoy a lovely bistro style meal with impeccably chosen wines to match. (click on any photo below to view as a slide show)
If you go, or if you have already visited, I’d love to hear about your experience. We’ll definitely be returning in the future.