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“Wine education done right”
Review of Vinecole

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Attraction details
Owner description: Vinécole is the new wine experience of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France - offering wine courses and tastings throughout the year. Located at the impressive Domaine Gayda near Limoux, Vinécole is a wine school for all.Run by Master of Wine Matthew Stubbs, Vinécole offers wine courses and wine tastings both for people looking for a brief introduction to wine, as well as those studying for professional qualifications.Whilst studying at the school students can take advantage of the impressive accommodation and gastronomic restaurant situated at the Domaine. We run everything from 2-hour introductory tastings on wines of the region to Guided Tours, a One-day Wine Experience Course and the WSET professional wine qualifications. We can offer bespoke weekend breaks so please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Reviewed September 25, 2011

My wife and I recently traveled to the Languedoc region with two other couples as a long overdue reunion. While there we had the opportunity to participate in a one day, three hour wine education class at the wine school ("le vinecole") near Limoux. The vinecole is on the grounds of the beautiful Domaine Gayda, a winery that produces top notch wines. The school is run by Matthew Stubbs, a transplanted Brit, who has attained the certification of a wine master and educator. They offer multi day courses designed for those in the wine industry (sommeliers, etc) and also the occasional partial day courses designed for those, like us, who have an interest in wine outside of the business aspects of it. Our experience included a walking tour of the vineyards at Domaine Gayda and also of the winery itself. There were two other couples in our group for a total of ten "students". While on tour, Matthew explained the process of converting the grapes we could see on the vines (it was the start of harvest) into the finished products we enjoy. Following the tour we retired to the comfortable meeting room and Matthew conducted a wine tasting of eight different wines that were representative of the Languedoc region.
Our experience was very favorable. In fact, it was a highlight of our entire trip. Matthew has an easygoing yet very informative presentation style and also has an authoritative command of wines and the industry. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the background look into the winemaking process. The wines chosen for the tasting were varied and included a sparkling wine, several whites, a rose and several reds from the area. The tasting portions were ample and allowed us to appreciate the nuances of each. Only one wine was from Domaine Gayda, although more could have been, so we did not feel that their wines were being promoted by the school.
Following the tasting, Matthew had made reservations for us at the highly recommended restaurant at the Domaine Gayda where we had an excellent meal and drank more wine (of course!) while enjoying the panoramic views of the vineyards and the foothills of the Pyrenees in the distance.
It was a great day! I would highly recommend you include a visit to le vinecole if you are planning a trip to the Languedoc. The school has an informative website and Matthew responds readily to inquiries by email.

2  Thank Tom G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 12 of 32 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2011

My son and I attended the "Family Wine Tasting" as a fun activity for both of us both on our holiday in France. We toured the vineyards and winery before returning to the Vinecole to focus on tasting. While the adults were sampling wines from around the region the kids were blind-tasting fruit juices. Matthew was tremendously knowledgeable and yet was easily able to adjust to explain about wines to a 9 year old. It was the highlight of our holiday. A great way to spend the day and a chance to learn all about the wines of the region with an excellent teacher, sitting in one spot and while the kids were happily occupied.

Thank nep19966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2011

Having started to develop a passion for wine, I was delighted to find a wine school near where my father lives in the South of France in the Launguedoc-Rousillon near historic Carcasonne. The day started off with meeting our amiable and knowledgeable host, Matthew Stubbs MW, who preceded to take us on a tour of the vineyards and winery. Along the way he told us many fascinating facts about cepages (grape varieties in English), harvesting, and other wine related trivia. We reached the cellars where we were shown the grapes being sorted and processed, then taken round the fermentation vats and shown the French oak barrels for maturing of wines. All of this accompanied by useful and interesting insights about different production methods and the art and delicacy that goes into making what we take for granted in our supermarkets and restaurants. The tour finished with a tasting session of some sparkling Blanquette, several whites and reds, and the real treat was some fortified wines at the end. Throughout the session we were encouraged to describe our thoughts on the wines with superb guidance and knowledge from our host. Would recommend to anyone who has even the slightest interest in wine and even those who don't, you will not be disappointed!

2  Thank TristanHunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2011

I spent 5 days doing the WSET course, and it was a very rewarding experience. We tasted 90 wines, taught by 2 masters of wine! It really helped understand the whole structure of wine tastings that can be a little difficult to learn by yourself. It was a very intensive course, with a lot of preparation as you don't really have much time to revise in the evenings, but very much worth it. I really appreciated that the teachers were very honest, without being at all intimidating or pretencious. Something not so common in the field. It was a very international class, with 5 different nationalities out of the 7 students. The location was also fantastic! too bad it was too cold to swim! right in the middle of vineyards, with nice views and an excellent restaurant and a beautiful swimming pool.
Breakfast and lunch was provided as part of the course and gite fees, and the rooms were huge with each its own private bathroom and toilet, a large fully equipped kitchen and very comfortable cabled living room and free wifi connection.
We had a lot of fun, so it wasn't quite the stressful experience I assumed it might be.
But the best of all is that within 4 days of adding WSET to my CV, my inbox is full of job offers!!! Money very well spent.

1  Thank Amatal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

An extremeley well structured course in the most beautiful environment led by experts full of enthuiasm for their wines. Heartily recommended

1  Thank Iain_Flitcroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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