On the banks of the Rhône

We spent most of our day in and around Tain-l’Hermitage, on the left bank of the Rhône. This is wine country!

Local wines include Hermitage AOC and Crozes-Hermitage AOC and Cornas AOC. The red wines are produced from Syrah, and the whites from Marsanne and/or Roussane grapes, in case you are versed in these matters. Tain-l’Hermitage is home to a large number of wineries, including Maison M. Chapoutier, Caves de Tain and Paul Jaboulet Âiné, as well as many smaller domaines.

There is a lovely footbridge which crosses the river and connects with Tournon-sur-Rhône, an equally charming town, dating from 814. If you are interested in area real estate, Century 21 will be more than happy to assist.

We went back across the bridge to Tain and had a lovely lunch overlooking the bridge. Note: If anyone ever offers you melon gazpacho, grab it!

We had a little pool time before our next adventure – a ride on an old steam engine train along Le Doux, a tributary of the right bank of the Rhône whose deep gorges in the Ardèche plateau can only be seen by the train. This was so similar to the Amtrak ride we took last year along deep gorges of the Columbia. The Doux is much smaller, but the vistas were equally exciting. And, as with the San Francisco cable cars, the engine moves onto a roundtable at the half-way point, and turns around for the return journey. A nice change of pace.

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