Aboard French Hotel Barge Rosa
Gascony has some of the most delicious gastronomic traditions in France. Let the French Hotel Barge Rosa introduce you to the region’s food and wine in the most wonderful way.
How better to spend a relaxed, romantic holiday than sampling some of the country’s delectable delights aboard a barge cruise? Here are a few of the specialities you should definitely try…
Confit de Canard
An iconic delicacy, confit de canard is a rich dish made from salt-cured duck legs cooked in their own fat. Traditionally, it was was designed as a filling and sustainable dish for the winter months (it can be preserved up to six months once cured and cooked) and is often served with baked new potatoes and green vegetables, or used in a cassoulet.
While it might be the subject of some debate, there’s no doubt this is one of the most sought after gastronomic pleasures of the area. The rich, silky smooth duck liver pâté can be enjoyed on its own or incorporated in mousses, terrines and soups. It’s quite often served up simply sliced and quickly seared in a pan.
Readily available on most menus around Gascony, cassoulet is a thick, heavy stew made from beans, sausages and the classic confit de canard. It’s hearty, flavorful and usually served up with huge chunks of crusty fresh bread.
Gascony’s most famous cheese is the blue-marbled sheep’s milk cheese, Roquefort, which is still produced in the limestone caves of Combalou. Aged for a minimum of three months, the nutty, buttery flavor of Roquefort goes wonderfully with fruit (figs and prunes particularly) and wine.
Wines and Other Tipples
The wines of Gascony have a reputation as being among the best in the country, and any wine aficionado will have plenty to make them happy here.
The dry, fruity wines of the Côtes de Gasgogne are outstanding, and you’ll also be able to sample some lovely Sauvignon Blancs. For lovers of red, the local barrel-aged Madiran is known for its deep brown color and lingering flavor.
As well as the classic reds and whites of the region, there are two other tipples you should not miss the opportunity to try, Armagnac made from fortified wine, and Floc, a sweet aperitif that is somewhat of an acquired taste.
This alcoholic beverage is a signature speciality of Gascony. It is the oldest brandy distilled in France. In the past, it was consumed for its therapeutic benefits. While it does share some similarities with its counterpart cognac, Armagnac is different from because of the way it is produced. 95% of the drink is distilled only once, using a specific form of continuous still – the Armagnac alembic. It is then aged in 400-liter oak barrels and stored in cellars. It can even be matured for up to 50 years before being packaged in glass bottles.
Armagnac can be divided into two main categories: vintage and non-vintage. Vintage Armagnacs are distilled from grapes grown in a single year, with the date displayed on the bottle. Non-vintage Armagnacs can either be labelled by age, where the number of years quoted relates to the youngest component of the blend or by category: VS (minimum two years in wood), VSOP (at least four years), XO (more than six years) or Hors d’Age (10 years plus).
Armagnac is usually produced by smaller family businesses rather than large global conglomerates which makes it a true delicacy that is ideally savoured in its place of origin.
Wine from Château Bellevue la Forêt
Included in Rosa's standard itinerary is a visit to the famous vineyard Château Bellevue la Forêt. For wine lovers, this gorgeous estate is akin to a sprawling paradise of vine and vino. Spread out over 270 acres, it’s the largest single privately-owned wine estate in the southwest of France and the wines produced here have won several accolades and awards worldwide.
Château Bellevue la Forêt is produced from the following fine varieties :
This wine tasting is a wonderfully informative way to get to know a little bit more about the wine making process in an impossibly romantic surrounding!
- 57 hectares of NEGRETTE (a variety specific to the Fronton Appellation and rarely encountered elsewhere)
- 6 hectares of CABERNET FRANC
- 16 hectares of SYRAH
- 12.5 hectares of CABERNET SAUVIGNON
- 7 hectares of GAMAY
- 2.3 hectares of white grapes (Viognier, Roussanne, Petit Manseng).
Visit Gascony With Hotel Barge Rosa
Ready to head to Gascony to experience the fabulous food, wine and landscape of this beautiful region? Have Paradise Connections arrange your luxury hotel barge cruise and the food, wine and excursions are taken care of. You’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most memorable holidays of your life while Barge Rosa transports you to wonderful places of interest.
Each evening there's a three or four-course culinary journey that showcases the best of the regional specialities. After your meal you are more than welcome to a digestif and a dip in the hot tub beneath the stars…
Rosa's charming accommodation for eight guests features two double and two twin-bedded staterooms, each with private ensuite bathrooms, and a saloon that gives direct access onto the spacious sundeck. A cruise on Hotel Barge Rosa is the ideal way to explore this beautiful, pastoral region of Southwest France.
Rosa's Gascony route from Agen (Boé) to Montauban on the Canal des Deux Mers, a delightful waterway that links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, features the best that the region has to offer: Armagnac, foie gras, and wine tastings, delightful French countryside, and fascinating excursions.
- Gascony Route: Canal de Garonne between Montauban and Boé
- Bordeaux Route: Canal de Garonne between Boé and Castet-en-Dorthe
- Up to 8 guests in 4 cabins
- Private charters and Cabin cruises
- Learn more: View Rosa's online brochure
View Rosa's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com