Creativity and craft skills in Drôme des Collines
In the midst of these hills at Hauterives, the palais idéal du facteur Cheval, built by just one man (between 1879 and 1912), is a masterpiece of naive and raw architecture, and defies the imagination.
The area is a veritable crucible of artisans and creative spirits, whether in ceramics and porcelain, featuring firms such as Jars and Revol, or the leather-working skills of Romans. All the big names in luxury shoes (Clergerie, Jourdan, Kélian) have made their mark on the town. A visit to the 'Musée international de la chaussure' at Romans plunges you into a passionate exploration of the art of footwear, from Antiquity to the present day.
Wines and 'gourmandises' in Drôme des Collines
On approaching Tain-l’Hermitage, from the left bank of the Rhône, you can make out, fully exposed to the sun, the vines growing on the steep slopes. This is the centre of the two great vineyards of 'Côtes du Rhône Septentrionales' : L’Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage, whose AOC wines are produced with the same grapes: Marsanne and Roussanne for white wines and Syrah for the red wines. Wine-tasting is a must with the two main producers of these outstanding wines : 'la maison M. Chapoutier' and 'la maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné'.
The celebrated chocolate maker, Valrhona is another star of Tain-l’Hermitage. The brand new Cité du Chocolat offers us a journey of discovery into the heart of chocolate-making which appeals to all the senses.
On the 'gourmandise' side, Romans is not to be neglected, with its 'pogne' and its 'ravioles', not forgetting Moras-en-Valloire, a remarkable sensory site devoted to the pear, deliciously transformed by the Ogier distillery.
La Drôme des Collines is a rich area for good food with no less than three starred Michelin guide chefs. At St-Donat, fiefdom of Bruno Chartron*, the black truffe of la Drôme des Collines renders the menus sublime. Michel Chabran*, at Pont-de-l’Isère, brings his imagination to bear to make his food available to a wider public. Jean Paul Bertrand**, at Granges–les-Beaumont toils with refinement in the comfortable and well appointed setting of a fine country inn.
The plus points for the shoppers amongst you:
Marques Avenue at Romans : The Marques Avenue Romans centre features 70 factory shops (open from Monday to Sunday from 10h à 19h) who clear their stock from their past collections with a reduction of 30% throughout the year.