Wine package explores chateaux

CARCASSONNE, France -- The Hotel de la Cite is uncorking a French Connection Wine Package, valid Sundays through Tuesdays until Nov. 15, that offers a chance to explore many of the local vineyards and chateaux of the region as well as to sample the wine makers' vintages.

Priced at approximately $1,000 per person, the three-night plan offers junior-suite accommodations.

On Sundays, the program starts with a welcome reception and orientation with the hotel sommelier Georges Gracia plus a sampling of regional sparkling wine Blanquette de Limoux.

On Mondays, guests will travel by car to Limoux to visit the vineyards, tour the Sieur d'Arques winery and have lunch with regional specialties and local wines at Maison de la Blanquette.

On Tuesdays, the program includes three chateaux visits, and guests receive program diplomas and photographs taken during their stay.

The Hotel De la Cite's one-night Honeymoon package features suite accommodations, champagne, fresh flowers and petits-fours, a candlelight dinner for two with wine at the La Barbacane restaurant and breakfast daily either in Chez Saskia or continental-style in the suite.

Valid until Oct. 31, the cost in a junior suite is $1,071 per couple, with additional nights priced at $388; for a full suite, the cost is $1,446, with added nights priced at $562. For reservations, contact Orient-Express Hotels.

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