Once in a Lifetime Experience (June 2023)

I was a recent participant on the May 2023 Provence trip. It took me a while to decide to commit to the trip with my two greatest concerns being the cost and giving up control to a relative stranger. I will say with absolute certainty that the trip was 100% worth it and then some. It goes without saying that we were privy to once in a lifetime experiences with wine makers and behind the scenes tours. The food and wine was phenomenal but the critical factor for me was the attention to detail and the attentive focus of Jean-Christian. I don’t give up control easily, but Jean-Christian earned my trust and went far above and beyond to see that each of the participants needs and preferences were met. I never once saw him lose his patience with us nor express frustrations when things didn’t go exactly to plan. He saw to individual diet restrictions and took into consideration our preferences as well. Two actions stand out as representative of why I would not hesitate, and plan to take more tours with Jean-Christian. The first was after a tour to Grotte Chauvet where we were driving downhill next to the canyons with no guardrails. This terrified me and Jean-Christian not only noticed, but took a detour at so we would be driving on what felt like a safer route. The second was on our last night and we were seated outside. This table was lovely but on either side of us were diners who were chain smoking. Once Jean-Christian learned this was a migraine trigger for me, he worked with the restaurant staff to move us inside. I can’t express how much I appreciate Jean-Christian’s sensitivity and willingness to make this trip the best experience possible for each of us. I highly and with no reservation recommend any tour Jean-Christian leads.

Laura M.
Greatest trip (Oct 19, 2018)

Greatest trip I have ever been on. It was so great, I am seriously considering the Rhone Valley trip with Jean-Christian in the near future.

Michael Smith
Clayton, North Carolina

Exceptional (Oct 11, 2018)

This tour was so exceptional that words can't describe it! We had one of a kind, personalized experiences with such warm and enthusiastic winemakers!!! I will always remember this trip!

Tracy Strauss
Clayton, North Carolina
FRANCE WINE TOUR with Jean-Christian (July 11, 2018)

My husband and I have traveled extensively all over the world – typically we travel on our own, as opposed to doing so with a tour group. Nonetheless, the trip we made with Jean-Christian in the summer of 2017 (Nice, Provence, and Paris) far EXCEEDED our expectations!
Needless to say, it’s quite challenging to orchestrate a trip that’s well-suited to everyone’s individual desires and needs – nonetheless, Jean-Christian cleverly managed to do so, in spades! Hence, over the span of two short weeks, our group of 14 came to know each other as family (even socializing together upon our return back home)!
Touring with Jean-Christian is not for the faint of heart – he fills every moment of the day with a uniquely special experience: tasting the finest wines in the country; culinary delights one can only dream about; accompanied by a cultural dimension that allows one to literally soak in each and every event he’s so meticulously planned!
Given his magical touch, personal flair, it’s simply impossible for a commercial venue to even compete, much less surpass what he has to offer – such a relatively short amount of time will leave an indelible imprint upon your memory, one which remains for a lifetime, truly a paycheck of the heart.

Marlene Champagne
Asheville, North Carolina
Unusual (July 8, 2018)

Great trip, got to see and do things not on the usual tourist itinerary.

Clark B
Jacksonville, FL
Beautiful (July 8, 2018)

It was a beautiful tour . Even the weather cooperated and was delightful!

Barbara Ann Caudill
Chapel Hill, NC
Huge Fans. (July 7, 2018)

My wife and I are huge fans of Jean-Christian. He is a very conscientious and attentive to getting everything just right. His knowledge of the Rhone Valley, its food and its wine is extraordinary--and he is an absolutely delightful person.

Bill and Sandra Moore
Cost (July 7, 2018)

It was fantastic and we loved the tour. The cost was very good and we hope that future tours can be as reasonable.

Ron Kuligowski
Chapel Hill, NC
From my Fabulous Partner (February 26, 2018)

Last year I had the pleasure of taking a group of AWM customers on a wonderful trip to the South of France. It was an absolutely amazing experience and the wealth of memories courtesy of that experience are priceless!

I have the additional pleasure of announcing a continued partnership with my dear friend Jean-Christian Rostagni, owner of Contrast Tours, a multi-talented native of the Rhône Valley. It is no exaggeration when I say Jean-Christian is multi-talented. He is literally a world-class fine art photographer, and he additionally possesses an amazing attention to detail when it comes to planning and hosting travel to his native country.

Words can't describe the quality of these trips. They are an intricate balance of the finest in wine, food, culture, and relaxation. The photo I've posted here is a shot from the trip I hosted last year with Jean-Christian. Yep, the faces tell the whole story. There is no one better than Jean-Christian to show you France in the most authentic and intimate way.

Larry Weaver, owner of Asheville Wine Market
Asheville, NC