Johann moved to the south of France from Chicago in 2003 to take over the Pepin family vineyard, leaving behind his job for fresh air, starry skies, and organic farming.
Lisa moved to the south of France from Chicago in 2003 to take over the Pepin family vineyard, leaving behind her job for fresh air, starry skies, and organic farming.
We were a group of 4 on a cool late November afternoon. We watched the dogs hunting truffles while Johann explained how to train dogs to hunt truffles. He also explained where the truffles like to grow, signs around trees that you may have truffles growing and how you can purchase oak trees that have truffle spores on them.
We also learned about bee keeping in the area, olive trees and how the oil is made. Johann and Lisa's farm is all organic.
Lisa treated us to some delicious truffles treats. Truffles on bread with butter and a bit of truffle salt, also on a cream cheese type cheese. We even had truffle ice-cream with truffle honey. We had a delicious champagne with our truffles, the champagne is made by a family member.
We enjoyed our visit, even adopted a truffle tree. If you are in the south of France, this is a must visit destination.
Everything from here is amazing! The truffles are fresh, the oils are fabulous! The wine and champagne tops it off perfectly.
Went truffle hunting as part of our honeymoon last summer and had a wonderful time. It was the best part of our trip!
Les Pastras - les pleasurable. This highly productive and beautifully scenic farm near the magnificent village of Lourmarin is one of the best discoveries in France. Owned and expertly run by Johann and Lisa, a visit here offers a uniquely interactive, informative, entertaining and fun experience amongst the vines, fruit trees, bee hives and truffle fields surrounding their magnificent farmhouse - activities I've not found elsewhere in France. After a fun time picking, learning, and crushing grapes in ancient barrels, we sat around the pool and had the most fantastic, hilariously funny and leisurely lunch of all things French and scrumptious. The wine flowed, Johann was funnier by the minute and everyone felt like long lost friends. It was so fantastic I had to return later in the day for the truffle hunt and tasting - the most interesting, delicious, and fantastic evening enjoyed in Provence. Genuinely hospitable, charming, knowledgeable, and generous hosts who have great passion, vision, love of people and a great sense of humor! Do not miss this totally memorable experience if you travel to Provence.
Great experience for young and old! Our three young kids enjoyed as much as my husband and I! My folks treated us to an evening out during our stay in Lourmarin and this was perfect. Johann is a great host, knowledgeable, and interesting. He did a good job of making truffles and all things related for the kids. The truffle tastings following the hunt, was amazing too. Highly recommend.
My boyfriend and I enjoyed an amazing day grape stomping at Les Pastras. Johann was an outstanding host - excellent English, a great sense of humor, and pulled out all the stops to make us feel comfortable. It's an experience unlike any other. The views are spectacular, the peace and quiet is calming, and the activity is once in a lifetime. Plus, you get to learn about the wine making process along the way! Thank you for a great day of memories - telling anyone I know traveling to France to find their way to Cadenet!
a traveler India
The truffle hunting experience was the highlight of our trip in south of France! Our host, Johann, was fantastic! He kept the whole group entertained through the tour. The champagne by the pool side along with the truffle delicacies was outstanding - truffle ice-cream was unbelievable. Learnt so much about truffles and now, can't wait to adopt a truffle oak!
a traveler United States
This was so much fun and our hosts, Johann and Lisa, are warm and welcoming. My friend and I were lucky enough to be in Provence in September so we were able to attend a grape stomp at Les Pastras in the morning and the truffle hunt in the evening. Both were so much fun and the food and wine were awesome! This is a must do. Don't miss out on such a unique experience!
A fantastic evening learning about farming, hunting and eating truffles! Trays of hors d'oeuvres paired with bottles of champagne left me feeling perfectly full and newly fanatical over this fancy fungus. Johann and Lisa are fabulous teachers and hosts who will have you feeling like old friends upon the first hello. The Truffle Hunter and two dogs by his side are equally adorable. Wear sneakers for walking through the fields and don't forget to bring extra cash to buy Les Pastras-made truffle products to take home (oil, honey, salt, etc.).
We are very new to truffles and didn't know much about them, but we love to experience new things. We were greeted by wonderful hosts who made us feel welcomed from the start. We enjoyed all parts of the hunt: the explanations about farming truffles, the hard-working dogs who found truffles within minutes, the light conversation and stories about the origin of the farm, the very tasty treats served at the end, and more! It was one of the highlights of our trip through Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding areas. We recommend this activity to everybody.
Our trip to Les Pastras was motivated primarily by a passion for the aroma of truffles and the relatively rare opportunity to eat them. Other than appreciating them greatly, we were pretty ignorant about their growth and production process. Johann was an excellent guide. He took us through the fields and gave us extensive background into the science of truffle growth and the mechanics of truffle production and export. We then followed truffle dogs as they sought out summer truffles and made a nice little haul before learning about other items they produce including olives and honey. The visit concluded with an unparalleled truffle feast as the sun set over the hills. We enjoyed conversation with Johann as much as the truffle ice cream and epic truffle sandwich (summer truffle sandwiched between two small pieces of bread dipped in truffle oil... I'm drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it). Highly recommend to anyone who likes food, dogs, conversation, or sunshine.
a traveler United States
Johann was so great, the property is beautiful and I learned more than I thought possible about olives. The tour is fun and lovely, the actual hunting is with the dogs is so thrilling. But the highlight for me had to be the tasting. I'm sure I've never really tasted real truffles and these were spectacular! This is such a great different activity to do in Provence, totally worth the money. I'll be sparingly using my truffle salt, oil, and honey for the months to come!
a traveler United Kingdom
We were a bit put off at the cost initially, but very glad we bit the bullet as it was worth every penny. Johann is very good at putting you at ease and making the tour of his family farm both informative and fun. We were staying in Cadenet so he even picked us up and dropped us home. The second half of the afternoon was spent gorging on truffles and champagne next to the pool as the sun set. All in all, an excellent experience and one I would highly recommend.
a traveler California
Absolutely loved the Les Pastras Truffle hunt; It truly was the highlight of our Provence trip! Lisa and Johann care deeply about their land and educating participants not only on truffle hunting but sustainable farming. The post hunt/tour champagne and appetizers were delicious and added to the learning experience provided. Looking forward to the "fruits" of our adopted tree and hopefully seeing Lisa and Johann again soon!
Ken United States
How often do you get to go on a truffle hunt? We read about Les Pastras on Trip Advisor and made reservations six months in advance. It turned out to be the highlight of a two week visit to France.The farm family was Johann and Lisa Pepin, though Lisa was not feeling well that day, so the trip was guided by Johann. Their colleague Jean Claude brought their two adorable truffle dogs, Mirabelle and clair--dogs are preferable to pigs, because the pigs want to eat the truffle, too, while the dogs just do their trick, dig up this odd stuff, and then they get doggie treats! WOW!We didn't have to go far, and the dogs eventually dug up 125 gr of the black treasures (December is the height of the Winter Truffle season). After that, Johann walked us through the rest of his farm...he also grows grapes, olives, other fruit, and is a bee keeper. He was a delightful guide, witty, informative, friendly and welcoming. Then the real treat, we all sat around and had several dishes of fresh, aromatic truffles...paired with bread and butter, cheese, as truffle oil, in ice cream... each more delicious than all the others, washed down with generous doses of champagne.
a traveler United States
My wife and I met Anna and her husband from Hong Kong (Anna's review appears here as well) the day we joined Johann for truffle hunting. We really like truffles, we really like France, and we really like dogs. This made for a perfect outing. Johann explained the truffle, as well as the truffle industry and its fascinating politics. We were given the chance to harvest a truffle by ourselves, led by two cool dogs. Johann also took us through his vineyard, olive orchard, and apiary, explaining each in lay terms that helped us gain even more appreciation for Provencal agriculture. Afterwards, we enjoyed a great degustation session. (Truffles, cheese, and champagne good living).I don't think young kids would enjoy this experience, unless you've got some truly worldly youngsters. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for people who merely eat to stay alive. But for those who are into good food and its connection with nature, this is an afternoon well spent.
My hubby and I joined half day truffle hunting with Mr Johann. It was such a great time with Mr Johann. He was nice and patience to explain the details on what weather and soil is good for truffle. He also taught us how to distinguish the good and the bad ones. We learnt a lot on truffle, olive trees. Mr Johann prepared diff kinds of truffle plates, ice cream with champagne to end our truffle hunting. We all enjoyed it so much and it was one of the highlights of my trip. I will highly recommended Mr Johann for those who interested in truffle hunting.
a traveler Australia
On arrival we were warmly greeted by husband and wife team Johann and Lisa Pepin who introduced us to our fellow stompers. Johann then walked us down to the vines and gave us a history of the property as well as grape growing practices in the region. Next we were let loose on the vines equipped with a pair of scissors and small crate to collect bunches of grapes that would soon be stomped on. It was so much fun being amongst all those juicy grapes, out in nature, away from our laptops and enjoying the sunshine.Once we had picked an ample supply of grapes they were loaded onto Johanns tractor and we all headed back up the hill to the stomping area. The grapes were poured into the large wooden barrels and the squishing began. What an amazing sensation! The juicy sweet smell of grapes wafted through the air as we laughed, giggled and tried not to slip on the crushed grape skins. After that we were invited to relax by Johann and Lisas pool where we enjoyed their organic wine and were treated to a white truffle tasting. OMG that was a amazing! Lisa provided us with some truffle education and prepared delicious truffle samples along with an amazing fromage and charcuterie platter.It was an afternoon of laughter, singing and meeting new friends. After a glass of wine or two I even volunteered to teach the group a John Williamson song Home Among The Gum Trees with arm movements to boot! If you are looking for a great day out in the Louberon region I highly recommend Les Pastras. They also offer olive harvesting days and truffle hunts.
Guy Endore-Kaiser from Los Angeles, USA
Les Pastras website
Our visit to Les Pastras was the highlight of France for us, and that's saying something. Lisa and Johann are wonderful, genuine people, and their love of what they do is infectious. The truffle hunt and tour were fun and informative. The tasting was out of this world. If you take a trip to the South of France and you don't do this, congratulations on wasting a trip to the South of France.
Christopher Rodrigue United States
Les Pastras website
A must if you are visiting the region! We visited the truffle farm (after sponsoring a tree) while traveling to the area with our family. Johann was a great host! He explained everything during the truffle hunt. We found a number of beautiful summer truffles. After the hunt, he and Lisa had prepared a number of delicious truffle dishes for us to sample. We enjoyed the truffles and champagne at their beautiful outdoor space. If you have interest in truffles this is a "must do" if you are in the area! Thanks again Johann and Lisa!
Muffy Walker Switzerland
Les Pastras website
We had the best time! This was not a staged tour. We learned a lot, not only about truffles, but organic farming in Provence. Johann was the perfect host and his lovely wife, Lisa, the perfect hostess who made delicious truffle treats for us. This is an absolute must do!
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