Les Pastras™ - Organic Provençal Farm


GUEST COMMENTS
Here's what people are saying about Les Pastras. 
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"The most wonderful 50th birthday. I had this notion that I wanted to do something unusual when I turned 50 and I wasn't disappointed. The experience 8 of my closest friends and I had with Johann and Lisa was incredible-once in a lifetime. After training down from Paris, we embarked on our adventure from Aix. (Recommend arranging for a car service ahead of time, of which Johann provided a list for me.). Then 45 minutes of beautiful Provencal countryside to the farm. We were greeted right away by Johann and Lisa, met the hunting dogs, met Johann's grandparents (who started the whole amazing experience), walked around the farm with Johann explaining everything about truffles, hunted, found and dug up truffles and then went back to the outdoor patio where Lisa took over and provided us with incredible truffle dishes and unlimited champagne. Both the schooling on truffles and the tasting of truffle infused dishes were out of this world. But I have to say that our beautiful experience was as much due to the beautiful Johann and Lisa as wasthe hunt. They are truly happy, passionate, knowledgeable and kind folks. What an inspiration to find and live your passion. After much laughter and many beautiful photographs, I would say this experience was at the top of wonderful times in France on my 50th birthday." Susie, Denver, Colorado

"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." - Guy Endore-Kaiser, Los Angeles
I had never tried truffles and neither had my girlfriend or her brother, so when all 3 of us were going to visit Marseilles we found out about this and decided to try it out. It was such a great introduction to this amazing little food, covering an education in all things about the mushroom, the fun activity of looking for them, and the even more fun activity of trying them out. I don't know if we'll ever be rich enough to consider ourselves enthusiasts, but this experience has definitely made big admirers of all of us! - A GetYourGuide review from a customer in Bath, England

"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!" - Christopher Rodrigue, Thibodaux, LA

"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." - Muffy Walker, Zurich

"Amazing tour! This truffle and Provencal farm tour made our trip really memorable! Johann is really passionate for what he is doing in the farm, and also very knowledgeable about the fruits, truffle, olive and everything, we learn so much from you. I also have to say big THANK YOU to the lovely blind dog, she is really smart and adorable! I like the donation initiative too. Lisa and Johann, keep up your great work, we very much look forward to visiting your farm again soon! Highly recommended to anyone to experience it!" - Cindy and William, Hong Kong

Our much anticipated truffle hunt at Les Pastras was an extraordinary experience, one we described as one of the best things we have ever done." After a drive where Hannah and Cedar were mocked by Barbs and Chuck for how they slept in the car (described as "hilarious"), we drove up to the house and were greeted by the lead TH (truffle hunter). Once we pulled in the driveway of his house, we were further directed by his wife, Lisa, where to park. After the gracious welcome, we were excited to realize that we would be taking the tour with some fellow Americans, a refreshing change from yesterday's need to rely on a "nice" French person who would translate for us

After getting to know each other, the TE (truffle expert) joined us, alongside the truffle-hunting dogs (THD). We had expected grand, tall-standing, muscular, impressive dogs such as Great Danes. Much to our surprise, in ran 2 small terrier-looking dogs. They were so cute it was hard to believe that these 2 dogs were behind such a lucrative operation. Then we began the hunting, guided by Johann (TH). We watched, amazed, as the dogs led us to each truffle, every time rewarded with a dog cookie.  

After finding 118 grams worth of truffles, the dogs were taken for their cheese reward, and we were taken on a tour of the rest of the farm. It was a lot of fun to see all the olives, pomegranates, truffle tree saplings, bee colonies (for honey), apple trees, figs, plums, wild herbs of Provence and more in their natural growing habitat. 

Then we were led to their "summer kitchen" next to the pool and were given a sampling of dishes with the freshly picked truffles and local champagne. We visited with our fellow tour mates and Lisa, all bonding over being from America and raving over each dish that was more amazing than the previous. Ultimately the hunt is our favorite thing on this trip so far, even pushing aside swimming in the Mediterranean to a still credible second place.
 - Hannah and Cedar (read more about their European adventures at www.thedailyslovo.weebly.com)

“Oh my.....”
Our vacation in Provence was amazing, although almost all of it cultural, so it was great to also include a purely culinary treat, which this excursion was the utter epitome of. Highly recommended, these mushrooms are out of this world! - A GetYourGuide review from a customer in Los Angeles

“Family fun!”
We had an absolutely wonderful time with our entire family. Everyone had a great time - the children more hunting the truffles with the dogs, the adults more sampling their produce and their various incarnations ;-) - A GetYourGuide review from a customer in Oxford

"Our truffle hunt and tasting was so much more than we expected, even better than the glowing reviews. Johann & Lisa obviously love the land and love what they do, and their enthusiasm shines through. They're great hosts who make you feel like old friends and we can't wait to visit again." 
-Norm & Vicki Lionberger, Kansas City


"During our splendid 3 week long trip in Provence in August 2013, we made the visit to Les Pastras for the truffle-hunting tour on the Pepin vineyard/farm, and the four of us considered it one of the major highlights of our trip. Johann, accompanied by his expert truffle-hunter and the two truffle-hunting dogs, guided us through a detailed explanation of the history, challenges, and rewards of truffle-hunting. It was intriguing to learn the regional and horticultural components of the profession and just how to spot a good place to bring the dogs to go digging! On our trip, we uncovered about 7 summer truffles. Johann also gave us a tour through their olive groves explaining the many aspects of olive trees in Provence. Johann was extremely patient with all of our questions, and we never felt rushed. Upon returning to the farmhouse, his wife, Lisa had prepared several small plates using truffles in different combinations of cheeses, salt, breads...some savory and some sweet...all delicious and went done well with the champagne. The farm and fields is a beautiful setting and Lisa and Johann are very passionate about their lives and investment in their work...as well as being candid about the more challenging aspects of it. A home run and not to be missed - would highly recommend to any friends visiting the Bouches-du-Rhone and Vaucluse regions of Provence!" -Alison Duncan, USA

"When in Provence, France - this is where you go and what you do. Cannot recommend it highly enough, cannot think of a better way to spend a part of your day, and cannot imagine that you could meet two more delightful and generous people, than Lisa and Johann. This experience was completely enlightening, and a highlight of my week in the endless wonderland that is Provence." - Natalie Moir, Melbourne, Australia


"Hi Lisa & Johann, Our tour & tasting was a highlight of the trip! Thanks so much & here's to an amazing winter truffle season too!"
 -Maureen & Billy, USA


"We had a fantastic truffle hunt. Lisa and Johann were lovely hosts and we all really enjoyed ourselves." 
-Debbie C., Sydney, Australia



"Thank you so much Lisa and Johann, LES PASTRAS Truffle Tour was absolutely fantastic. Run to perfection like a couple of old friends. We all loved it so much. The walk, the property, the information, to see such a tradition in motion, the food, the champagne, the company, the love you both put into it, and for the love of the Haiti Orphans you have as your charity. Thanks from all of us." 
-Adi Bukman, Aix-en-Provence

"I can't wait to take a truffle tour! My friends and clients who've truffle-toured loved it. I love your respect for the land...and I think your ''give something back'' approach is wonderful too. I look forward to sniffing around in the dirt with you soon!"
-Julie Mautner, The Provence Post


"Thank you both very much for our tour on Monday. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Now we have a better understanding of how to hunt, clean and especially eat truffles!!!"
-John Brazier, Australia

 

"An exceptional experience. Truffles have long been an enigma especially in our lives, much read very little touch and taste for us. Our Truffle Hunt at Les Pastras gave us hands on touch and taste what an experience!!! Our hosts Lisa and Johann were charming, informative and a pleasure to be with. Even if you are a die-hard Truffle connoisseur this special day should not be missed."
-Lovonne, Menerbes, France

"For this truffle hunt I brought my family of seven, which included grandparents in their 70's and a 5 year old. We're a family of mushroom hunters, have a cookbook publisher, some darn decent cooks and seven discerning and enthusiastic eaters. We *all* enjoyed ourselves. The young couple of the farm, who host the tour, are so kind and hard working. They love their olive and truffle farm and the life they're building and seem to sincerely want to share the joy they have found with others. How wonderful! They also make some fantastic truffle treats and olive oil."
-Avery June, Berkely, California

"A hidden gem. The village is not on the beaten track but the Les Pastras farm should be. Weekend truffle tours are held throughout the year and are a great way to scratch below the surface of Provence. Guests learn about the secrets of the 'Black Diamond' and not only join in the hunt with the trained truffle dogs but get to sample the produce as well! A great day out - memorable, in fact."
-Simon B., Menerbes, France

"I had such a wonderful time and we highly recommend this place as a family activity. Children enjoyed wonderful truffle hunting with dogs. I recommend this experince for not only for a family but also for a group of friends."
-Hiroko, Adelaide, Australia

"Thank you both for a great day and a happy hunt with Jean Marc. Cooked the first truffle dish tonight: and it was just delicious! Nothing will stop us now - we are hooked! Poulet aux tuffles....cleaned ( now that's an interesting process..carefully and with brush and fingers and oh so little water..(I wish)). Sliced and slipped under the skin, baked and served with cress and a tapenade of olives, bacon, Spanish onion, red pepper and herbs (on the side). Yum! Thanks for your suggestions and giving us the confidence to do it." - Libby Gilkes, Sydney, Australia

"What a fabulous Provençal experience that is fun, educational and delicious! Johann and Lisa's passion for what they are doing shines through in both the guided tour and the beautifully presented tasting plates we enjoyed with several glasses of champagne after the tour (it's so hard to stop after one...) Not only did we learn about truffles and go-a-hunting with the dogs but Johann also gave us a run down on the other produce being grown on the farm - olive groves, organic wine and honey to name a few. They are both great hosts and the whole experience felt like an afternoon spent with friends in a beautiful rural setting, sharing stories with some great food and champagne." - Giselle Radulovic, Australia

"THANK YOU! We have been in Provence for six weeks and have seen a lot of the area but this was definitely the highlight. From the minute we were greeted at the gate, to the farewell, we felt like special guests. The truffle hunting, the walking tour, the tastings and the champagne - it was all incredible, Lisa and Johann are the perfect hosts, knowledgeable, passionate and friendly. Would highly recommend this to anyone and everyone." - Tamara and Ben Mckenzie, Australia

We drove two hours early on a Sunday morning from Valbonne in Provence to go Truffle hunting at Lisa and Johann's  property in Cadenet.Thinking we would be the lone hunters were quite surprised to see another couple from Melbourne with their three children there. The experience was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed the hunt and the truffles and champagne afterwards. Truffle ice cream too! I just wish we had known that a previous visitor had held the champagne drinking record. I reckon we could have topped it, given the chance (and a taxi). I am going to suggest our travel agent puts this on their "must do's" for visitors to Provence. Thanks Lisa, Johann and of course Jean Marc and the dogs." - Julie and Scott Hamilton, Australia

Les Pastras was truly treat for the senses! Gorgeous, passionate hosts, breathtaking scenery, adorable dogs, delectable smells and tastes, and a glass of champagne to top it all off - what more does one need in life? Les Pastras was a heavenly slice of Provence. We would go back in a heartbeat." Justine Leong, Australia

We enjoyed a wonderful and unique experience with Johann and Lisa at Les Pastras. Our family of 12 ranging in ages 11 to 70+ all enjoyed themselves as we walked the fields, learned about the process, watched the dogs hunt, sampled wild herbs, apricots and plums fresh from the tree and then returned to the pool/patio outdoor kitchen for champagne and wide range of tastings of freshly shaved truffles. Johann and Lisa are warm friendly hosts and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. We didnt want to leave! it was a real treat and a very special experience we will never forget. Thank you!!!" Kim and Scott, New Jersey

I have to echo all of the rave reviews already described here. Lisa and Johann were incredibly friendly, funny, kind and generous, making the whole experience an unforgettable and wonderful event. When on the walk with the dogs it is really amazing seeing them find truffles, play with each other and interact with their trainer. Back at the house we feasted on various truffle canapés and champagne. It was great hanging out with the other guests by the pool and Lisa and Johann create an ambience of relaxation and fun throughout. I am quite certain as others have mentioned, that this will be the standout memory from our trip to Provence this year." Nicole Marcus, Paul Church, Max Church, New York City

The Truffle Hunt at Les Pastras was the highlight of our stay in Aix-en-Provence. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the farm and watching the dogs sniff out the truffles. It was both informative and entertaining and our two daughters loved it as much as we did. Lisa and Johann were amazing hosts and it was a wonderful evening for all of us." The Aitelli Family, California

This is such a great tour, I've been on tours on several continents, this is one that shouldn't be missed if you love, like or just want to be introduced to the world of truffle. Lisa and Johann were amazing hosts, providing several truffle "tastings" after the hunt along with amazing champagne. We learned so much, we loved it!! If your in Provence be sure to do this tour." Hutch and Cristina, Tampa, Florida.

We had a wonderfull evening truffle hunting with Johann and Lisa back in July! Not only did we hunt truffles with two lovely dogs - a magical hour for us Dutch, we also learned a lot about the farm itself, the olive and cherry trees and the bee keeping. The evening ended with a great tasting (truffles, oil and cheese: to good!) and we went home still feeling super excited about all the information and the sightseeing. Johann and Lisa's truffle salt and oil now has a special place in the kitchen - we love it! We will definitly recommend this tour to our friends and family." Charissa & Niels

Grape Stomping A great experience at Les Pastras that you may never forget. Not only grape stomping but a great deal of information about the grapes and grape farming that you wont get anywhere else. If you have a chance don't miss out your host and hostess are two of the most charming you could ever hope to meet." Duncan

The time spent at Les Pastras was the absolute best of our trip. From the excitement of the truffle hunting to the educational tour of the olive groves and vineyards to the ambrosial flavors of the truffle products, we couldn't have been more pleased. Thanks for everything!" Julie Weinstein

Our visit to Les Pastras was truly the highlight of our stay in Provence. Johann and Lisa were so welcoming from the minute we arrived in the driveway and throughout the visit. We learned so much about truffle hunting with Johann being extremely knowledgable about truffles while at the same time being humorous and maintining a homey feel about the place.After the hunt we were greeted by Lisa with champagne and the beginning of truffle tasting second to none. They were such gracious hosts with the truffles appetizers and champagne you felt as if you were at a private party. Thank you again for an evening we won't forget. Can't wait to go home and try the vino." Joanne Hoblak, Canada

Kim and I cannot wait to be back. This is a fantastic and memorable highlight of Provence. Learning about nature and plants - check, truffle hunting - check, tasting homemade products (including different varieties of truffle products - check, unforgettable experience - check!!!" Kim & Christian

Our February 2016 visit was one of the highlights of our 9 day Provence trip. We were a bit concerned that none of our French friends seemed to know about Les Pastras, but once we arrived we knew "why". And what an experience it was - we were able to dig for truffles, and learn about olive growing and some interesting tidbits about the area's agricultural history. And that was all before the truffle eating experience, champagne toasts and truffle ice cream treats. Make a day of it, you'll enjoy every minute of it." Lydia and friends

We had a marvelous time at Les Pastras. Of course the truffle-hunting itself was a major highlight (as well as magic truffle dogs Mirabel and Éclair), but there was so much more. Johann's tour of the property and his explanation of how they do everything without pesticides to keep the olives and grapes growing in a healthy and safe manner and especially preserving the bees in his hives was SO interesting! And indulging ourselves afterwards on the terrace with fabulous champagne and truffle hors d'oeuvres made with Lisa and Johann's honey, olives, and truffle oil and salts--incredibly decadent. You MUST try this! Katy & Roger" Katy & Roger Qualman

Truffle hunting on this beautiful property was one of the greatest adventures during my trip. Despite it raining during our hunt, I was so excited to learn about truffles, the surroundings and enjoy this hunt! You can feel Johann's passion for his land and his work. The food tasting was divine!!! I have never tasted truffles so fresh in such diverse manners. This tour is a must for all ages and all groups!! Thank you for the unforgettable experience!" Alexandra Poidevin, Inspirato

What a fun and wonderful experience ! We were a family group of 12, including our 13 month old Granddaughter. The program is great, and was in many ways the highlight of our visit in Provence. Highly recommended !" Roger, Ann and Family

Many thanks for the hospitality and insight to truffle growing and hunting. Highly recommend visiting Les Pastras." Maryna Kocherzhenko

This is one (actually two) of those exceptional experiences you never forget. "Reason being that it is a totally original concept in presenting the produce of this traditional French farm in a skillful, informative, interactive and hugely entertaining way to the outside world. Johann is a totally funny, obliging, knowledgeable and responsive host, assisted by Lisa who is no doubt also responsible for the mouth watering accompaniments. Don't miss either or both of these true French experiences - a barrel load of fun. I'm still laughing Johann!" Louise (Sydney Australia)

Absolutely loved visiting Les Pastras. Lisa and Johann were charming, the experience was enjoyable and of course the truffles were delicious. My husband and I certainly hope to return again and would recommend to any foodie visitors in the area. Merci Lisa & Johann!" Laura

We were staying in Provence and had a tour arranged at Les Pastras. What a wonderful time and such engaging hosts! We learned so much about truffles, olive trees, bees and organic farming. Johann was very informative and has a lovely dry sense of humor. Lisa, a fellow Wisconsin native put together some very creative truffle tastes for us. We even had Champagne from a family member. We tasted truffles with butter, cheese and truffle ice-cream with truffle honey. Johann and Lisa are so down to earth and you understand their love for the piece of heaven, called Les Pastras. If you are planning a trip to the south of France, this is a must see!!" Julie & DL

Truffle hunting and tasting with Johann and Lisa was the highlight of our trip. Such a warm and engaging couple with lots of great knowledge and stories to share. Book today - you won't regret it." Emma

We fell in love with black truffles! Johann was entertaining and informative. Mirabelle and Eclaire were a joy to meet and watch work. It was exciting when they found truffles and started digging for them. The tastings at the end of the hunt were delectable.....I discovered that I truly enjoy the flavor! Learning about the honey bees and the olive trees was also very interesting. This was among the special moments of our time in Provence. We purchased the truffle salt and truffle oil, and since returning home we have used the truffle salt on steaks and it is incredible. We have decided to adopt a tree so we can enjoy these memories annually!" David & John, USA

My partner and I love fine wines and good food. And we are pretty heavy on 'stuff' so for Christmas gifts I always like to treat my other (better?) half to an experience - ideally involving some culture, food, physical activity and travel. After previous tasting trips to Champagne and cooking courses in Paris, I decided a truffle hunt was the way to go this past Christmas - and it didn't disappoint. I came across Les Pastras on Trip Advisor and booked, then rebooked and chopped & changed 3 times due to work commitments. Thankfully our hosts were accommodating and flexible (or maybe just used to people like us) and we eventually made it to Provence on the last weekend for truffle hunting towards the end of February. There was a mistral wind blowing despite some sunshine, so thankfully we were well wrapped up. We knew we were going to someone's home and that the home was in a rural environment, so others making the trip should bear this in mind. It's not luxury, but it is truly lovely :-) Johann met us up his lane after our Google Maps app took us exactly to his almost secret home location. We heard the stories of why it is secret - and I don't want to spoil the visit for anyone else who comes, but think Peter Mayle-like stories of local suspicion and conspiracy around such simple things as food (albeit a very expensive foodstuff in terms of the fruits of this precious 'terre'). We then met the dogs - Mirabelle the elder female was definitely the boss, and we followed their noses to the roots of the oaks to seek out and find the precious cargo of what was almost 1kg of truffles. After 3 hours of walking, talking and learning, we got down to some eating and Champagne quaffing alongside truffles with cheese, truffles with bread and butter and much more! This trip was a pleasure - and we left owning (or adopting) an oak tree with the promise of an annual batch of our own truffles for dinner parties at home! Later that night we ate in a delicious Michelin star restaurant but the next day we burned a good bit of it all off with a dynamic trek to the summit of Mont Sainte Victoire... This is most definitely a trip for foodies and those willing to learn." Cathy Martin, Ireland

We had an amazing time. Johann is knowledgeable and entertaining. The highlights were meeting the dogs Mirabelle and Eclair and of course finding truffles! Prior to this I never understood what the fuss was about truffles. Thanks to Johann I now know what I have missed" Dr Bavi, South Africa

We were so glad to have booked this truffle hunting as apart of our trip to the South of France! Johann was extremely knowledgeable and we learned so much. He was also super fun and engaging! Lisa was an amazing host and created this awesome spread for us to try truffles ( my first time), along with lots of champagne! This made the travel to the South of France memorable! Thank you again Johann and Lisa for opening your beautiful place to us! Much appreciated!" Jennifer Ruzich