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Discover France's beautiful wine regions and famous cuisine

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  • Luxury accommodation throughout
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At a glance

On this nine-day adventure, you will get to explore some of France’s most productive wine regions and gain a deeper appreciation for the fruit of the vine and the flavours that make this country a food and wine-lover’s dream.

Your journey fittingly begins in a sparkling manner in Champagne where you will have the opportunity to visit several estates, meet winemakers and get an inside look at some of the techniques and secrets behind Méthod Champenoise. You will also have time to wander the narrow streets of Hautvillers, the burial place of monk Dom Perignon. Together with a private guide, you will get to explore the ornate Reims Cathedral, marvelling at the gothic architecture and symbolism, before heading to Ruinart, the oldest Champagne House in Reims.

Your next stop is Burgundy, a fairytale region of Renaissance chateaux, villages and abbeys, between Paris and Lyon. Take a privately guided tour of Les Hospices de Beaune, with its intricate facades and bright tiled roofs. And then spend a day exploring the Côtes de Beaune wine region, stopping in at various estates for wine tastings, art and food. Having started to get a taste for all the region has to offer, next up it’s your turn to put your skills to the test in the kitchen after selecting the freshest ingredients from a popular local market. You’ll take home several new cooking skills.

The final leg of your journey sees you spending four nights in Bordeaux, where restored neoclassical architecture meets rolling vineyards. Spend a day out in the Médoc countryside, visiting some of the region’s wine-producing communes, sampling as you go. You will also get to visit the enchanting medieval village of Saint-Émilion, and discover ancient monasteries and convents tucked away down narrow streets. And of course, Bordeaux itself is bursting with historic architecture, monuments,  restaurants and cafes to leave you wanting to visit again soon.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Champagne

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Champagne

Accommodation in Champagne

Two nights in Champagne Two nights in Champagne

Just a few hours northeast of Paris, you’ll find the sweeping, lush vineyards of Champagne, best known for its sparkling white wine production that bears the region’s name. The 86 000 acres of rolling hills and vineyards produce primarily Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier grapes, all three of which are cultivated in a magical process to produce the liquid gold. Listen out for the decadent sounds of popping corks, bubbles fizzing and clinking glasses echoing throughout the province.

Reims and Epernay are the two commercial centres and major towns of Champagne. While Reims is considered as the principal Champagne tasting town, Epernay, just 25 kilometres south of Reims, is in fact home to a larger number of wineries (more than 37k, including the giants of the industry, Moët & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët) and is situated right in the heart of the lavish vineyards.

sparkling-wine
Champagne estate tour Champagne estate tour

Today you will have the opportunity to explore this region which gives its name to the sparkling wine which is produced here and visit some of the ‘boutique’ producers. Meet a winemaker who will share his passion with you, and discover firsthand some of the techniques and secrets of the “Méthod Champenoise”. The first stop will be at the property of Champagne Henri Guiraud in the Grand Cru village of Ay – a producer of high-quality Champagne. Then you will head to Epernay where you will visit Champagne Gonet where the family has been producing Grand Cru, Blanc de Blanc Champagne for seven generations using grapes from their favourite vineyards in Le Mesnil sur Oger. You will also visit the village of Hautvillers where the monk Dom Perignon is buried. Wander along the narrow streets with colourful wrought iron signs, and enjoy the breathtaking views over the vineyards. Finally, you will head to the Montagne de Reims region where Champagne is produced using Pinot Noir grapes. Explore Champagne Ployez Jacquemart, another family-owned property founded in 1930.

champagne-reims-cathedral-france
Reims highlights tour Reims highlights tour

Your private guide will meet you at your hotel and take you out to the town of Reims. You will explore the alleys of Reims Cathedral, an impressive and highly symbolic monument. From 1027 to 1825, this masterpiece of Gothic art hosted the coronation ceremonies of the French monarchs. It has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1991. Next, you will visit the oldest Champagne House in Reims: Ruinart. You will see the cellars in the chalk mining pit that have been recognised as a historical monument since 1931. The House Ambassador will accompany you on this part of the tour.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Burgundy

Days 3-5

Burgundy

Accommodation in Burgundy

Two nights in Burgundy Two nights in Burgundy

Sitting pretty between Paris and Lyon in east-central France, you'll discover that Burgundy is a fairytale land of Renaissance chateaux, medieval abbeys, fortified villages and rolling vineyards. Burgundy is the embodiment of Old French power and the region boasts some of the most spectacular castles you will see in Europe including Château d’Ancy le Franc which is styled on the Italian Renaissance, and Château de Cormatin, a unique survivor from the days before the revolution. Today, Burgundy continues to be one of France’s most prosperous and wealthy regions, at least in part in thanks to the huge success of its vineyards which produce some of the most prestigious and expensive wines in the world such as Pinot Noir, Chablis and Beaujolais.

hospices-de-beaune-burgundy-france
Les Hospices de Beaune visit Les Hospices de Beaune visit

One of the highlights of any visit to this part of France is a stop at Les Hospices de Beaune. You will enjoy a privately guided tour of the gothic monument with its intricate facades and glazed roofs lined with bright colours and geometric shapes. You will also have the opportunity to see The Last Judgement by Rogier Van Weyden (c.1445-1450). A charitable institution, the Hospices de Beaune was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rollin, chancellor of Burgundy.

Cote de Beaune Wine Region Cote de Beaune Wine Region

Your private driver-guide will meet you at your hotel and take you out for a day of exploring the Côtes de Beaune wine region. This area south of Beaune is home to some of the great Burgundy wines. You will begin with a visit and tasting at Château Pommard. Located along the prestigious ‘route des vins’, you will take a tour of this discreet and elegant 18th-century property. The charm of old stones and traditional Burgundy roofs combine with the power of Salvador Dali’s bronze masterpieces adorning the Cour Carré; The Unicorn & the Saint George and the Dragon. With one of the property's wine advisors, you will discover the secrets of the ancestral wine making expertise and enjoy a tasting in a private room. After this fascinating visit, you will depart for Puligny Montrachet where you will enjoy a wine tasting lunch at Domaine Olivier Leflaive. The daily homemade menu is prepared with fresh produce and highlights the property's wines.

Your next stop will be Château de Meursault, which dates back to the eleventh century. Your tour will begin in the old Orangery from the XIX century. You will get to see an exhibition of paintings, and discover a maze of cellars that can accommodate up to 700 000 bottles. Your visit will end with a horizontal tasting of red wines and a vertical tasting of white wines.

Market visit and cooking class Market visit and cooking class

You will begin the day with a visit to a popular local market where you will select your ingredients for the cooking class. Tie on your crisp white apron and sip a glass of chilled Champagne as you get ready to prepare a menu featuring seasonal ingredients fresh from the market. Learn some classic cooking techniques that you can take home with you. After the class, you will make yourself comfortable in the dining room where you will enjoy your lunch paired with wines from the region.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Lyon airport

Flight

Flight from Lyon to Bordeaux

Transfer

Private transfer you to your hotel in Bordeaux

Days 5-9

Bordeaux

Accommodation in Bordeaux

Bordeaux City France
Four nights in Bordeaux Four nights in Bordeaux

Dubbed "the very essence of elegance" by none other than Queen Elizabeth II on her 1992 visit, Bordeaux city shines bright with a grandiose 18th-century harmony epitomised in the beautifully restored neoclassical architecture of its port. In 2007 half of the city, some 1,810 hectares, was certified by UNESCO making it the world's largest Urban UNESCO heritage site.

But it's more likely for its viticulture that you'll be familiar with Bordeaux. The south-western region has been producing wine since the Romans arrived in the 1st century AD and is today, without doubt, the world's major wine industry capital. The countryside surrounding the city is covered in vineyards and dotted with rambling, picturesque chateaux - more than 3000 estates in the greater Bordeaux area, according to some estimates - that produce some of the best-known grapes in the world.

Full day tour of the Médoc Wine Region Full day tour of the Médoc Wine Region

Few things whet a wine lover’s enthusiasm more than driving along France’s D2 highway, the ‘route des châteaux’ just north of Bordeaux on the Médoc peninsula, hemmed in on both sides by row upon row of vineyards as far as the eye can see. The names on road signs tick off a fabulous list: Latour, Lafite and Mouton Rothschild, Palmer, Léoville Barton, Pichon Longueville, Cos d’Estournel. Over the course of the day, you will be introduced to some of the sixteen wine-producing communes found in Médoc, such as Chéteau Mouton Rothschild and Chéteau Phelan Segur where you will enjoy a private lunch with wines.

Tour of Saint-Émilion village and its wineries Tour of Saint-Émilion village and its wineries

This morning your driver-guide will meet you at your hotel. Cross the Garonne River to the Right Bank and arrive in the enchanting medieval village of Saint-Émilion, classified by UNESCO in 1999. A luminous, ochre-hewed jewel built of limestone and Roman roof tiles, it’s perched on a plateau and completely surrounded by a sea of vineyards. The steep and narrow cobblestone streets are lined with remnants of monasteries and convents dating from the 11th to 18th centuries that tell the story of the village.

In the afternoon you will visit the world-famous vineyards of Saint-Émilion, which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Bordeaux city tour Bordeaux city tour

Bordeaux is a jewel of 18th-century architecture with a rich past starting in the Gallo-Roman period. The city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as ‘an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble’, home to 362 historic monuments - only Paris has more in France.

Walk by treasures along the waterfront - Palais de la Bourse, in the Triangle d’Or, the Grand Theatre and some private mansions, and visit the dock wine merchant warehouses by the old docks. Along the way, you will make stops to taste some of the best culinary specialities from the South West of France, like hams, cheese and canelés.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Bordeaux airport

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Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux

9-day example trip
 
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