|Type of Tour:||Self Drive|
|Guide Price:||From £1040 to £1155 per person|
|Number of Meals:||4 breakfasts + 1 lunch + 1 dinner|
|Number of Winery Visits:||7 wineries|
|Number of Wines Tasted:||Approximately 26|
|Tour Transport:||Private full day guided and transported tour in Champagne, Walk to small Champagne House visit in Rilly-la-Montagne and winery visits on foot in Obernai|
|Dates / Availability:||Available mid-week and weekends from April until the end of October|
In response to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on tourism, we have introduced a flexible range of self-drive breaks, with our clients’ maximum comfort and safety in mind. Our self-drive Champagne and Alsace break offers the perfect opportunity to explore two iconic French regions, with accommodation at two charming boutique hotels, located in a peaceful setting, away from the busy towns and cities.
On day one of your trip, drive from the UK to the Champagne region, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. You have the complete freedom to choose your preferred crossing time, and the drive from Calais to the Champagne region is a speedy 2 ½ hours. Upon arrival at Château de Rilly, check into your spacious room with its own private balcony or terrace. Once you have settled, in take a short walk through the village and enjoy a private tour and tastings at a family-run Champagne House. The remainder of the afternoon will be free for you to spend as you please.
This evening, you may wish to dine in the Château’s on-site gourmet restaurant or alternatively, we would be very pleased to reserve you a table at one of our partner restaurants in Epernay, which is a 20 minute drive from the Château. Please rest assured that all Grape Escapes restaurant partners will follow strict safety guidelines, respecting social distance and hygiene rules.
After breakfast on day two, you will be met at the Château by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, who will accompany you throughout the day on a private basis. You will be transported in a spacious Mercedes Viano-style vehicle and your guide will follow the necessary safety procedures whilst regaling you with tales and anecdotes of the history of Champagne and its vineyards, introducing you to the particularities of the region. You will firstly stop in a vineyard to learn about the work undertaken here, and the tour is designed to be as hands-on as possible. Here, your guide will explain the grape varieties permitted in Champagne and the yearly cycle of the work carried out in the vineyards. You will also pass through Hautvillers, the famous hilltop village where Dom Pérignon himself lived and is buried.
You will then visit a small, family-run producer of Champagnes for a private tour of the fascinating Champagne-making process from press to bottle, and at least three tastings. An al fresco picnic lunch in a picturesque setting will then be served. In the cooler months, lunch will instead be served in a private dining room. After lunch, your guide will take you to another family-run estate, situated in another of the principle regions of Champagne. After a private tour of the House, you will taste Champagnes in contrasting style to those tasted during the morning.
Ending the day in true style, you will be welcomed as the VIP guests of Champagne Taittinger. Here, you will be taken on a private tour of the estate and cellars followed by tastings of three Taittinger Champagnes including their Prestige Cuvée, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. In the evening, we will reserve you a table for dinner in Château de Rilly’s restaurant. You will be able to order à la carte and payment can be made locally.
After breakfast on day three, check out of the hotel at your leisure and drive to Obernai in the Alsace, this will take approximately 3 ½ hours and we would be pleased to recommend a suitable place to stop en-route for a lunch.
After settling in at the 4* Hotel A la Cour d’Alsace, why not explore the lovely town of Obernai, famous for its charming half-timbered houses each painted in the bright colours of the Alsace region? Take a stroll through the picturesque streets and perhaps stop to enjoy a glass of wine in one of the many Winstubs (literally meaning a wine lounge!). In the evening, head to the hotel’s restaurant for a three course dinner with drinks.
On the morning of day four after breakfast, set off on foot to your first visit of the day. This winery, just a ten-minute walk from your hotel, produces wines with the utmost respect to the traditional ways of their ancestors and have done so for generations. You will be taken on a very comprehensive private tour of the cellars, where you will see the beautiful old oak barrels and then taste four wines, accompanied by some pretzels.
At the end of the tasting, your next rendez-vous is at a winery, a ten-minute walk away. This small producer will provide a real contrast to your last visit; a very typical, authentic experience, where you will meet the wine-maker and taste your way through five wines, served with the region’s famous and uncompromising Munster cheese along with a slice of delicious kougelhopf, an Alsatian cake made with almonds and raisins. After a busy morning tasting, take a break for a spot of a lunch! There are plenty of charming restaurants and cafés to choose from in the town and we would be pleased to make some recommendations.
Time then to head for your last visit of the day, a producer with five generations of experience. Here you will learn about the unique wines of the region as well as gaining an insight into the local wine making. After a private tour of the cellar, the producer will talk you through a tasting of several different varietals, and you will also enjoy a glass of the region’s sparkling wine, Crémant d’Alsace.
After such an enlightening day, your hotel awaits, where your evening is free to do as you please. Again, we would be happy to recommend a restaurant for dinner.
On your final day, after a leisurely breakfast, check out and drive back to the UK, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. If you would like to extend your trip to France and visit other regions (for more wine or just to relax), we would be delighted to provide inspiration.
Day One of your Self-drive Holidays France
Day Two of your Self-drive Holidays France
Day Three of your Self-drive Holidays France
Day Four of your Self-drive Holidays France
Final Day of your Self-drive Holidays France
(ii) The outline itinerary is indicative and is subject to minor changes depending on supplier availability. Availability cannot be guaranteed until we have received a completed booking form, together with the deposit payment (or payment in full where the dates of travel are in less than 60 days). If the named accommodation / visits are not available, we will endeavour to find suitable alternatives of a similar grade; this may be subject to a supplement or a rebate depending on the price available.
Well organised holiday. The hotel was in an excellent location and the wine tasting activities were very enjoyable.
Lesley- Edinburgh, UK
BRING FRIENDS AND SPEND LESS!
A discount of £100 per person applies for groups of 4 people or more travelling together (and sharing a vehicle on the Eurotunnel) on this trip.
If you would like to make your Grape Escapes holiday even more special, there are a number of additional activities that we can arrange for you. To complement the experience, these could be arranged to fit in/around your current itinerary or we can arrange additional nights and room upgrades at your hotel, as well as your travel arrangements, a stop-over en route and even a visit to another part of the country! See below for some of the most popular upgrades.
The price of this package includes Folkestone to Calais Eurotunnel crossings. Please see our travel page for other travel options and further information about travelling to our self-drive holidays France.
For more information on our Self-Drive breaks please see our Self-Drive page.
To secure your booking, a deposit of £100 per person is required (or 20% if the price of your trip exceeds £500 per person). Your remaining balance will then be due 60 days before travel. Please call us on +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 or email email@example.com to request a booking form.
Very scenic wine route with great selection of wineries and wines.
Brian- Surrey, UK
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