|Type of Tour:
|From £4091 to £4577 per person
|Number of Meals:
|15 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
|Number of Winery Visits:
|26 wineries and 2 tasting sessions
|Number of Wines Tasted:
|6 full day transported tours, 6 visits on foot and taxi/rail transfers in the Loire and the Northern Rhône
|Dates / Availability:
|Available mid-week and weekends from March to November (except July). The trip cannot start on a Thursday for logistical reasons.
This package is perfect for those looking to spend a longer period of time in France, exploring all of the main premium wine regions. This 16 day ultimate French wine tour allows guests to discover the world-renowned wines of Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and the Rhône, with rail travel included between each of the regions. During this oenological saga, guests will learn all about red, white and sparkling wines, visiting a range of wineries, including large, prestigious estates, as well as small, family-run producers. Travel and wine-lovers, look no further because the solution to your wine-lust problems is here!
Your trip will start in Bordeaux, with a tasting session of five wines in a quaint wine bar, located within walking distance of the two hotels offered. The tasting will be accompanied by a platter of cheeses and meats. On days two and three, you will meet your guide at a central departure point for a full day transported and guided tour through the Bordeaux vineyards. On one of the days you visit the internationally famed left-bank Médoc and the other day, the UNESCO Classified appellation of Saint-Emilion and neighbouring Pomerol.
During your tour of the Médoc, you will visit three Châteaux, learning particularly about the Cabernet Sauvignon grape and gaining an insight into what makes those big, bold reds so revered. During your visit to Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, you will discover the singularities of the softer wines, predominantly made from the Merlot grape. You will visit three Châteaux, as well as a guided walking tour of the picturesque village. During both days, you will learn all about the fascinating wine-making process from press to bottle, and each tour will conclude with a tasting of the Château’s wine. There will be a maximum of sixteen guests on the tour and each Château that you visit will be a Cru Classé estate. On one of the evenings, a three course gourmet dinner will be served in a premium city centre restaurant. Your dinner will be accompanied by three local wines.
After checking out of your hotel in Bordeaux on day four, you will board a train to Tours in the Loire Valley. The journey time is approximately three hours. Upon your arrival in Tours, you will check into your room at the 4* Oceania l’Univers. After settling in at the hotel, a pre-booked and pre-paid taxi will take you to a nearby premium Vouvray estate. Here, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the domaine and cellars, concluding with tastings of five of the region’s white Chenin Blanc-based wines, including the domaine’s Réserve Spéciale. Tastings of local delicacies such as cheeses and rillettes will be served alongside the wines.
Having been introduced to the region’s white wines, your journey of discovery will continue on day five, where rail travel to Chinon is included as part of the package. The hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from the station, allowing complete ease of access. Upon arrival in the beautiful riverside town of Chinon, you will be welcomed as the VIP guests of one of the town’s best producers. Your guide will accompany you on a tour of the estate and cellars, where you will see first-hand the wine-making process from press to bottle. The tour will conclude with five tastings. A pre-booked and pre-paid taxi will then take you to a 15th Century wine-making Château, where following a visit to the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc vineyards and a tour of the cellars, a tasting session will take place in the Château’s historic tasting room. A picnic lunch with a bottle of wine will then be served in the Château’s stunning grounds. The afternoon will be free to explore the pretty riverside town of Chinon before taking the train back to Tours at your convenience. In the evening, a three course dinner will be served in a premium brasserie in Tours with drinks.
On the morning of day six, you will check out of the hotel and cross the square to the train station, where you will board the train to Reims, in Champagne. The journey time is roughly two and a half hours. After having checked in at your preferred hotel (both within walking distance of the station), you will then be welcomed as guests at your preferred large, prestigious Champagne House in the city. Subject to your dates of travel / availability, options include Taittinger, where two Champagnes will be served; GH Mumm, to taste their Blanc de Blancs and Blancs de Noirs Champagnes; Pommery, to sample their Prestige Cuvée Louise; Ruinart, to taste Ruinart Blanc de Blancs or Ruinart rosé followed by their flagship Prestige Cuvée Dom Ruinart white or rosé; and Veuve Clicquot, to enjoy a flute of their celebrated La Grande Dame. Walking distances to the Champagne Houses can be up to 25 minutes, therefore you may prefer to ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you on the day. Please note that some of these Houses (particularly Veuve Clicquot and Ruinart) are very popular and offer very few tours, therefore early booking is essential.
The next day, you will be met at your hotel by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, who will accompany you on a full day transported Champagne tour, visiting two small, family-run Champagne Houses. During the course of the day, your guide will regale you with tales and anecdotes of the history of Champagne and its vineyards, introducing you to the particularities of the region. You will also stop in a vineyard to learn about the work undertaken here and the tour is designed to be as hands-on as possible. A three course lunch with a glass of wine, water and coffee will be served in a local restaurant. Ending the day in style, you will then visit Champagne Mercier or Champagne De Castellane in Epernay, for a tour of their cellars followed by a flute of their Champagne.
From sparkling to white! After having checked out of your hotel, you will board the train to your next wine destination, Alsace. The journey between Reims and Strasbourg is approximately two hours. Upon your arrival in Strasbourg, the afternoon will be free for you to explore this charming city. Included in the package is a Strasbourg pass, which offers discounts for numerous attractions, as well as free entry to one museum, free entry to the Cathedral’s viewing gallery, entry to see the famous clock, a half day bike hire and a complimentary river cruise. In the evening, a tutored tasting session of three Alsace wines will take place in a chic wine bar, accompanied by a platter of local cheeses and meats.
On day nine, guests will enjoy a full day transported and guided wine tour in the Alsace vineyards. Firstly you will be taken to Mittelbergheim, a traditional wine producing region and officially recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here, you will experience a wide variety of tastings including Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Reisling. Afterwards, you will be driven further into the vineyards towards the quaint winery village of Dambach-la-Ville, located at the heart of the Alsace wine region. Here, you will enjoy a second tasting session in a typical ‘caveau’ (the name given to local wineries). After free time for lunch, it is on to Riquewihr and Ribeauville, to enjoy two afternoon tasting sessions in some of the most highly-regarded wineries. In the evening, you will be invited to dine in a traditional winstub. Meaning “wine lounge,” winstubs epitomise the Alsatian way of life. Originally open to the public for wine-growers to sell surplus wines, winstubs are convivial, country-style restaurants, with red-checked table cloths and wooden tables, where diners enjoy carafes of wine accompanied by small, simple dishes. Here, you will have the opportunity to sample regional specialities, such as Sauerkraut, Baeckaoffa and tartes flambées.
On day ten, you will board the train from Strasbourg to Beaune in Burgundy, home to some of France’s most expensive wines. The journey time is roughly two and half hours. After having settled in, as always, you will be introduced the wines of the region with a cellar tour and tasting session with a traditional Burgundian wine-maker. Your knowledgeable host will talk you through tastings of six varied Burgundy wines.
You will continue to build on your newfound knowledge on day eleven, where you will meet your English-speaking driver/guide at a central departure point for a full day transported and guided tour of the vineyards. You will be transported in an off-road vehicle, allowing access to locations that are usually off-limits. You will visit both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, experiencing the range of wines this prestigious region has to offer. You will be introduced to the sources of some of the greatest Chardonnay wines (vineyards such as Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet), as well as red wines made from the Pinot Noir grape (from areas such as Pommard, Volnay and Santenay). Your day will include visits to two estates and a vineyard tasting. At the end of the day, you will be chauffeured back to the centre of Beaune, in time to freshen up before enjoying the beautiful Burgundian evening. A four course gourmet dinner will be served in a premium city centre restaurant, accompanied by two half bottles of local wine, water and coffee.
On day twelve, you will commence the next leg of the journey, travelling through the Rhône Valley. The journey from Beaune to your first stop in Tain l’Hérmitage is approximately three and a quarter hours (via Lyon). You will be staying across the river in Tournon-sur-Rhône for two nights at the beautiful Hotel la Villéon. The next morning, you will be welcomed at the Paul Jaboulet Aîné boutique. One of the biggest names in the Northern Rhône and producer of the world-revered “La Chapelle,” this estate has been making highly sought-after wines for almost two Centuries and you will firstly taste a Hérmitage white wine and two Hérmitage reds, one of which will be the latest vintage of “La Chapelle.”
A three course lunch with a further two Jaboulet wines will then be served. You will have time to admire the breathtaking views across the Valley from the iconic “La Chapelle,” a stone chapel which was allegedly built by a 13th Century knight who fell in love with the vineyards here. In the afternoon, you will be taken by taxi to a quality producer of St Péray or Cornas wines for a full tour and extensive tasting session. Please note that we are unable to pre-pay taxis in Tain l’Hermitage / Tournon sur Rhone. We will pre-book your transfers for you and we expect the taxi transfers to cost in the region of 50 euros.
After checking out on day fourteen, we will arrange rail travel to Avignon, where accommodation for your last two nights will be provided at the 4* Cloître Saint Louis in the heart of the city. Upon your arrival in Avignon, the afternoon will be free for you to explore the city. Entry into the Papal Palace and the much loved Pont d’Avignon have been included in the package. A four course dinner with drinks will be served in a restaurant in the city centre in the evening. On the final day of tours, you will be taken on a full day transported tour with an English-speaking specialist wine guide. During the course of the day, tours and tastings will take place in the revered villages of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras and lunch in a local bistrot will also be included.
(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 confirmed booking, 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.
Please contact us to request further details and a full list of tour upgrades.
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 France! See below for some of the most popular upgrades.
Thank you for organising a truly memorable few days in France last week. Every aspect of the trip was seamless and exceeded our expectations.
Andy - Berkshire, UK
Given the wide range of travel options, the package prices do not include travel to Bordeaux and from Avignon. Please contact us for further information.
For more information about our Multi Region breaks please see our Multi Region Breaks page.
To secure your booking, a 20% per person deposit is required. Your remaining balance will then be due 60 days before you travel. Please call us on +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 or e-mail email@example.com to request a booking form.