This is the story of two of France’s most beloved wines and the area that has produced them for hundreds of years. As with all our ‘Story’ tours, tastings and wine visits are combined with cultural excursions, free time, and explorations into the history of the region.
We arrive at Chablis, the northernmost province of Burgundy. After five days here you’ll go home with a tart mineral taste of Alain Geoffroy’s wines on your tongue. Not to mention the pure white, Renaissance glamour of the lapping waters of the rivers Yonne in your mind’s eye.
Travelling by coach, you can bring back up to 36 bottles to make the memories last a little longer! This tour is for anyone who loves Chablis, or anyone simpling wanting to get under the surface of this magnificent region.
Two regions famed for their incredible wines, both are showcased in unique and indulgent ways on this five-day tour.
Visit some of France’s most glorious wineries and producers, be treated to gourmet dining experiences from picnics in private vineyards to Michelin-mentioned restaurants, and tour with a wine expert whose knowledge will enhance each stop.
This morning, we travel by coach to Calais. This method of transport is best for this trip as it means that there is more space to bring back the wonderful wines we will experience over the next week. En route, there will be several stops as well as an on-board tasting of Burgundy and Chablis! We will visit a supermarket on our journey, where we can buy regional items for a picnic lunch on our coach. When we reach our destination of Auxerre, we dine at La P’tite Beursaude together and then check into our hotel, which is located on the banks of the River Yonne.
After breakfast at our hotel, we will depart for our first winery visit with the Bersan family at Domaine Bersan. The Bersans are a very long-established winemaking family in St Bris, and their beautiful vaulted cellars under the centre of town date back to the 11th century. The wines of St Bris are perhaps better known by their old name, Sauvignon de St Bris, subtly different from a Sancerre Sauvignon – and a little cheaper, too. The Bersans’ top wine, however, is Chardonnay. The majority of their production is sold in bottles on the French market with only a little being exported.
Next, we visit Domaine Emmanuel Dampt, one of our favourite places to stop in the whole of France. We are always warmly welcomed here, usually by Emmanuel himself, and their top three wines are their Grand and Premier Cru Chablis, and their Chablis Veilles Vines selections. We will be treated to an extensive tasting of their wines, followed by a gourmet picnic in the vineyard. In the afternoon, we will stop off in the small, but very pretty town of Chablis itself for a wander at our leisure, and then we will return to Auxerre and our hotel. This evening, we are free to explore the city independently and can share our personal restaurant recommendations with you if you wish.
Today we drive to Burgundy and make Domaine D’Ardhuy our first visit of the day. This domaine sits in their monopole vineyard, Clos des Langres, on the border of the Cotes de Nuits and Beaune, and it boasts wines from both Cotes. They have 6 Grand Crus, 15 Premier Crus and 14 village wines. Here, we enjoy a traditional Burgundian lunch alongside an extensive tasting. This afternoon, we visit a small family owned estate in the heart of Puligny-Montrachet, run by the charming Sylvain Bzikot. Bzikot Pere et Fils produces wines that have a natural feel and intense minerality. After an independent dinner, we return to our hotel, located just a short stroll from the town centre.
Domaine Bernard Rien is one of the best producers in the village of Vosne-Romanée and we are lucky to visit here this morning. They have Grand Crus wines from Vosne-Romanée, Clos Vougeot and Chambolle-Musigny, plus Nuits St Georges, and this domaine has been in the same family since the end of the 1800s. After, we return to Beaune in time for lunch so you can explore this stunning town and sample its local cuisine at your leisure. Later in the afternoon, we make our way to Domaine Prieur-Brunet in Santenay, which produces wines from most of the classic villages of the Côte de Beaune. After a tasting here, we will continue directly to Restaurant Le Terroir, which is owned by the Prieur-Brunet family and boasts a Michelin “bib”. Our menus here are based on local specialities, and will be accompanied by a fine selection of wines.
This morning we check out of our hotel early and begin our journey north, stopping off – of course – in Champagne! Champagne Moutard is a very exciting producer in the sub-region of the Aube and it is particular well known for its use of unusual grape varieties. A member of the revered Moutard family, who have been based in this village since the 17th century, will join us for the tasting after our visit. Our lunch will be a picnic back aboard the coach as we make our return journey to Calais and then on to London.
Not only does he hold the WEST Diploma in Wine and Spirits, Matthew is also an Associate Tutor with the Cambridge Wine School.
*For UK bookings only