Although this wine tour focuses on the vineyards of Northern Burgundy, it also includes a full day discovering the wonderful wines, both red and white, produced around the towns of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.
Before the phylloxera crisis in the 19th century, Chablis and the wine producing villages that surround it that make up the « Grand Auxerrois » (Saint-Bris-le-Vineux, Irancy, Coulanges-la-Vineuse, Chitry-le-Fort, Joigny, Tonnerre, Epineuil and Vézelay) was the largest wine producing area in France. Of course, Chablis recovered and today is known by wine-lovers as a producer of world-class Chardonnays, nevertheless, the rest of this part of northern Burgundy still remains relatively unknown outside France, so this wine tour will be your opportunity to discover some of the talented winegrowers producing superb value-for-money wines..
DAY 1 - CHABLIS
10.30am pick up and start of your wine tour! Check into hotel and lunch. A full afternoon spent exploring the vineyards of Chablis with wine tastings at several wineries where you will all about the art of producing these world-class Chardonnays in the often difficult conditions of northern Burgundy. Late afternoon we will visit a producer in the little-known wine growing district of Epineul in order to taste some excellent red and white wines and learn all about the « Renaissance » of this ancient wine-growing area.
DAY 2 - VINEYARDS OF VEZELAY
With a history of winemaking going back to the Roman occupation, the hillside around the « sacred hill » of Vézélay today produce some great red and white wines. Local organic winegrower Maria Cuny will take you to see vineyards which are laboured by horses below the ramparts of the town and where she will explain the work of a winegrower throughout the seasons. You will then be entertained to a delicious « wine-growers » lunch and wine-tasting at her home and estate a few miles in the country. It will also be your chance to sample Burgundy’s rarest wine, known as the Melon.
DAY 3 - SANCERRE & POUILLY FUME
An early departure today and we off to discover the stunning medieval hilltop town of Sancerre. Not forgetting to visit a local winery to taste and learn about the making of these “benchmark” Sauvignons. And for red wine lovers, bet you didn’t know they also produce a delicious pinot! Late afternoon we will cross back over the Loire to enjoy a glass of wine or two with a producer of the world famous Pouilly-Fumé.
DAY 4 - ST BRIS & IRANCY
Pinot lovers hold your breath. The tiny vineyards around the sleepy village of Irancy produce some classic reds some of which still contain the very ancient, and rare, grape variety known as the Caesar. And guess what, not all good white Burgundy is made from the Chardonnay grape. The vineyards around the medieval town of St Bris produce a rare and delicious sauvignon blanc! Today you will be treated to a unique wine-tasting lunch where you will enjoy a “plancha” of local cheeses and meats” washed down with a selection of excellent wines from the estate. This will be followed by a fascinating tour of the winery during which the winemaker will reveal the secrets of her trade.
DAY 5 - COTE D'AUXERRE
This morning we will visit some local wine-growers close to the city of Auxerre and where you will be able to taste some of the great local Chardonnays and Pinots We will pay a visit to a wine-grower whose home and winery is in a 17th century fortified farmhouse where you will discover the beautiful labyrinth of ancient cellars as well as enjoy a private vertical tasting of one of their wines. After lunch in a local bistro, we will return to your hotel in Paris for late afternoon.
My professional experience in wine and tourism has been long and varied and has included, amongst others, working as a wine buyer and sommelier for boutique hotels, putting together wine lists for restaurants, a specialised wine tour guide for luxury hotel barges, a « wine hunter » for Scandinavian importers as well as organising and conducting wine-tastings to Wine Societies in the UK, Germany and Holland.I have also completed my WSET Level 3 and and obtained a certificate in Advanced Tasting Techniques from the Wine University in Suze-la-Rousse". I love sharing my knowledge of wine and spirits with people interested in the topics. I have a passion for how wine is made, from the methods used to the history of the grapes. If you would like to learn more about wine, join me in my Facebook group by signing up below to using the form. I talk about wines, answer all the questions you may have about it growing techniques, history, and even organise webinars for the group members where I talk about wine in a bit more detail. Hope to welcome you there soon!