BEAUNE AND BURGUNDY
While it’s a delightful destination at any time of the year, the celebrated wine-growing region of Burgundy is at its magical best during Autumn and Winter. Spend a few days discovering the highlights of Beaune, its historic centre and surrounding vineyards, or a week venturing further afield, accompanied by your guide and driver in a luxury minivan. Visit centuries-old family wineries, sample legendary wines—and Burgundian truffles—during private tastings, develop your knowledge of viniculture, and join in an actual wine harvest. Explore the renowned 15th-century Hospices de Beaune, a former hospital complex now famous for its annual charity wine auction. Plan your trip in early November to include a day in Dijon, the capital of the historic Burgundy region, to take in the city’s annual International Gastronomy Fair. Dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a renowned members-only wine club, or enjoy a gourmet picnic in the heart of a vineyard. On your own or with family and friends, whether you’re a novice or a passionate wine connoisseur, our tailored Beaune and Burgundy itinerary is designed to offer you an unparalleled immersion into the world of fine wine.
Charles Dickens called it “one of the elegant extras in life”; Oscar Wilde held that “pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial”. And upon tasting it for the first time, Dom Pierre Pérignon, the Benedictine monk who is frequently (but erroneously) credited with its invention, allegedly cried out, “I am tasting the stars!” For all the myth and mystery surrounding the wine, one thing is true: Champagne is the world’s favorite sparkling wine. Visit the abbey in Hautvillers where Dom Pérignon “invented” Champagne in the 17th century, then continue to Le Gallais in Boursault for a private visit and wine tour of this beautiful the Champagne domain. Discover the Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, with its amazing mansions of world-famous producers such as Moët & Chandon, De Venoge, and Perrier Jouët, then stop in Reims for lunch, followed by a visit to Pommery. Enjoy a private tour of the cellars and wine tasting, and explore the cathedral where most of the kings of France were crowned. Whether your passion is for the wine itself or for the history and legend surrounding it, our Champagne itineraries offer a perfect opportunity to discover this extraordinary region.
CÔTE DU RHÔNE
The Rhône Valley is esteemed as one of the truly magical wine-growing regions of France, and within the Rhône region the appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a magic all its own. Set off with your driver/guide, a noted sommelier, to the perched village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where about 300 wineries produce this luscious Rhône Valley wine. Enjoy a stroll through the vineyards while your guide provides an explanation about the grape varieties, climate and soils specific to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Visit a family-run winery to learn about the vinification and aging process, then enjoy a private tasting. Continue your tour with a private visit to one of the oldest and most famous cellars in the area and, if time permits, enjoy an additional tasting—this time with the magical pairing of wine and chocolate! Prolong your stay in the region with an insider tour of the elegant city of Avignon, with its Papal Palace, markets, and museums, or visit the impressive ancient Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard, and the charming village of Uzès, both within a short distance of Avignon. Our Côte du Rhône itinerary is a delightful blend of wine, history, gastronomy and local culture.
PROVENCE WINE AND GASTRONOMY
France has long enjoyed its worldwide recognition for fabulous cuisine, but the food and wine of the South has rightly earned a reputation of its own. Explore the beautiful Luberon Valley from the elegant perched village of Gordes to the charming village of Lourmarin, stopping for tastings at vineyards in Ménerbes and Bonnieux. Discover the magic of summertime rosés, following a Côte de Provence wine route from Nice Bellet to Saint-Tropez, or treat yourself to an exclusive tasting in a private villa, hosted by a Master of Wine. Feast on towering seafood platters at a legendary café in the heart of Nice’s old town, or enjoy a traditional bouillabaisse on the port in Marseille. Head to Opio and Grasse to sample some of the region’s finest olives and olive oils at family-run mills, or take a guided tour through a private olive grove, followed by tea in the garden with the proprietor, an English Lady. Join a professional chef for a walking tour of Nice’s Marché Provençale, followed by a cooking class and lunch. Or spend a leisurely Sunday morning browsing through Antibes’ open-air market, sampling fresh goat cheeses, spicy saucissons, and delicate macarons before stopping at a local café for an aperitif, accompanied by oysters or a slice of socca, the traditional chickpea “crêpe”. Our Provence Wine and Gastronomy itineraries are designed to satisfy your inner gourmand!