Vineyard Tour of France

October 15, 2019

With some of the best wines in the world, we’re lucky to have France just a short ferry ride across the channel. From rich reds to light whites, sparkling champagne to sweet dessert wine, France has it all. Many vineyards are open for visitors to explore, discover the wine making process and most importantly, taste the delicious nectar made from perfectly ripe grapes.

With regular ferries to France running up to 60 times per day from DFDS, it’s never been easier to hop across the water – and with our unlimited baggage allowance, you can bring as much as you like home to enjoy back in Britain.

But what region should you head to? What vineyard should you tour? What wines must you try? With an abundance of wineries across the country, we thought we’d give you a run down of some of the best places to head to, as well as some a little off the beaten track.

Burgundy

For those of you who like a well-rounded red, the Burgundy region produces some of the best red wine in the world. The region also happens to be rife with classic architecture such as châteaux, manors and abbeys which hint at the historical significance of the area. To experience the grandeur and wine together, stay in the medieval Château de Pierreclos, which offers wine tours of their vast cellars and tastings of their carefully cultivated wines – their Burgundy is made from only the finest Pinot Noir grapes grown on the estate. At the end of the day you can retire to your sumptuous room fit for royalty and gaze across the sprawling countryside which surrounds the estate.

Beaujolais

For something a bit different, head to the Beaujolais region to not only sample the delicious light-bodied red and white wine but to immerse yourself in an interactive ‘wine theme park’ at Hameau Dubœuf. Set in the heart of Beaujolais, you can discover the history of the area, the secrets of the vineyards and find out more about the winemaking process in a fun way, including a 4D cinema experience where you can fly over the lush countryside and vineyards of the region. If you’re looking for some holiday reading to accompany your wine tours, the charming French novel, Vintage 1954 by Antione Laurain, follows a group of Parisiennes who enjoy a vintage Beaujolais and wake up back in the year it was produced. Read it in the brasserie while you sip your own Beaujolais and enjoy a bite to eat.

 

Champagne

A visit to France wouldn’t be complete without sampling the world’s most famous fizz, among the hills of the Champagne region where it is cultivated. Tours and tastings take place in most of the famous Champagne houses and vineyards such as Pommery, Bollinger and Nicolas Feuillatte but for something less touristy, a visit to the family run Champagne Paul Déthune is a must. The private tour will give you the opportunity to discover more about the independent winery which has been in the Déthune family since the 17th century. Run by husband and wife team Pierre and Sophie, book in advance to discover the press, the oak barrels of the winery, the traditional 17th century chalk cellar as well as an overview of the production process before sampling some of their delicious Champagne. Located in the aptly named Bouzy in Ambonnay, it’s the perfect place to visit to find out how much skill and hard work is involved in making the world’s most famous bubbles. For those of you with a sweet tooth, they also produce champagne truffles! Parfait!

Bergerac

Bergerac is the lesser known area compared to its neighbouring Bordeaux, and a visit to this region will give you the opportunity to sample some excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and the region’s own Côtes de Bergerac, both a red and semi-sweet white wine. Taking the Route des Vins which runs across the countryside lets you stroll through the heart of the vineyards that cross the hills and valleys of Bergerac country, with the option to visit any of the 140 estates en route. Make sure you pick up a tourist map so you can find the places you’d like to visit at La Maison des Vins. Set in a former 17th-century monastery, La Maison des Vins or ‘the House of Wine’ is a great place to learn about the history of wine making and to taste the rich variety of wine Bergerac produces.

Provence

Venture south to Provence, to sample light rosés, crisp white and rich red wines. The prestigious Château de Berne offers luxurious five-star accommodation and scenic surroundings paired with first-class wine discovery packages. These include tastings in ‘La Cave’ cellar – not only of their wine but also of their home-made olive oil, jam from their orchards and local honey. A selection of tours are available, from a straightforward wine tour and tasting, to wine and food pairings and specific wine tastings according to white, red or rosé. Sip a cooling glass of rosé on the terrace as you gaze across the 290 acres of vineyards where your wine originated, taking in the stunning scenery and enjoying some of the finest wine in the world. Relaxation personified!
__________________________________________________________________________________

To discover these vineyards, wineries and even more, book your ferry to France with DFDS at dfds.co.uk.

Comments are closed