French Wine Holiday Ideas For Wine Lovers
If you’re fond of the odd tipple or two, you might want to indulge your passion for spirits by considering a French Wine Holiday. What could be better than the chance to sample local foods and wines in a breathtakingly beautiful part of the French countryside? You don’t have to worry about hours of sightseeing or cycling up the side of a mountain, because wine holidays are all about indulgence.
Fortunately, France is bursting at the seams with vineyards, wine tours, wine bars and specialist wine sellers. If you have a favourite blend, you can even visit the town where the grapes are grown and harvested. It’s not all about getting tipsy – there’s a wealth of technical knowledge and history associated with French wine making. Here are just a few French holiday ideas for the wine enthusiasts among us.
The Rhône Valley might just be the most famous wine growing region in the country. It is certainly home to many of France’s best wine – Châteauneuf du Pape, Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage are just a few examples. The perfect vineyard tour of this region has to take in the wonderful Domaine de Beaurenard family estate in the small town of Châteauneuf du Pape. The owners of the estate allow tourists to visit the extremely very old wine cellars without appointment or charge. In the northern part of the Rhône Valley there’s the Maison Chapoutier winery nestled in the small province of Tain L’hermitage. In January, the four day long Foire d’Ampuis begins and wine lovers get a chance to drink and chat with more than sixty local wine producers.
There are two sides to this region of France. It is a very beautiful and interesting place to visit, but it can be inordinately expensive if you’re not careful about what you spend. For this reason, it is not really suited to those looking for a budget break. If you’re happy to splash out a little however, you’re bound to love Bordeaux. According to the experts at Holiday One, the region is virtually one big vineyard – expert wine production is the very heart and soul of Bordeaux. It has more than 145,000 hectares of vineyards and over 13,000 individual wine producers. In fact, Aquitaine is part of the biggest concentration of AOC wine producing regions in France.
If you have even a basic knowledge of Provence, you will know that it is one of the most striking and inspirational parts of France. Just like the Pyrénées-Orientales, Provence somehow manages to combine a wide range of different cultures and lifestyles. It isn’t like Paris or Cannes – it has its own pace, its own rhythm and its own unique customs. In Le Calanques, there is a series of staggeringly beautiful limestone cliffs. They run along the Mediterranean coast between the towns of Cassis and Marseille. It’s also home to Château de Beaucastel, one of the top vineyard estates in the region, say the experts at Frommers.com. If you visit this estate, you can taste all of its ten vintages – you do have to book an appointment. Visit Chez Nous for more information and advice on the range of wine tours available in Provence.
Now, we come to another very famous wine region. The Champagne-Ardenne is renowned for exactly what you’d expect it to be. There are scores of expert wine and champagne tours all over the region. Many of the major champagne producers are more than happy to open their doors and their cellars to serious wine fans and connoisseurs. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the district of Epernay and take a stroll down the Avenue de Champagne. This Avenue is lined with nineteenth century mansions belonging to world famous wine producers like Moët & Chandon, Pol Roger, Perrier-Jouët and Boizel. For a small charge, you can even take a tour around Moët & Chandon wine cellars, and indulge in a little tasting session of course.
About The Author: Richard Parry is a retired wine merchant who lives in London. He recommends Chez-Nous for more information and advice on taking a wine holiday in France. Richard can usually be found blogging about his favourite blends on his personal blog.