Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux are world famous for their wines. Each has climates and soils suited to the particular wines produced, and have been making wines for over 2000 years.
Throughout the centuries, growers and wine makers have figured out which grape varieties grow best in their locale. Chateaux in each region produce large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. During this educational tour you will become well acquainted with a wide variety of wines, wineries, vineyards and producers.
Each region also has its special tourist attractions including Gothic cathedrals, ancient villages, vineyard covered hills and world class historic sites, many of which are included in this tour.
Here is the complete 14 day program.
Day 1 Sunday 30 June, 2013 Dinner
Morning arrival CDG airport, Paris. Individual transfer to city center hotel. Hotel check-in. Neighborhood orientation and welcome dinner. Free evening.
Day 2 Monday 01 July Breakfast
Transfer by coach from Paris to Reims, the birth place of Champagne. Hotel check-in. Neighborhood orientation and briefing. Free time for dinner and exploration.
Day 3 Tuesday 02 July B,Lunch
Depart via bus for a comprehensive tour of Reims. Visit two of the more famous Champagne cellars. Visit the Taittinger Champagne wine store located in chalk pits 18 meters underground, and dating back to the 4th century. Champagne tasting after the visit. Guided visit of the Central Cathedral of Reims, where most French kings were crowned. It is one of the best examples of gothic architecture and is decorated by more than 2300 statues. Continue tour of Reims. Return to hotel for a free evening.
Day 4 Wednesday 03 July B,L
Depart via bus to visit the “Montagne de Reims”, the area located between Reims and Epernay. Follow the road through the old forest of the “Montagne” planted with a unique species of beech trees that grow in naturally twisted and unusual shapes. Stop at Verzenay, a village in the middle of the forest and vineyards. Visit the lighthouse originally built in 1909 as a promotion for local wines. It is now a vine museum, presenting the history of Champagne, the different steps in the processing of Champagne. Visit and taste the Champagne of Lahemade-Mouzon. The production of his vintage Brut Integral (Chardonnay) comes from only four hectares and are aged in new local oak casks. The owner and winemaker will explain his integrated vineyard management methods and will serve two fine examples. Continue by bus to Epernay. Visit the cooperative of the 175 Champagne wine makers from Hautvilliers. Sample their champagne. Return to hotel for free time.
Day 5 Thursday 04 July B, L
Depart via bus to Burgundy. Lunch in a Dijon area winery includes traditional Burgundy cuisine with wines of the owner. The wine tasting includes Grand Crus, highest classification for Burgundy wines. Discover the “Champs Elysées” of Burgundy on the Route des Grands Cru as you travel from Dijon to Nuits-Saint-Georges through the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits. Visit the Château of Clos de Vougeot, the ancient winery of the Cistercian monks, established in the 12th century then extended in the 16th century. Discover the magnificent wine presses from the Middle Ages and the techniques of vinification established then and still used today. Taste some of the best Pinot Noirs of the region in a traditional cellar. Discover the relationship between the grapes and the soil. Arrival Beaune and check-in at hotel. Free evening.
Day 6 Friday 05 July B, L
Depart for a scenic drive through the Hautes Côtes de Beaune with its picturesque scenery overlooking the cliffs of Orches and its centuries old villages. Continue to the south of “Côtes de Beaune”. Discover “Pommard”, then “Meursault”, “Puligny-Montrachet” and “Chassagne-Montrachet” where the finest Burgundy Chardonnays are produced. Visit a small estate owned by a family who has been making wine for several generations. Taste excellent local Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Lunch in a winery includes a special three-course meal, matching the menu with the owner’s wines. Visit the estate and enjoy a guided walk in the Montrachet area to learn about the cultivation methods and the cultivation of vines in Burgundy. Visit another winery in a renowned village of the Côtes de Beaune vineyard. Sample more wine of the area in this second charming family estate. Back to your hotel in Beaune at the end of the day. Free evening.
Day 7 Saturday 06 July B,L
Visit of a cheese factory and learn about the cheese making process, and the history of cheese in France. The visit includes a tasting of 5 different cheeses produced in Burgundy accompanied with a glass of burgundy wine! Visit a family owned domain. Meet the winegrower personally and taste Pinot Noirs produced with heart-felt passion across a range of different vintages. Guided visit of the famous “Hospice of Beaune”, a former medieval hospital owned by grape growers and used to auction their production at harvest. Today, the hospital has been relocated on a more appropriate place, and the Hospices are now a museum, but they have kept the wine selling tradition. This Jewel of High Gothic architecture perfectly preserved ever since its foundation in 1443, is a masterpiece of French-Flemish art and medieval architecture. Continue the visit of the Hospice and discover their cellars. The tasting of two wines are included. End of the afternoon free.
Day 8 Sunday 07 July B,L
Depart for a full day in Auxerre and discover the Chablis vineyard, North of Burgundy region. Visit a domain and taste their wines. Drive through the vineyards of Auxerre to the Bailly-Lapierre wine cellars, carved into a cliff. Tasting of Crémants de Bourgogne (sparking wine) follows the tour. Our visit to the Auxerre region ends with a tasting of wines produced from the four main grape varieties of the area: Chardonnay, Aligoté and Sauvignon for white wine and Pinot Noir for red wine. Continuation to Paris. Hotel check-in and free evening.
Day 9 Monday 08 July B,L
Transfer by bus to the train station. Train from Paris to Bordeaux. Workshop at the Ecole du Vin with a professional wine expert who will give you a presentation of the Bordeaux Vineyard area and explain to you the classification system set up in 1855. Tasting of four different wines such as a St. Julien, a Pauillac, a St. Emilion and a Pomerol, with commentary by a wine expert. Hotel check-in. Afternoon free to discover the hotel neighborhood and central Bordeaux.
Day 10 Tuesday 09 July B,L
Departure to the Medoc area, one of the world’s most famous vineyard regions. We follow the Route des Grands Crus and discover numerous châteaux. The D2 road goes past such great estates as Giscours, Palmer, Margaux, BraneCantenac, and Mouton-Rothschild. Stop and visit 2 great Chateaux. Meet the owners or the managers and lean about their grape production and wine making techniques. Stop along the Estuaire de la Gironde, one of the French main rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the typical small fishermen villages of the area. Return to Bordeaux for a free evening.
Day 11 Wednesday 10 July B,L
Take a guided walking tour of Bordeaux. Depart to visit the Entre Deux-Mer Area. This large region between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers (hence the name of Entre-DeuxMers) offers visitors a rich and varied landscape also blessed with an exceptional architectural heritage: Romanesque churches, medieval ruins, and châteaux set in beautiful green, rolling countryside. The vineyards produce an excellent dry white wine as well as red wines and some sweet white wines. Visit a representative chateau of this wine production area. Return to Bordeaux for a free evening.
Day 12 Thursday 11 July B,L
Full day coach tour in Saint Emilion area, one of the world’s most famous wine regions. The medieval village has preserved its old walls and gateways as well as a series of prestigious underground monuments. Visit of the charming little village of St Emilion, the grotto of the monk Emilion who founded the city, the Trinity Chapel built in his honour, the catacombs, and the monolithic church. Visit, tasting and lunch at Chateau de Pressac, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, where a treaty was signed ending the “100 years” war with the English. In the afternoon, visit and tasting at a Chateau in Pomerol, such as Château Beauregard Free evening.
Day 13 Friday 12 July B
Transfer by bus to the train station. Train from Bordeaux to Paris.
Hotel check-in. Free afternoon and evening.
Day 14 Saturday 13 July B
Individual transfer to airport depending on flight times. Return flights to the USA.
** All sites and times are subject to change. Alternative sites, if required, will be similar in nature and duration.
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● Thirteen nights accommodation in three star hotels, or better.
● Excursions in coach with French/English speaking local guide.
● Accompanied by Anglatin host and WSU V & E Coordinator.
● Twelve breakfasts.
● Ten lunches.
● One dinner.
● Entrance to attractions as specified in the program.
● Visits and tastings as specified in the program.
● Train transportation Paris-Bordeaux-Paris.
● Personalized travel and briefing book.
Services not included:
● International flights.
● Beverages, except as specified in the program.
● Expenditures of personal nature.
● Voice communications, internet, texting, etc.
● Medical expenses.
● Replacement of damaged property.
● Recovery of lost or stolen property.
● Health, travel and trip insurance (available as an optional extra)
Registration fees, double-occupancy, per person:
20-24 participants $4,060
25-30 participants $3,701
Single Supplement $ 623
Contact Program Coordinator,Theresa Beaver, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up for this trip.