As with art, every French wine-making region has its masterpieces. Known the world over, the great wines and spirits of France reveal themselves during out-of-the-ordinary visits.
Grands Crus Wine Route in Burgundy
Also known as Burgundy’s Elysium Fields, to show just how prestigious it is, the 80km marked trail between Dijon and Santenay, takes you through the Côtes de Nuits and Beaune area and their Hautes-Côtes (or high hillsides) via roads well connected to the main motorways. The trail promises beautiful stops in the heart of vines: Dijon, city of the Burgundy Dukes to start; Beaune, wine capital; the wine-making villages of Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aloxe-Corton, Pommard, Meursault, Puligny… and Gevrey-Chambertin, which boasts nine grands crus (or great wines).
Tel. : +33 (0)3 80 280 303 – www.bourgogne-tourisme.com
Bernard-Magrez Grands Crus classés in Bordeaux
1 owner, 4 grands crus classés : Château Pape Clément, Château La Tour Carnet, Château Fombroge, Clos Haut Peyraguey. Discover the magic of 4 grands crus classés under a single signature for the first time.
“Grands crus” Circuit in the Médoc
Every Wednesday from May to October, the Bordeaux Tourist Office runs a Grand Crus Circuit in the Médoc to discover the Grand Crus Classés, awarded by the Bordeaux wine classification in 1855. During the trip, visitors explore three estates of three appellations (Saint-Julien, Pauillac, Margaux, etc.), three estates of three classifications (seconds crus, troisièmes crus, etc.), and all of differing architectural styles. In the second estate lunch “au château” is organised in the presence of the owner. The day-long guided coach tour (available in French or English) leaves from the Bordeaux Tourist Office.
Stay in a grand cru classé of Sauternes
Located in the heart of 27 hectares of vines above the village of Sauternes, the Château d’Arche enjoys a particularly favourable climate for the development of Botrytis Cinerea, the essential mould in the production of Sauternes. In the beautiful 17th century charterhouse, the Relais du Château d’Arche has nine exquisitely charming bedrooms (those in the corners are especially original). Make the most of your stay and visit the storehouses and taste the Château’s great wines.
Relais du château d’Arche - 33210 Sauternes
Tel. : +33 (0)5 56 76 67 67 – www.chateaudarche-sauternes.com
Visit and tasting at a grand cru in Saint-Emilion
The Saint-Emilion Tourist Office invites you aboard a comfortable vehicle for an exclusive excursion to explore its great wines, and the landscapes listed by Unesco as World Heritage Sites. In the company of a guide (groups of 8 people maximum), take the time to snap a few pictures and step through the door of a Château. A passionate wine-grower will take you around their estate and share their know-how during a guided tasting of their grands crus.
Tel. : +33 (0)5 57 55 28 28 – www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com
Magical bottles from De Vinis Illustribus, in Paris
Travel to France’s greatest vineyards; discover exceptional wine; taste mythical vintages, all on offer at De Vinis Illustribus in Paris. A specialist in classic vintages, Lionel Michelin houses grand crus of venerable ages in his 12th century wine cellar. Connoisseurs and collectors come here to buy their dream wine, the one missing from their collection, a rare vintage, or even a cru confidential whose distribution is capped by its producers.
Tel. : +33 (0)1 43 36 12 12 – www.devinis.fr
Located in Cognac and Jarnac, the grand trade houses have increased the number of guided tours that combine tradition, history, culture, fun and tasting sessions to visitors. Every circuit is different, made to reflect the trade-house which organises it.
Visits to Rémy Martin and Martell Cognacs:
Exclusive trip to the Rémy Martin house...
In the comfort of the historic headquarters of the Rémy Martin brand, enjoy a unique tasting experience which underlines the perfect balance of the Rémy Martin Fine Champagne Cognacs, with gastronomic treats (open to adults only). Other special visit – the “Rendez vous Rémy Martin” events – made to measure programmes which include lunch or dinner in the house’s private club.
Tel. : +33 (0)5 45 35 76 66 – www.visitesremymartin.com
Guided tours of Martell & Co Cognac
Martell, whose produce can be found the world over, has been making cognacs for the world’s most demanding drinkers since 1715. This grand house has a unique experience on offer: a guided tour where each stage is presented. The exploration begins with a visit of the founder Jean Martell’s house, and goes on through the vines before entering the most sacred of places – the ageing storehouse. Do not leave without having discovered a world of aromas and flavours during a guided tasting.
Tel. : +33 (0)5 45 36 33 33 – www.martell.com
When you walk through the Hennessy Maison, you discover the secrets of creation of some of the best cognacs in the World. An exceptional situation along the Charente and a rich history make the visit a true experience finished by a taste of cognacs created by the Hennessy Maison.
Tel. : +33 (0)5 45 35 72 68 – www.hennessy.com