What could be better than a wine getaway, with your partner, family or friends, to relax and awaken your senses, while discovering new tastes and places ? Oenotourism has become popular, particularly in France where wine, gastronomy and “art de vivre” are highly enjoyable.
Many tourism operators offer “wine tours”, those journeys including vineyards visits and wine tastings in a French region. But what is it really? What can we expect of a wine tour? What is the best wine region to visit? Here is everything you need to know for a successful and unforgettable experience.
- What is a wine tour?
- Who can attend a wine tour?
- The different wine tours
- How to choose your wine tour?
- Program of a typical wine tour
- Why should you choose Bordeaux?
- How to book a wine tour?
A wine tour is a travel journey through a wine region’s landscapes and authentic heritage – a perfect mix between wine and tourism. It takes the form of a tour where you can learn everything wine-related, taste the best wines of the French vineyards and visit the most beautiful estates and properties. All of the above guided by a wine connoisseur who will explain every details of winemaking and show you every local sightseeings.
You will be delighted by a wine tour whether you’re a neophyte, an enthusiast or a passionate. Indeed, wine tasting is always a good idea : you can have fun looking for hints in each glass of wine or enjoy discovering new flavors entirely. If you are willing to find out more about wine making and French heritage, there is no better way to do it than by booking a wine tour with a professional guide.
Private and semi-private tours
Most of the time, wine tours are organized by small groups of less than 10 people, in order to preserve intimacy. You will attend to all visits and wine tastings together, but will still have free personal time to explore or talk to winemakers.
There are also private tours where it’ll be just you, your guide and the winemakers. A private wine tour offers an unique and complete experience : you can share more with the professionals and enjoy an intimate moment.
Luxury VIP wine tours are usually all inclusive, what could be better than that ? Guided by a wine specialist and driven by a personal chauffeur, you will visit wonderful places, taste the best wines of the region and will enjoy gastronomic meals.
Customized private tours
Some tour operators, such as Bordeaux Wine Trotter, offer custom journeys that you can personalized as you wish. This particular castle, this specific cellar, this wine… It’s all your choice !
A wine tour has to be a perfect moment of escape and discoveries. To make it an unforgettable experience, you have to make the right choices before you book your tour.
The choice of the professional who will accompany you is primordial. He must indeed understand your needs and your expectations but he also has to guide you through every steps. He must be a wine expert who will answer to all of your questions and bring you all the kindness and warmth you need.
Denis Duffau-Lagarosse, a fine connoisseur of the wine world and owner of a Saint Emilion “Grand Cru Classé”, is in charge of the wine tours at Bordeaux Wine Trotter. He will make you discover the greatest wines of the Bordeaux region while leaving no places unexplored and secrets unrevealed. He is keen to share this particular moment with you and make you enjoy every single minute.
The tour duration
A wine tour can last a whole day or several days. It is not necessarily the longer the better, but it is true you will have the opportunity to see more vineyards and wine estates if the tour lasts a couple of days. Accommodation – whether it’s in a hotel or in a guests house – as well as catering, are often included in longer stays.
France has so many beautiful wine regions that it can be hard to choose which one to go to. Each vineyard has its own identity, offering to its visitors a hint of its heritage, culture and gastronomy.
From the Rhine plains to the Vosges mountains where are nested scenic villages, from Strasbourg to Colmar, you will be seduced by the beauty of Alsace over and over again. Its wine region is a white-grape terroir : riesling, muscat, klevener, gewurztraminer, white pinot, grey pinot and black pinot. Alsace has no less than 51 Grands Crus and a gastronomy impregnated with French history.
Authenticity is what you will find in the bucolic region of Beaujolais, where hills spread from Mâconnais to Lyonnais. This quality can also be found in its 10 vintage wines made from granitic terroirs : Fleurie, Morgon, Saint-Amour, Moulin à Vent… The Gamay varieties are the region’s specialty.
Bordeaux is known to be the world’s wine capital as well as being the first French wine-producing region. Its vineyards attract thousands of visitors every year : Libournais, with Pomerol, Saint-Emilion and Fransac appellations, Medoc, with Pauillac and Saint-Julien ones, or Margaux, Sauternais, Entre-Deux-Mers, Grave, Sauternes, Bayais-Bourgeais… Bordeaux sure knows how to make wine ! Its famous Grands Crus Classés are accounted for the red wine elite all around the globe : who never heard of Château Latour, Château Lafite Rothschild, Petruc ? They are famous for a reason : their tannins and flavors are unequalled. No worries, if you haven’t tried them yet, it’s one more reason to come visit Bordeaux.
Indeed, Bordeaux is also home of centuries-old castles, wonderful cities, authentic villages, wild rivers and sandy coasts. All you can dream of in one place.
Bordeaux Wine Trotter makes you travel in this wine paradise with the promise to show you every best sight there is.
Mythical terroir first discovered by the monks, Burgundy hides fine wines with character from Chardonnay white grapes and black pinot red grapes. Mâconnais, Côte Chalonnaise, Côte de Nuit, Côte de Beaune, Chablisien… Burgundian wines have quite a reputation. They will give you satisfaction with no doubt.
Who never heard of this famous sparkling wine ? Luxury and party symbol in the world, champagne is a must-taste in ones life. Discover its history and its elaboration through the exploration of Champagne vineyard’s chalky terroir. Of course, Champagne tastings are delightful.
Languedoc-Roussillon is a multifaceted destination with its vineyards overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. You can find historical appellations, such as Faugères, Corbières, Collioure, Maury or even Rivesaltes, but also free and unique wines. The beauty of nature can be witnessed in this region of sea and sun, from the city of Carcassonne to the vines cultivated in terrasses on Pyrenees foothills.
Vines and lavender landscapes with the song of crickets : that is a common charming picture in Provence. Known for its rosé wines, which are clear and fruity, Provence has also robust red wines and delicate white wines. The softness of South-France sunshines brought to life diversified appellations with amazing flavors : Beaux-de-Provence, Bandol, Bellet, Cassis, Palette…
The region’s mountains scenery are not the only one worth the trip : the wines are too ! In the north, the king of red grape – Syrah – is produced on steep hillsides over the Rhone. Lower, the Viognier grapes give gourmet white wine, such as Saint-Joseph and Saint-Perray. There are plenty of amazing activities to do in the region, from hiking to oenotourism.
Val de Loire’s extraordinary heritage hides a dozen of prestigious appellations. Between history and gastronomy, the vineyards of Saumur, Nantes, Anjou, Touraine, Centre-Loire and Auvergne stand on the edge of the Loire river and its tributaries. The region’s castles and carved out of the rocks wine cellars are a must-do !
An oenological discovery of this type lasts about 8 hours a day, after which you will be driven at your accommodation place if it’s an all-inclusive stay.
A private chauffeur takes you from wine estate to wine estate throughout the day while a wine expert guides you during visits and wine tastings. You will also have the opportunity to meet winemakers who will present you their properties and their work.
A wine tour always starts with the visit of the most impressive and beautiful vineyards on the wine route of the region. Those visits include those of mythic castles, wonderful estates, vines spreading as far as eyes can see and both modern and authentic cellars. You will discover several properties, each one of them having its own story and its unique wine making technique.
A wine tour wouldn’t be complete without private wine tasting sessions ! You will discover 2 to 4 Grands Crus Classés a day with a vertical tasting commented by winemakers. Your guide will teach you, if needed, how to taste the different wines. By the end of the day, you will be able to recognize the notes and tannins in each glass.
Wine always come with a good meal, and what is a better place on earth to have a perfect mix of both than France ? During Bordeaux Wine Trotter wine tours, lunches take place in a typical French village, with terroir products and a good glass of wine. Expect a cosy and friendly atmosphere !
A visit of the local village can also be part of the tour, it all depends on your program.
Bordeaux, the sleeping beauty, as they say. The city in itself is remarkable, full of heritage and culture. It’s one of those cities where you can find historical landmarks all over the streets as well as a modern architecture. You cannot come to Bordeaux without paying a visit to the Miroir d’Eau of the Place de la Bourse, Saint Catherine Street, the Grand Théâtre, the Chartrons neighbourhood, the docks near the Garonne river, and so on. You also cannot miss the wine patrimony of the region, particularly with the famous Cité du Vin or the various oenological events that take place all year long : Bordeaux fête le Vin, Vinexpo… Indeed, Bordeaux is also well-known for its vineyards. There is no better place to taste a red wine with a sumptuous robe and an intense flavor.
Visit Bordeaux vines is a must-do for any great wine amateur. Around the city, many castles stand between vines and pines forests, waiting for you to come explore their authentic corridors and cellars. You can also wander around inexhaustibly charming villages, such as Saint-Emilion – an Unesco World Heritage site known for its beautiful landmarks and historic vineyard – or Pauillac, located in the heart of the Medoc region.
As if it wasn’t enough, Bordeaux and its surroundings are also synonym of relaxation with Lacanau beach, Arcachon bay, Pyla Dune or the Gironde estuary.
You want to discover Bordeaux vineyards, from Saint-Emilion to Medoc, with an outstanding guide ? Contact Bordeaux Wine Trotter to have an estimate of a personalised and custom private wine tour or to book one of our semi-private journeys. Let us guide you through the best vines in the world !