- Tasting Beaujolais Nouveau, Cote du Rhone and Chateauneuf du Pape in the areas they are created
- Visiting the great vineyards of Burgundy
- A day spent in the Bordeaux vineyards
- A delightful lunch in the 12th Century village of St. Emilion
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your overnight flight to Bordeaux, a wine capital and the start of your exploration of the French way with wine.
Day 2 Arrival in Bordeaux
In the morning you arrive in Bordeaux where your guide is waiting to take you on a combination driving and walking tour of Bordeaux. Although this is a port city connected to the Atlantic, it has a Mediterranean feel to it. You will see the Grand Theatre, the Maison du Vin (which represents the wine industry) and a large fountain honoring two of Bordeaux's famous sons Montaigne and Montesquieu. After your tour and a light lunch, you head for your hotel which is a 19th century Chateau surrounded by the world-famous vineyards of Saint-Emilion. After relaxing and having a chance to freshen you enjoy dinner either inside or on the terrace enhanced by wine from the Chateau's vineyard.
Day 3 Touring the vineyards of Bordeaux
Today we will be joined by a knowledgeable wine expert who will take us on a tour of vineyards in St. Emilion and neighboring areas of Bordeaux. The hotel has packed us a lunch and we will supplement this with a bottle of St. Emilion bought from one of the vineyards during our morning visits. After a fulfilling day we return to the Chateau where a swim might be in order before dinner.
Day 4 Visiting the Village of St. Emilion
After breakfast we will head to the 12th Century village of St. Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Depending on how we feel we may walk to the village since it is less than two miles or we will be driven. Once there, however we will walk through the quaint streets and visit the Saint-Emilion church carved from a limestone rock face. We will have lunch in St. Emilion and then return to the Chateau for some relaxation. In the evening we will participate in a wine tasting in the Chateau's cellars before enjoying a farewell Dinner with wine.
Day 5 A Drive Through Provence
In the morning we are taken to Bordeaux airport for a flight to Nice. Upon arrival our guide is waiting to take us through the countryside of Provence to the town of Arles. We will stop for lunch along the way and have a brief overview of Arles before we board our river cruiser where a welcome cocktail reception and dinner with wine is on order.
Day 6 Arles and the Van Gogh Legacy
After breakfast we take a tour of Arles, a Mediterranean city situated at the mouth of the Rhone delta. We bathe in the Provencal morning light and imagine how Vincent Van Gogh worked to capture the richness of every hue on this morning's walking tour. While Van Gogh's homes are no longer standing, we may glimpse the locales and vistas that inspired " Starry Night" or "Terrace de café le Soir" as we pass Constantine's Baths, the Romanesque cathedral and the Roman amphitheatre, which is still in use today as a bull ring. After lunch we'll take an excursion to the villages of St. Remy and Les Baux. During our tour of St. Remy, birthplace of Nostradamus, and also where Van Gogh retired to the asylum St Paul de Mausolee, we will enjoy the rich floral colors and amazing views from this village perched 900 feet on a hill. This evening we cruise to nearby Avignon
Day 7 The Popes of Avignon
Our morning tour of the "City of Popes" will take us through the narrow streets and elegant squares to the Papal Palace, which served as fortress, church and residence to a number of Popes who once governed the Christian world. We return to the ship where, during lunch, we cruise to Chateauneuf Du Pape. The origin of its namesake wine, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, or "new castle of the Pope" is also home to the remains of the fortress which gives the village its name. On this morning's walking tour we will see the remains of this 14th Century palace, which was built as a summer residence for Popes during their exile in Avignon, as well as the many squares and beautiful fountains that this medieval village has to offer . We have a chance to taste the wine before returning to the ship and enjoying more wine with our dinner.
Day 8 In the heart of Rhone Wine Country
As we enjoy breakfast we cruise upstream on the Rhone river to the towns of Tournon and Tain L'Hermitage. These twin towns face each other across the Rhone River and are linked by a 19th Century suspension bridge. The fertile soil and ideal climate of the region has made Tain L' Hermitage the premier producer of the Cote du Rhone wines. We have an afternoon at leisure and we can decide to visit the 16th Century Castle, now the town hall or try some of the chocolates produced in this area. After dinner this evening we will have a wine tasting on board.
Day 9 A Steam Train Along the Doux River
After breakfast we disembark and are taken to a steam train designated as "Monuments Historiques" These 19th Century locomotives are virtual time capsules and will transport us from the vineyards of the valley to the woods of Ardeche along the Doux River. We enjoy lunch back on board the ship as we cruise to Vienne. Situated between the wine regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais, Vienne, like Lyon has a significant Roman history, which is highlighted by its marvelously preserved ruins and remains.
Day 10 Exploring Vienne and Strolling In Trevoux
During this morning's walking tour we will see the 1st Century Roman Temple of Augustus, and the medieval churches of St. Andre-Le-Bas and Abbey St. Pierre, before we cruise on to Trevoux this afternoon. Passing Lyon on the way, we enter the Saone River and on to Trevoux. This evening we can stroll along the sidewalk cafes of this rural walking town.
Day 11 Beaujolais Nouveau and the Pay D’Or
This morning's tour will take us behind the village walls of Trevoux and through Beaujolais, the Pay D' Or, or " land of the golden stones" so named for the ochre limestone of its homes and castles. We will enjoy a visit with a local wine maker along the Route du Vin, where we'll taste the world renowned Beaujolais Nouveau before returning to the ship. In the afternoon we cruise to Lyon at the convergence of the Saone and Rhone Rivers. We have some free time in Lyon before dinner
Day 12 A Chateau in Burgundy
After breakfast we disembark and meet our guide who will escort us to the city of Dijon in Burgundy which is not only famous for its wine but also its mustard. Upon arrival our guide will take us to a local restaurant for lunch before embarking on a walking tour of this quant city. Although it is the capital of Burgundy, it is perhaps best known for its mustard. We will take time to visit the Maille store where unique mustard blends can be purchased. After our visit to the city we depart of our hotel which was originally built in the 14th Century as a Cistercian monastery. Upon arrival we freshen up and then head for dinner in what was, at one time, the Priory.
Day 13 The Great Wines of Burgundy
For any one even remotely interested in wine, today we tred on hallowed ground as we visit the premier names in Burgundy which could also mean in wine itself. Unlike Bordeaux with its larger Chateau estates, labels in Burgundy can come from vineyards of less than five acres so their limited production and availability adds to their allure and price. Today we visit Corton, Romanee-Conti, La Tache, Clos De Vougeot and Chambertin. We will test selected vintages in the cellar of the wine grower and enhance our appreciation of these fine wines.
Day 14 Beaune, Pommard and Meursault
After breakfast our car is waiting to take us to Beaune, the centre of Burgundy wines. We will visit its most notable building the Hotel-Dieu which is an old hospice built in the 15th Century in a Burgundian-Flemish Style. Beaune is also famous for its multicolored tile roofs, its old city walls and its wine museum located in the former mansion of the Dukes of Burgundy. After visiting the wine museum we will have lunch at the Abbaye de Maizieres which is situated near the Hospices de Beaune in a 12th Century Cellar. After lunch we head into the country along the wine trail of the Cote de Beaune and the Hautes Cotes de Beaune. We will visit the village of Pommard famous for both its red wine and its mustard and Meursault, renowned for its white wine. We will sample both before returning to the hotel for our farewell dinner.
Day 15 Return to USA
In the morning, our driver will take us to the station in Dijon where we take the train to Paris for our flight back to the US.
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Private Wine Tasting Tours - French Way with Wine ULFR16 Location and other villas and tours nearby
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Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Saint-Emilion, Rhone and Saone Rivers, Burgundy
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)