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Hi Brendan,

I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful advice on our French winery tour.  You were so sweet to email Chateau de Gilly (where we were staying) with information for our day in Chablis.  We did exactly what you said and it was PERFECT!  We loved Sebastian at Jean Marc Brocard.  Thank you for everything and I will definitely look you up when we go back and recommend you to friends.  Sorry we never had a chance to meet.

All the best,
Martha Farrell

 

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The beautiful vineyards of ChablisHaving been based in this beautiful region for over 20 years I can propose a program on the spot to suit your time, numbers, budget and preferred sector.

If you love crisp dry whites then you should definitely spend a day visiting and tasting in the vineyards of Chablis in northern Burgundy. Just an hour and a half from the centre of Paris, Brendan can pick you up off the morning train and you can be back in your Parisian hotel that evening in time for dinner.
By car its just 5 minutes away from Sortie 20 on the A6 autoroute, an easy loop. If you fancy staying a bit longer there are several good hotels and B&B’s  in and around Chablis (see links)

Beaune is a wonderful old town to use as a base for exploring the central part of Burgundy including the prestigious vineyards and villages of the Cote de Beaune (Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay..) and Cote de Nuits (Nuits St George, Gevrey chambertin, Chambolle Musigny..) Again, easy and quick access from Paris and Lyon via rail (TGV stops at nearby Dijon). The region is very well served with autoroutes so easy to get to by road.
I can give you a quick overview of this region in a day but two would enable a closer appreciation of these great wines. Wonderful hotels and great restaurants abound in Beaune (see links)

The Cote Chalonnais (Rully, Mercurey..) and Cote Maconnais (Pouilly fuissé) regions to the south can be accessed in less than an hours drive from Beaune enabling you to continue  using this town as your base. Alternatively Chalon and Macon are two pretty riverside towns again situated on both autoroute and main rail lines which would serve as good bases for wine excursions.

Wine tour ideas on all the above regions can be found on the tours page.

Contact me with any specific questions on any of these regions and I’ll get back to you with responses.

There has been evidence of vineyards being grown in Burgnduny right back to the time of the Romans. The arrival of monks in the region from about the 5th Century heralded the beginning of Burgundy’s vinous reputation. Today the wines from this region are recognised as being amongst the greatest in the world.

The two main grape varieties, pinot noir and chardonnay, manifest themselves in a hundreds of different guises according to the region, the village the slope and the individual parcel. The natural environment of the vineyard and mans work with the vine are the factors that create the wine. It’s summed up in the wonderful word “Terroir”. Forget fancy wineries and “winemakers”. The wines here are created in the vineyards.

It can be confusing. Grape varities rarely exist on the label, it’s the village or vineyards with a family name somewhere in smaller print.  Each year the wine from the same field can taste very different, each families plot will have a different character. Each family is very different. It’s  confusing at first and I can’t guarantee that after just a day with me in the vineyards you’ll be any clearer. You would however have visited some beautiful vineyards, met wonderful characters, descended into magical cellars and tasted delicous wines. And you will definitely want to return.

Below you will find a few examples of the tours we can put together. If you have a specific wish please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll happily give you a few ideas.

We love Burgundy - Wine LiaisonsWe love Burgundy. Being based in the region we can organise tours that last a week or half a day. Here are a few examples of some of our classic tour programs. They can be easily adapted to fit in with your time frame and numbers.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further details.

Burgundy  Beaune – 2 days/1 night - arrival by train in Dijon

Day 1 (mid morning)
Guests are met off the train at Dijon.  Drive south out of the city and into the vineyards at Marsannay La Cote. Stopping in a vineyard, Brendan will explain the geological and historical origins of these famous vines.

Depending on time of arrival, late morning cellar visit and tasting in the village of Gevrey Chambertin or wine tasting in the vineyard. Simple bistrot lunch or picnic, weather permitting.

After lunch, either a full cellar visit and tasting at Domaine Rossignol Trapet (makers of some of the best pinot noirs in the region) or a visit to the monastic winery at Clos Vougeot, followed by pilgrimage to the vineyards of Romanée Conti.

Mid-afternoon visit and tasting at Domaine Lucien Jacob near Savigny les Beaune to try out succulent reds and classic whites from several appellations.

Arrival at chosen hotel in the heart of Beaune at 17h30.  Brendan will show you around the old town on foot, and recommend one of the excellent local restaurants for your evening meal. Dinner and night in Beaune.

Day 2
Pick up around 09h00. Short drive south into the vineyards of the Cote de Beaune and through the villages of Pommard, Volnay and Meursault to the Grand Cru vineyards of Le Montrachet.  Brief wine talk by Brendan, outlining the historic origins, then into the village of Puligny or Chassagne for a cellar visit for tasting of these delicious whites.  Lunch will either be in a fine restaurant in the village of Chassagne (called Le Chassagne) or at Olivier Leflaives in Puligny for one involving wine-tasting.

Next, a quick visit to the Hospice de Beaune with Brendan acting as guide.
Return drive back to Dijon to connect with late afternoon train or to leave at hotel in city.

[Note: Brendan is very happy to assist in hotel and restaurant selection, as well as help with travel arrangements to and from the region.]

Beaune - La Cote D’Or in a day
09h30 - Pick up from your hotel in Beaune and head south on the N74, Route des Grand Crus. Brendan will stop in a vineyard near the village of Volnay to introduce you to a pinot noir vine and explain local viticulture.  Continuing through the prestigious village of Meursault and into the rocky parcels of vines that produces some of the most exquisite chardonnay in the world. The Grand Cru vineyards called “Le Montrachet” are considered by many to produce the world's finest white wine.

10h30 - In the village of Puligny Montrachet we are welcomed into a family run winery. An extensive tour of the cellar, including barrel tasting, follows. A bottle tasting of the family wines completes the experience.

12h30 - Lunch in the nearby Auberge du Vieux vigneron, presided over by the charming Jean-Charles Fagot, to sample frog’s legs, snails , fresh water crayfish and many other local specialities.

14h00 - While Brendan drives there's time for a quick siesta as we head north to the vineyards on the Cote de Nuits. After passing through Nuits St George we leave the main road and once again find ourselves amongst the vineyards. The first village is Vosne–Romanée - its Grand Cru vineyards produce the best pinot noirs in the world.  The tiny vineyard called Romanée Conti belongs exclusively to the Domaine of the same name. We follow the Grand Cru vineyards of Richebourg, Grand Echezeaux and Musigny till we pass the monastic winery at Clos Vougeot. Quick photo call then we carry on through Chambolle and Morey until we arrive in Gevrey Chambertin.

15h30 - Met by David and Nicholas Rossignol we visit the prestigious cellars of Domaine Rossignol-Trapet. They produce superb pinot noirs from Gevrey and surrounding villages.  Barrel and bottle tasting in their cellar, with commentary from Nicholas.

17h00 -  Return drive to Beaune arriving back, exhausted, at hotel around 17h45.

Wine Liaisons on tour In ChablisMecca for lovers of dry white wine, this northernmost region of Burgundy is famous for the flinty crisp white wines coming from slopes around the town of Chablis.  Brendan has friends amongst dozens of small family producers, as well as privileged access to the most prestigious Domaines.  Just one day in his company, and your appreciation of this wine will change forever.

09h30 - Brendan picks you up from your hotel in a comfortable vehicle, and drives you up into the Grand Cru vineyards to admire the panoramic view over the town of Chablis and its vineyards. A perfect spot to learn about the ancient monastic origins of these vines and a good spot to get to grips with the term “terroir” – the essence of Burgundian wines.

10h30 - A private visit to a family run winery. After introductions you will be given a guided tour of the winery in the company of a family member and you will be most welcome to ask questions, Brendan acting as interpreter if needed.

11h00 - The moment you’ve been waiting for… amongst the barrels and vats, a collection of bottles of the family’s finest Chablis, including 1er and Grand Cru, ready for tasting. Brendan will assist with technique for novice tasters. 

12h00 - Back in the town of Chablis, there's a chance for a bit of shopping to pick up some bread and cheese for a picnic lunch, weather permitting. Otherwise, there'll be plenty of choice for a delicious lunch in the local bistrots, wine bars or gourmet restaurants.

14h00 - Rendezvous with Brendan for a short drive into a nearby vineyard-covered valley. Here, in a walled medieval village, we meet another delightful family of vignerons. This is the village of St Bris, recently celebrated for being awarded its own appellation for the delicious sauvignon grown here.  Wine has been produced in this vineyard for centuries and we go underground to taste wines in the family’s 700 year old cellars.

15h30 - We emerge, blinking, back into the family courtyard.  A short stroll amongst the old houses then a quick drive into the cavernous labyrinthine quarry at Bailly, famous for its stone and, more recently, its “methode champenoise” Cremant de Bourgogne.  Quick tasting at its enormous bar, hewn from the rock.

16h30 - Back above ground and a scenic drive along the Yonne River, past the village of Vincelottes and its monastic wine warehouses, through the pinot noir producing village of Irancy, and back into the sea of vineyards that surround Chablis.

17h30 - Return, exhausted but culturally enriched, to your hotel.

Wine Liaisons on tour In ChablisFor individuals or groups up to 12.   A complete tasting tour of northern Burgundy. Two full days of vineyard visits, meetings with local wine producing families and extensive wine tastings.

Guests can choose from one of the numerous local hotels or B&B’s featured in our links page

DAY 1

09h30 - Depart after breakfast with Brendan in the minibus to the nearby Grand Cru vineyards that overlook the town of Chablis.  Amidst the vines you will learn of the importance of the 'terroir' in creating these unique wines the monastic origins of the first vineyards, and their colourful history up to the present day.

10h00 - Arriving in the town of Chablis we visit a famous local winemaking family. A guided tour of their wine making facility is concluded with an extensive tasting of their wines including Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru and Chablis Grand Cru.

12h30 - Lunch in the heart of Chablis at the “Bistrot des Grands Crus”.  Enjoy one of the local specialities like Andouillete, escargots or Jambon à la Chablisienne.

14h00 - Continuing in the minibus, we drive through the vines to the nearby village of St Bris Le Vineux. Here we visit another local family who will show us their incredible labyrinth of 12th century cellars, still in use to this day. A tasting of their excellent wines includes the newly classified sauvignon, St Bris, which is delicious!

16h00 - Before returning to your hotel  there is time for a quick detour to the nearby Caves de Bailly.  These vast caves, large enough to drive into (and once used by monks to make cheese), are now used in the making of ‘Cremante de Bourgogne’, our local Burgundy Champagne.

17h00 – Return to hotel

DAY 2

09h30 - Depart after breakfast with Brendan for a scenic 45 minute drive through the local countryside to the historic site of Vezelay with its magnificent Romanesque Basilica. In the nearby village of Precy le Moult we visit the best local wine producer, Elsie Villiers for a tasting of her superb Bourgogne chardonnay and pinot noir. From here we drive up into Vezelay where  Brendan takes you on a walking tour of the village and Basilica.

12h30 –Simple  lunch in one of the numerous cafés found on the main street.

14h00 - We leave Vezelay and wind our way back, via the Serein Valley with a brief stop in the medieval village of Noyers, to the vineyards of Chablis.

15h00 - In the village of Chichée we visit a young winemaker whose wines regularly win international awards.  A tour of his modern winery is completed with a tasting of his delicious wines.

17h30 - Arrive back at your hotel.

Price will depend on numbers. Contact Brendan for further details.

 

 


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Brendan - many thanks for another v successful trip to Burgundy.  Have just gone through my notes, and we really covered the creme de la creme from top to bottom - what would we do without you?!  Now in hot pursuit of JJ Confuron and Philippe Duvernay distributors over here.  So far so good...
 
With many thanks
 
Marina

London