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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

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Wine Regions

Wine Regions

Brendan is based in Chablis, and has a special affinity for the wines of Burgundian producers. While he has unique knowledge and networks within his home region, Brendan’s expertise extends far beyond Chablis. He’ll use his wine intel' to guide you through the Loire, Champagne, Alsace, Provence, Beaujolais, Rhone, Languedoc, and more.

Brendan's Favourite!

For those of you who love dry crisp clean whites, this is the place. Situated in the north of Burgundy just south of Paris, an easy train ride. I can meet you off the train and within 15 minutes we are in the Grand Cru vineyards overlooking the little farming town of Chablis.

This being my “home” patch we have numerous great wine producing families very happy to open up their cellars to us. Thanks to the rocky slopes and cooler climate the chardonnays here can be bone dry  but if the 1er Cru and Grand Cru vineyards this is combined with great richness and depth.

A great place to spend a day or two.

Contact me for more information or look at examples on the tours page.

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  • Madame Giraudon
  • Nathalie Et Fan
 

For me the ultimate French wine region.  I’ve spent years exploring Burgundy and would be delighted to show you around.

From the dry crisp whites of Chablis in the north to the luscious ripe whites of Pouilly Fuissé in the south and of course the mighty Meursaults and Pulignys’. The list of famous chardonnay producing villages is long, all reflecting their unique terroir and each families individual plot. The ultimate white wines.

And the greatest pinot noirs in the world. The powerful velvety reds from legendary villages like Chambolle Musigny and Gevrey Chambertin in the Cote de Nuits or the delicate fruity pinots from Santenay or Saint Romain in the Cote de Beaune.  Maybe  drive down to spend a day in the Cote Chalonnais tasting lovely reds in Rully, Mercurey and Givry. The variety is enormous.

Whether it’s a first time or you’ve been here before it’s always a new experience.
From half day to full week I can quickly put together a program to fit your time and budget. I have some examples of tours to give you an idea of what we can do together.

Or contact me for a tailor made proposal.

  • A Privileged Moment
  • Chavy Cellar
  • Michael,moi Et Brad
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  • Having Fun In Nuits St George
 

The Lovely Loire

Sancerre –Pouilly fumé

About a 90 minute drive SW of Paris. A great place to spend a couple of days for lovers of this flinty sauvignon blanc and light fruity pinot noirs.
The sleepy little  town of Sancerre perched high above the Loire is a nice base to spend a couple of days exploring this region. Either drive down from Paris or there are easy rail links too. Hotel Panoramic is a good place to sleep and there is a choice of restaurants within walking distance
Over 400 wine producers in the 16 villages that surround Sancerre. Some great characters producing wonderful wines.  Lovely villages like Chavignol where you can sample their famous goat cheese (crottins) washed down with wine from the same village. A short drive across the river , same grape variety but the appelation changes to Pouilly Fumé. Definitely worth a half day tasting this side of the river .

From Sancerre an hours drive west via Menetou Salon, Reuilly and Quincy and you get to the Cher river which leads to the wonderfully diverse selection of wines from the Touraine. Light fruity reds and whites using a variety of different grape varieties including cabernet franc, malbec, gamay, sauvignon and chardonnay..to name a few.  We always get a warm welcome here and if you are looking for good value, this region is unbeatable. This is also the start of the famous Chateaux region, Chennonceaux being on this river.

Near Tour we are within easy striking distance of the wines from Chinon, Saumur, Bourgueil, Vouvray,  Montlouis.  Also right amongst the chateaux so lots to do apart from just tasting wine.

A lovely region, well worth a visit for those of you who have not ventured into this lesser known wine region of France. I’d be very happy to put together a circuit for you.

Contact  me for more details.

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Pop into Champagne!

Many people don’t realize just how close Champagne is to Paris, or the Channel ports. It's an hours drive east on the A4 or the same in a train from Gare de L’Est. An easy 2 hour drive south along the A26 from Calais and you arrive at Reims.

A day and a night is probably sufficient time to get the feel of the region and to taste a good cross section of wonderful Champagnes. The two main towns are Reims and Epernay. Reims is the bigger and to be honest has a lot more to offer as a base compared to Epernay.  The day should be split in two with an excursion out into the vineyards either in the Cote des Blancs near Epernay or the Cote des noirs overlooking Reims. Numerous small villages surrounded by vineyards where you can taste superb champagnes from small family producers. If you are looking to purchase you can get great bargains . At least part of the afternoon should be spent visiting one of the bigger well known houses. Many have cellars open to the public although the better ones require booking. Ruinart is one of my favourites in Reims as the cellars are housed in the original roman chalk quarries. Reims also has a good cross section of hotels and there are some wonderful places to eat. The cathedral has to be visited, a remarkable survivor, an amazing example of flamboyant gothic architecture and steeped in history.

If you look at the badly drawn map you’ll see that you are not far from Chablis. Why not loop across and spend a day or two in Burgundy ?

  • Champagne On Ice
  • Refined Champagne Tasting
  • BM With The Fallets
  • Alsatian Foudres In Champagne
 

 

Too often overlooked, Alsace for me is one of the most fascinating wine regions in France.

The vineyards start in the foothills of the Vosges mountains and finish on the flood plain of the Rhine valley. The Vosges mountains act as a barrier to the cooling and precipitation influence from the Atlantic, giving the region a uniquely warm and dry climate. The geological map of the region resembles a psychedelic poster from the late 60s. It’s complicated. Add to that, the fact that, in Alsace (unlike Burgundy with just 2 main varieties) there are 12 grape varieties spread over 120 AC regions of production. Unlike other wine producing regions of France it is the grape variety that dominates the label. The main ones are Sylvaner, Reisling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and the exceptionally aromatic Gewurztraminer.

There is also the tumultuous history of the region from the Romans to the recent struggles with neighbours to the east. The towns and villages, despite having suffered terribly in the last 2 world wars, are idyllic and beautifully maintained. One could spend a week solely exploring the 2 main cities of Strasbourg and Colmar. The cuisine is delicious and wonderful restaurants abound.

Fly into Strasbourg or take the new TGV line direct from Paris. Base your selves in Colmar or in one of the picture postcard nearby towns and villages like Riquewihr or the more tranquil Eguisheim with its lovely old town walls.

Contactme if you’d like more information on tours in this region.

  • Before the tasting in Riquewihr
  • Three Chateaux
  • Riquewihr
  • Tasting with Jean-Marie
 

 

 

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Originally we had just booked a day in Chablis with Brendan but enjoyed our experience so much we decided to book another day in The Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune.

Thank you Brendan for a truly memorable and educational wine experience.

Michele & Grant Graber
Encinitas, CA