Luxury 6 day trip
By coach from the uk from £1995
Visiting some of the best wine regions in France, we begin our tour in the beautiful Champagne region, travelling through to Sancerre and following the Loire river as far west as Bonnezeaux near Angers, exploring France’s most diverse wine region, producing exemplary wines in every style. We will visit the communes of Sancerre, Chinon, Bonnezeaux, Bourré, Bourgueil and Vouvray.
After a champagne indulgence we will be enjoying wines from the Centre Loire region, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume and Coteaux de Giennois. In Sancerre the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes reign, offering fresh, lively white wines and rich, aromatic reds, although white wines dominate in this region. The three Terroirs of this area, clay-limestone, flint, and fossilised shells from the Jurassic Era give rise to wines with a great mineral feeling. We will then travel further along the Loire to the historical town of Chinon, home to one of the Loire Valley’s most celebrated Cabernet Franc wines. Small quantities of crisp white Chenin Blanc wines are also produced here. In Bonnezeaux, as far west along the Loire as we will be exploring, we will find Chenin Blanc producing rich, complex sweet wines due to the development of Botrytis in the vineyards. In Bourgueil Cabernet Franc dominates, producing bold and slightly more tannic wines than the wines from neighbouring Chinon. Vouvray is home to the noble Chenin Blanc, more commonly known in the area as Pineau de la Loire produced in a range of styles, from dry to sweet and still to sparkling, offering stony, floral wines with vibrant acidity.
Depart by executive coach with onboard toilet provided by a leading Private Coach Hire Company renowned for luxury coach hire. Travel to Folkestone with some free time for breakfast before departure on Eurotunnel.
On arrival in Reims, a light lunch and free time after checking in to Hotel de la Paix, in Privilege room, breakfast included.
The Best Western Premier Hotel de la Paix 4-star is located in the heart of Reims, the Champagne capital, in an exceptional setting. Just a stone's throw away from the cathedral, this hotel with its resolutely contemporary style is also situated near the conference centre and the TGV train station. Accommodation will be in stylish Privilege rooms on a bed and breakfast basis.
Dinner at an exclusive privately owned Château, a precious piece of Champagne heritage in the safe-keeping of a famous champagne house, whose family emblem remains on it to this day.
This is a private Château and is not open to the public. We are very privileged to have access to this wonderful venue for a very special dinner paired with wines and champagnes.
Today we will travel to Sancerre, our first port of call in the beautiful Loire Valley. There will be a comfort break enroute.
On arrival in Sancerre we will have a wine pairing lunch at a famous L'auberge with wines from their winery accompanied by a member of the winery team, they have been ambassadors of the Grand Crus of Centre Loire region, recognised and distinguished for their commended quality in over 49 countries around the world.
Deeply rooted in the heart of Sancerre, the history of this family spans 500 years and several generations, the family-run estate is today one of Sancerre's largest and undoubtedly most prestigious. Famous guests have included Claude Monet.
After checking into the Hotel Panoramic in Sancerre we will visit the highly acclaimed Domaine Henri Bourgeois in the close by village of Chavignol for a private visit and tasting followed by a wine pairing dinner.
Hotel Panoramic Sancerre
With its exceptional hillside location, this newly renovated hotel offers magnificent perspectives. Harmonious hills and valleys on which vineyards joyfully sway. A new day dawns in this peaceful oasis. For your relaxation you will find heated outdoor pool overlooking the prestigious Sancerre vineyards, panoramic bar-lounge to enjoy a drink, a shop to treat someone or yourself to the wines produced in the Saget family vineyards. Here everything is designed to let you enjoy the good life and admire the mellow bucolic surroundings. Our stay will be on a bed and breakfast basis.
After check out we will have a special visit to a very small winery in Sury-en-Vaux, where we will meet the ninth generation winemaker Phillipe, and his English wife, for a tour of this tiny winery followed by a tasting of their excellent Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé and Coteaux du Giennois wines. Philippe has vines planted on steep slopes of les caillottes soil from the Jurassic period, an era that left behind fossils of sea creatures that are more than 130 million years old.
We will then follow the Loire river as far as Chinon, stopping enroute in Bourré for a private tour, tasting and a light lunch in a troglodyte Cave, where you will learn about the history and geology of the caves.
On arrival at the Hotel Château de Marçay there will be some free time to relax before our next winery visit set in caves for a wine pairing dinner with wines from a small premium wine producer.
The 4* Château de Marçay is a picturesque 15th-century turreted castle-hotel set in 37 acres of parkland near the medieval town of Chinon, an island of calm and serenity located in an area rich in historical treasures and within a UNESCO world heritage site. Built on the ruins of an XI century fortress, this XV century castle, converted into hotel and restaurant since 1973, welcomes you in a timeless atmosphere where the anticipation of your desires, tailoring your every moment, and the family spirit will make this place yours during your stay on a bed and breakfast basis.
Today we will visit Domaine Couly Dutheil in Chinon. We will first visit the famous Clos de l'Echo vineyard followed by a tour of the old cellars and tasting.
There are few names more respected in the Loire than that of Couly-Dutheil. Their wines have earned them great respect and are to be found in leading restaurants across France, and further afield too.
There are many reasons to visit this estate, not least the grand château, parts of which date back to the 10th century; it resembles an imposing Medieval Fortress. As we would expect from such a dedicated team, all the wines are uniformly superb but the vineyard Clos de l’Echo deserves a special mention. This ancient land has a unique terroir (visited by Joan of Arc several times) that grows the Cabernet Franc varietal to perfection. It is a wine of immense concentration and power, none who taste are left indifferent. Sample a glass of Clos de L’Echo and you will be converted for life, one of the worlds most unique and spellbinding wines!
Lunch will be in a small traditional restaurant near to the Château d'Azay le Rideau where we will have a guided tour. Standing on an island in the middle of the Indre River, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau, one of the finest Châteaux in the Loire, was built during the reign of François I by a rich financier, Gilles Berthelot, who wanted his fabulous new home to combine the latest technical innovatons from Italy and the art of French architecture. The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau is a jewel of the early Renaissance.
On our return to Château Marçay there will be some free time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings before dinner is served in the hotel restaurant.
Today we will visit a Château in Anjou for a tour of the winery and a wine pairing lunch, accompanied by a member of the team to give explanations of the paired wines.
This winery is a tiny village appellation in the Loire's Thouarcé district, in which they are perhaps the most famous producer. The proximity of the River Layon favours the development of Botrytis to concentrate the grapes, producing one of the greatest dessert wines in the world.
We will then visit Bourgueil for a winery tour and tasting before returning to our hotel. After some free time we will depart for the Abbaye de Fontevraud for a Michelin starred dinner with paired wines.
The Abbaye de Fontevraud is one of the largest surviving monastic cities from the Middle Ages. The Abbey was listed as an Historic Monument in 1840, and, as part of the Loire Valley, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
This morning we will visit a very small family run winery in Vouvray for a tour of the very small winery and a tasting of their excellent wines.
We will enjoy a Michelin starred wine paired lunch at Château de Pray before departing for Calais..
Château de Pray
In an ideal location, surrounded by the Loire castles, 2 km from the royal city of Amboise in a bucolic park overlooking the river, Château de Pray provides the perfect setting for a decidedly gourmet journey! Its gastronomic restaurant, which has earned a Michelin star, invites you to discover a subtle cuisine with flavours from near and far in an atypical location: a spacious and light partially underground dining room.