Tuesday, April 21, 2015

France Wine Tours, Trips And Tastings

By Alta Alexander

French wines are widely regarded as the world's best even by professional oenophiles. But that doesn't come close to describing the thrill and enjoyment of France wine tours. The vast scope of producing regions, vineyards, wineries and their talent at coming up with magnificent wines is incomparable.

A visitor on one of these trips has a whole new world awaiting discovery. Sipping champagne from the comfort of one's home is very different from tramping around in Champagne, exploring the vineyards and tasting the offerings of every cellar in the region. A Paris day trip can easily end up as a culinary and tasting expedition into the Loire Valley or Champagne-Ardenne.

The Avenue de Champagne is just as big a thrill for oenophiles as it is a matter of pride for Francophiles. Bike trips into Alsace also come highly recommended for tourists looking for a day out in the wine country. In this area, tastings are free and open to anyone who cares to stop by. The tours just pack it in and offer a full day sampling the wines of every famous and well-regarded producer in the region.

But the best option for vino lovers who want to head out of Paris for a day is without any doubt the Loire Valley. The lush green slopes and hillsides dotted with vineyards and castles looks like something from a bygone era. The tour guides on these trips are oenophiles and very familiar with every vineyard and all the wines each producer has to offer in the region.

Those who are taking the train from Paris will be met at the station and taken along for a magical day of exploration and tastings. The commentary is made in English, so guests from all over the world are able to enjoy the trip and learn a lot. Some people prefer a more relaxed trip at their own pace. This can be arranged through guided day trips or weekend trips for individuals and couples.

The die-hard winetripper, so to speak, has many more options a long way from Paris. For example, Bordeaux is a three-hour train trip from Paris. Just decide to stay back for a couple of days or more and explore the region at leisure. Those willing to devote the time it takes can expect a highly memorable culinary weekend or week discovering the Bordeaux wine regions like Medoc and Saint Emilion.

Visitors can choose from among a range of appealing options. For instance, there are chateau stays that combine cheeses and other culinary delights at Michelin-rated restaurants along with tastings and vineyard explorations. There are harvest tours and chauffeur-driven outings that somehow combine luxury with the first-hand experience of all the hard work that goes into making a legendary bottle of wine in France.

All this is just a small part of all the exciting possibilities. Every region from Burgundy to Provence, Corsica and the Rhone Valley has its own specialty tour experiences and superb wines awaiting discovery by visitors. Just pick one or more based on the budget and time available, and decide the kind of French wine tour it should be.

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