Ultimate French Wine Tour

The True Wine "Tour de France"

Ultimate French wine tour - Credits LPASCALE

At a glance

Region: Multi Region
Type of Tour:
Duration: 16 Days
Guide Price: from £3107 to £3827 per person
Number of Meals: 15 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
Number of Winery Visits: 26 wineries and 2 tasting sessions
Number of Wines Tasted: Approximately 80
Tour Transport: 6 full day transported tours, 6 visits on foot and taxi/rail transfers in the Loire and the Northern Rhône
Dates / Availability: Available mid-week and weekends from March to November (except July). The trip cannot start on a Thursday for logistical reasons.

Trip Summary

Ultimate French Wine Tour

This package is perfect for those looking to spend a longer period of time in France, exploring all of the main premium wine regions. This 16 day ultimate French wine tour allows guests to discover the world-renowned wines of Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and the Rhône, with rail travel included between each of the regions. During this oenoglical saga, guests will learn all about red, white and sparkling wines, visiting a range of wineries, including large, prestigious estates, as well as small, family-run
producers. Travel and wine-lovers, look no further because the solution to your wine-lust problems is here!

Your trip will start in Bordeaux, with a tasting session of five wines in a quaint wine bar, located within walking distance of the two hotels offered. The tasting will be accompanied by a platter of cheeses and meats. On days two and three, you will meet your guide at a central departure point for a full day transported and guided tour through the Bordeaux vineyards. On one of the days you visit the internationally famed left-bank Médoc and the other day, the UNESCO Classified appellation of Saint-Emilion and neighbouring Pomerol.

Ultimate French wine tour - Credits Deepix and CIVB
Ultimate French wine tour- Credit HEURISKO

During your tour of the Médoc, you will visit three Châteaux, learning particularly about the Cabernet Sauvignon grape and gaining an insight into what makes those big, bold reds so revered. During your visit to Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, you will discover the singularities of the softer wines, predominantly made from the Merlot grape. You will visit three Châteaux, as well as a guided walking tour of the picturesque village. During both days, you will learn all about the fascinating wine-making process from press to bottle, and each tour will conclude with a tasting of the Château’s wine. There will be a maximum of sixteen guests on the tour and each Château that you visit will be a Cru Classé estate. On one of the evenings, a three course gourmet dinner will be served in a premium city centre restaurant. Your dinner will be accompanied by three local wines.

After checking out of your hotel in Bordeaux on day four, you will board a train to Tours in the Loire Valley. The journey time is approximately three hours. Upon your arrival in Tours, you will check into your room at the 4* Oceania l’Univers. After settling in at the hotel, a pre-booked and pre-paid taxi will take you to a nearby premium Vouvray estate. Here, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the domaine and cellars, concluding with tastings of five of the region’s white Chenin Blanc-based wines, including the domaine’s Réserve Spéciale. Tastings of local delicacies such as cheeses and rillettes will be served alongside the wines.

Ultimate French Wine Tour
Ultimate French wine tour- Credits Stevens Frémont

Having been introduced to the region’s white wines, your journey of discovery will continue on day five, where rail travel to Chinon is included as part of the package. The hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from the station, allowing complete ease of access. Upon arrival in the beautiful riverside town of Chinon, you will be welcomed as the VIP guests of one of the town’s best producers. Your guide will accompany you on a tour of the estate and cellars, where you will see first-hand the wine-making process from press to bottle. The tour will conclude with five tastings. A pre-booked and pre-paid taxi will then take you to a 15th Century wine-making Château, where following a visit to the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc vineyards and a tour of the cellars, a tasting session will take place in the Château’s historic tasting room. A picnic lunch with a bottle of wine will then be served in the Château’s stunning grounds. The afternoon will be free to explore the pretty riverside town of Chinon before taking the train back to Tours at your convenience. In the evening, a three course dinner will be served in a premium brasserie in Tours with drinks.

Ultimate French Wine Tour - Credits Nantes Wine Tours
Ultimate French Wine Tour

In the morning of day six, you will check out of the hotel and cross the square to the train station, where you will board the train to Reims, in Champagne. The journey time is roughly two and a half hours. After having checked in at your preferred hotel (both within walking distance of the station), you will then be welcomed as guests at your preferred large, prestigious Champagne House in the city. Subject to your dates of travel / availability, options include Taittinger, where two Champagnes will be served; GH Mumm, to taste their Blanc de Blancs and Blancs de Noirs Champagnes; Pommery, to sample their Prestige Cuvée Louise; Ruinart, to taste Ruinart Blanc de Blancs or Ruinart rosé followed by their flagship Prestige Cuvée Dom Ruinart white or rosé; and Veuve Clicquot, to enjoy a flute of their celebrated La Grande Dame. Walking distances to the Champagne Houses can be up to 25 minutes, therefore you may prefer to ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you on the day. Please note that some of these Houses (particularly Veuve Clicquot and Ruinart) are very popular and offer very few tours, therefore early booking is essential.

Ultimate French wine tour- Credit Louis Teran
Ultimate French wine tour- Credits-Eurostar

The next day, you will be met at your hotel by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, who will accompany you on a full day transported Champagne tour, visiting two small, family-run Champagne Houses. During the course of the day, your guide will regale you with tales and anecdotes of the history of Champagne and its vineyards, introducing you to the particularities of the region. You will also stop in a vineyard to learn about the work undertaken here and the tour is designed to be as hands-on as possible. A three course lunch with a glass of wine, water and coffee will be served in a local restaurant. Ending the day in style, you will then visit Champagne Mercier or Champagne De Castellane in Epernay, for a tour of their cellars followed by a flute of their Champagne.

From sparkling to white! After having checked out of your hotel, you will board the train to your next wine destination, Alsace. The journey between Reims and Strasbourg is approximately two hours. Upon your arrival in Strasbourg, the afternoon will be free for you to explore this charming city. Included in the package is a Strasbourg pass, which offers discounts for numerous attractions, as well as free entry to one museum, free entry to the Cathedral’s viewing gallery, entry to see the famous clock, a half day bike hire and a complimentary river cruise. In the evening, a tutored tasting session of three Alsace wines will take place in a chic wine bar, accompanied by a platter of local cheeses and meats.

Ultimate French wine tour - Credit Cristophe Urbaine
Ultimate French wine tour- Credits Christophe Meyer

On day nine, guests will enjoy a full day transported and guided wine tour in the Alsace vineyards. Firstly you will be taken to Mittelbergheim, a traditional wine producing region and officially recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here, you will experience a wide variety of tastings including Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Reisling. Afterwards, you will be driven further into the vineyards towards the quaint winery village of Dambach-la-Ville, located at the heart of the Alsace wine region. Here, you will enjoy a second tasting session in a typical ‘caveau’ (the name given to local wineries). After free time for lunch, it is on to Riquewihr and Ribeauville, to enjoy two afternoon tasting sessions in some of the most highly-regarded wineries. In the evening, you will be invited to dine in a traditional winstub. Meaning “wine lounge,” winstubs epitomise the Alsatian way of life. Originally open to the public for wine-growers to sell surplus wines, winstubs are convivial, country-style restaurants, with red-checked table cloths and wooden tables, where diners enjoy carafes of wine accompanied by small, simple dishes. Here, you will have the opportunity to sample regional specialities, such as Sauerkraut, Baeckaoffa and tartes flambées.

On day ten, you will board the train from Strasbourg to Beaune in Burgundy, home to some of France’s most expensive wines. The journey time is roughly two and half hours. After having settled in, as always, you will be introduced the wines of the region with a cellar tour and tasting session with a traditional Burgundian wine-maker. Your knowledgeable host will talk you through tastings of six varied Burgundy wines.

Ultimate French wine tour Credits- Patriarche Wine Company
Ultimate French wine tour -Credits Alain Doire Bourgogne Tourisme

You will continue to build on your newfound knowledge on day eleven, where you will meet your English-speaking driver/guide at a central departure point for a full day transported and guided tour of the vineyards. You will be transported in an off-road vehicle, allowing access to locations that are usually off-limits. You will visit both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, experiencing the range of wines this prestigious region has to offer. You will be introduced to the sources of some of the greatest Chardonnay wines (vineyards such as Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet), as well as red wines made from the Pinot Noir grape (from areas such as Pommard, Volnay and Santenay). Your day will include visits to two estates and a vineyard tasting. At the end of the day, you will be chauffeured back to the centre of Beaune, in time to freshen up before enjoying the beautiful Burgundian evening. A four course gourmet dinner will be served in a premium city centre restaurant, accompanied by two half bottles of local wine, water and coffee.

On day twelve, you will commence the next leg of the journey, travelling through the Rhône Valley. The journey from Beaune to your first stop in Tain l’Hérmitage is approximately three and a quarter hours (via Lyon). You will be staying across the river in Tournon-sur-Rhône for two nights at the beautiful Hotel la Villéon. The next morning, you will be welcomed at the Paul Jaboulet Aîné boutique. One of the biggest names in the Northern Rhône and producer of the world-revered “La Chapelle,” this estate has been making highly sought-after wines for almost two Centuries and you will firstly taste a Hérmitage white wine and two Hérmitage reds, one of which will be the latest vintage of “La Chapelle.”

Ultimate French Wine Tour - Credits Fabien Marinello
Ultimate French wine tour

A three course lunch with a further two Jaboulet wines will then be served. You will have time to admire the breathtaking views across the Valley from the iconic “La Chapelle,” a stone chapel which was allegedly built by a 13th Century knight who fell in love with the vineyards here. In the afternoon, you will be taken by taxi to a quality producer of St Péray or Cornas wines for a full tour and extensive tasting session. Please note that we are unable to pre-pay taxis in Tain l’Hermitage / Tournon sur Rhone. We will pre-book your transfers for you and we expect the taxi transfers to cost in the region of 50 euros.

After checking out on day fourteen, we will arrange rail travel to Avignon, where accommodation for your last two nights will be provided at the 4* Cloître Saint Louis in the heart of the city. Upon your arrival in Avignon, the afternoon will be free for you to explore the city. Entry into the Papal Palace and the much loved Pont d’Avignon have been included in the package. A four course dinner with drinks will be served in a restaurant in the city centre in the evening. On the final day of tours, you will be taken on a full day transported tour with an English-speaking specialist wine guide. During the course of the day, tours and tastings will take place in the revered villages of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras and lunch in a local bistrot will also be included.

Region Map

Outline Itinerary

Day One of your ultimate French wine tour

  • Upon arrival in Bordeaux, check into your chosen hotel in the city centre.
  • Free afternoon to explore the city and relax.
  • Enjoy an early evening tasting session five wines. Your wine will be accompanied by a platter of cheeses and meats.

Day Two of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide at a central departure point for a full day guided and transported tour of the Médoc, visiting three Châteaux
  • In the evening, a three course gourmet dinner will be served in a premium city centre restaurant, accompanied by three local wines.
Ultimate French Wine Tour © Bordeaux River Cruise
Bordeaux wines -Credits Pape Clement

Day Three of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, you will be taken on a second day of tours, this time to Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, visiting three Châteaux.

Day Four of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
  • Rail travel will be arranged for you from Bordeaux to Tours, Loire Valley (journey time roughly three hours).
  • Upon arrival, check into your chosen room grade at Oceania l’Univers.
  • After settling in, you will be taken by a pre-booked and pre-paid taxi for a tour and five tastings with local delicacies at a top Vouvray winery.
Ultimate French wine tour-Credits PDuriez CentreValdeLoire

Day Five of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After having breakfast at the hotel, your tour day will comprise of:
  • Return rail travel between Tours and Chinon.
  • A full tour and five tastings as the guests of one of the best producers in the town.
  • Return taxi transfers between Chinon and the vineyards.
  • A tour and tastings with a picnic lunch at a 15th Century wine-making Château.
  • Free afternoon to explore Chinon.
  • In the evening, a three course dinner will be served in a premium brasserie in Tours with drinks.

Day Six of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
  • Rail travel will be arranged for you from Tours to Reims, Champagne, (journey time roughly two and half hours).
  • Upon arrival, check into your chosen hotel.
  • After settling in, walk to your favourite prestigious Champagne House in Reims for a full tour of the estate and cellars and a flute or two of their Champagne. Options include Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, GH Mumm and Pommery.
Ultimate French Wine Tour ©C. Manquillet
Ultimate French wine tour ©JK Gräber

Day Seven of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, you will be met at the hotel by an English-speaking guide, who will accompany you throughout the day. Your tour day will comprise of:
  • Tours and tastings at two small, family-run Champagne Houses.
  • A three course lunch with a glass of wine, water and coffee in a local restaurant.
  • A tour and a flute or two of Champagne at Moët and Chandon, Mercier or De Castellane.
  • You will be taken back to the hotel at the end of the day.

Day Eight of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
  • Rail travel will be arranged for you from Reims to Strasbourg, Alsace, (journey time roughly two hours).
  • Upon your arrival in Strasbourg, check into your preferred hotel.
  • The afternoon will be free to explore the city. Included in your travel pack will be a Strasbourg pass.
  • In the evening, enjoy a tasting session of three local wines with platters of cheeses and meats.
Ultimate French wine tour © C. Fleith
Ultimate French wine tour

Day Nine of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide at a central departure point in the city centre.
  • Your tour day will comprise of:
  • Tours and tastings at four wineries in the Alsace vineyards, with free time for lunch.
  • You will be taken back to Strasbourg at the end of the day.
  • In the evening, a three-course dinner with a Cremant and a local Riesling will be served in a traditional Alsatian

Day Ten of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
  • Rail travel will be arranged for you from Strasbourg to Beaune, Burgundy, (journey time roughly two and a half hours).
  • Upon your arrival, check into your preferred hotel.
  • In the early evening, enjoy a cellar tour and tasting session of six wines with a traditional Burgundian wine-maker.
Ultimate French wine tour
Ultimate French wine tour

Day Eleven of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, meet your English-speaking driver/guide at a nearby departure point for a full day transported tour. Your tour day will comprise of:
  • Stops at several vineyards in the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits.
  • A tour and tastings at a winery in the Côte de Beaune.
  • Free time for lunch.
  • A tour and tastings at a winery in the Côte de Nuits.
  • A tasting amongst the vines.
  • In the evening a four course gourmet dinner will be served in a premium city centre restaurant, accompanied by two half bottles of wine, water and coffee.

Day Twelve of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, check out of the hotel.
  • Rail travel will be arranged for you from Beaune to Tain l’Hermitage, Rhône Valley (journey time roughly three hours).
  • Here, walk across the river and check into Hotel la Villéon in Tournon-sur-Rhône.
  • The evening will be free to do as you please.
Ultimate French wine tour ©D Lefranc
Rhone wine tour - Credits Jaboulet

Day Thirteen of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, walk across the river to Tain l’Hérmitage.
  • Enjoy a tasting session of three Hérmitage wines including the latest vintage of the iconic “La Chapelle” at the Paul Jaboulet Aîné boutique.
  • A three course lunch with two further Jaboulet wines will then be served.
  • We recommend taking a leisurely walk up Hérmitage Hill to admire the views from “La Chapelle.”
  • In the afternoon, a taxi will take you to a nearby producer of Saint Péray or Cornas wines for a tour and tastings. Please note that we are unable to pre-pay taxis in Tain l’Hermitage / Tournon sur Rhone. We will pre-book your transfers for you and we expect the taxi transfers to cost in the region of 50 euros.

Day Fourteen of your ultimate French wine tour

  • In the morning, check out of the hotel and travel by train to Avignon.
  • Upon arrival, check into a Superior room at the 4* Cloître Saint Louis.
  • In your travel pack will be entry tickets to both the Papal Palace and the Pont d’Avignon to be visited at your leisure.
  • In the evening, a four course dinner with drinks will be served in a restaurant in the city centre.
Rhone wine tour Credits-Eurostar

Day Fifteen of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, you will be met at the hotel by an English-speaking specialist wine guide, who will accompany you throughout the day on a tour of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras to visit three wineries. Lunch will be served at a traditional bistrot.
  • At the end of the day, you will be dropped back in Avignon, where you will be free to enjoy your last night of the trip.

Final Day of your ultimate French wine tour

  • After breakfast, check out of your hotel.

(ii) The outline itinerary is indicative and is subject to minor changes depending on supplier availability. Availability cannot be guaranteed until we have received a confirmed booking, together with the deposit payment (or payment in full where the dates of travel are in less than 60 days). If the named accommodation / visits are not available, we will endeavour to find suitable alternatives of a similar grade; this may be subject to a supplement or a rebate depending on the price available.

Package Prices

These prices are per person excluding any discounts and include all of the package elements detailed.

Due to market volatility following the UK’s decision to exit the EU, these guide prices are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.

  • All prices are per person and based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin or double room.
  • A £75 per person early bird discount applies to bookings confirmed and paid over 60 days before travel.
  • Single supplements and extra night prices are available upon request.
  • If you would prefer to drive between the regions and would like the package excluding the rail travel between each region, please deduct £200 per person.
  • This package has been priced based on Monday to Saturday rail fares. Please bear in mind that rail travel on a Sunday can sometimes incur a supplement.
Hotel Name Room Grade Star Rating Duration Price Per Person
Superior Package Standard 4* 16 Days £3535 Book Now
Elegant Package Superior 4* 16 Days £3827 Book Now

Special Offers

Low season discount! Enjoy the following discounts, depending on which month you travel during and which price tier you book.

Superior Elegant
March £130 per person £230 per person
April £30 per person £130 per person
August N/A £60 per person
November £150 per person £230 per person

 

Spend an extra night free in Champagne! If you travel in August on the Elegant package, a complimentary third night is offered at the Hotel de la Paix.

Alsace wine tours - Credits Meyer and ADT Alsace
Ultimate French wine tour

Enhance your Experience/Tour Upgrades

Please contact us to request further details and a full list of tour upgrades.

If you would like to make your Grape Escapes holiday even more special, there are a number of additional activities that we can arrange for you. To complement the experience, these could be arranged to fit in/around your current itinerary or we can arrange additional nights and room upgrades at your hotel, as well as your travel arrangements, a stop-over en route and even a visit to another part of France! See below for some of the most popular upgrades.

  • Stay longer! Just let us know which of the hotels you prefer and we would be delighted to arrange an additional night’s stay.
  • Experience the regions’ gastronomy. Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and the Rhône are brimming with unique gastronomic dining opportunities and what better way to enjoy a glass or two than with a mouth-watering meal. We offer a variety of menus to suit every budget.
  • Stay in the vineyards. Why not stay a little longer in your preferred region and indulge yourself in a stay in one of our unique rural hotels?
  • Fall in love with Paris. Let us put together an itinerary for you in the city of love!
  • Discover more European wine regions: Grape Escapes runs tours throughout France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Champagne trips

Thank you for organising a truly memorable few days in France last week. Every aspect of the trip was seamless and exceeded our expectations.

Andy - Berkshire, UK

Further Information

Travel to your ultimate French wine tour

Given the wide range of travel options, the package prices do not include travel to Bordeaux and from Avignon. Please contact us for further information.

About Multi Region Breaks

For more information about our Multi Region breaks please see our Multi Region Breaks page.

Further Information / To Book

To secure your booking, a 20% per person deposit is required. Your remaining balance will then be due 60 days before you travel. Please call us on +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 or e-mail info@grapeescapes.net to request a booking form.

Get in Touch

Around half of our trips are completely bespoke. Our expert team would be delighted to discuss your requirements and create your perfect trip.

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Groups

From birthday weekends and hen trips to bespoke tours for wine clubs, car clubs and U3A’s, our group trips are always tailor-made.

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