In the Southwest of France. Famous for
quality red blends of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and white blends of sauvignon blanc and semillon, the latter,
with muscadelle culminating in Sauternes. This is the largest wine-producing region in France. We sample both the rive guache
(left bank, including the grand cru classe vineyards of the Médoc, and the rive droite (right bank, including St-Émilion).
THE LANGUEDOC AND ROUSILLION.
On the Mediterranean Coast of France. The “breadbasket” of French wines, high quality blends
and single variety wines dominated by syrah and grenache. Some non-AOC producers receive recognition for cabernets and chardonnays
grown for export market. Visits to a variety of appellations are included such as the Minervois and Faugères as well as to
non-AOC producers of note.
In the east-center of France, noted for small production but perhaps the
most famous single variety wines produced in France: pinot noir and chardonnay. To the South, a region considered Burgundy,
but with a character all its own: Beaujolais. It takes on its own character and personality. Tours experience all ten Beaujolais
crus. All trips to Burgundy also include a visit to the Chablis appellation.
• THE LOIRE VALLEY.
In the center
of France with a western view. Tours start in the headlands and experience a group of appellations growing sauvignon blanc
including Sancerae; pass through the Vouvray (made from chenin blanc), and end in the Muscadet producing remarkable wines
to pair with seafood, from mélon. Red wines come from cabernet franc.
This region, famous for centuries,
lies northeast of Paris, and features sparkling wines known the world over (from chardonnay and pinot noir and pinot meuière).
Participants also experience a remarkable red wine known as Bouzy rouge.
• THE RHÔNE VALLEY.
Tours visit the
north appellations, lying south of Lyon, where vines grow on terraces carved out by the Romans and featuring rich syrahs and
white Condrieu from viognier. Tours visit the broad, warm valley of the south where producers create classic wines like Châteauneuf-du-Pape
from 13 varieties of grapes. Others produce Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône from blends of syrah, mourvédre and grenache.
To the southeast of Avignon and extending to the Riviera and Côte d’Azur. A rugged and unique terrior featuring
the distinguished wine from the Bandol based on mouvèdre, and others from principal Rhône varieties. This is a region in
which participants can feast on scenery in addition to the foods and wines.
Tucked away in the northeast
corner of France, a little German, a lot France, and fairy tale villages. The wines are dry or sweet and the comparisons
are fun. Riesling, gwertztraminer and pinot gris dominate here, and harvest can go on until mid-November.