A One Day Guided Wine Tour - Discovering Chablis
Mecca for lovers of dry white wine, this northernmost region of Burgundy is famous for the flinty crisp white wines coming from slopes around the town of Chablis. Brendan has friends amongst dozens of small family producers, as well as privileged access to the most prestigious Domaines. Just one day in his company, and your appreciation of this wine will change forever.
09h30 - Brendan picks you up from your hotel in a comfortable vehicle, and drives you up into the Grand Cru vineyards to admire the panoramic view over the town of Chablis and its vineyards. A perfect spot to learn about the ancient monastic origins of these vines and a good spot to get to grips with the term “terroir” – the essence of Burgundian wines.
10h30 - A private visit to a family run winery. After introductions you will be given a guided tour of the winery in the company of a family member and you will be most welcome to ask questions, Brendan acting as interpreter if needed.
11h00 - The moment you’ve been waiting for… amongst the barrels and vats, a collection of bottles of the family’s finest Chablis, including 1er and Grand Cru, ready for tasting. Brendan will assist with technique for novice tasters.
12h00 - Back in the town of Chablis, there's a chance for a bit of shopping to pick up some bread and cheese for a picnic lunch, weather permitting. Otherwise, there'll be plenty of choice for a delicious lunch in the local bistros, wine bars or gourmet restaurants.
14h00 - Rendezvous with Brendan for a short drive into a nearby vineyard-covered valley. Here, in a walled medieval village, we meet another delightful family of vignerons. This is the village of St Bris, recently celebrated for being awarded its own appellation for the delicious sauvignon grown here. Wine has been produced in this vineyard for centuries and we go underground to taste wines in the family’s 700 year old cellars.
15h30 - We emerge, blinking, back into the family courtyard. A short stroll amongst the old houses then a quick drive into the cavernous labyrinthine quarry at Bailly, famous for its stone and, more recently, its “methode champenoise” Cremant de Bourgogne. Quick tasting at its enormous bar, hewn from the rock.
16h30 - Back above ground and a scenic drive along the Yonne River, past the village of Vincelottes and its monastic wine warehouses, through the pinot noir producing village of Irancy, and back into the sea of vineyards that surround Chablis.
17h30 - Return, exhausted but culturally enriched, to your hotel.