Burgundy/Champagne July 2021

Old Apr 20th, 2021, 11:27 AM
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Burgundy/Champagne July 2021

My wife and I booked a trip to Paris this July 2021 (we are each 42 and active). We are well aware of the challenges there with regard to Covid, and are keeping all options open with fingers crossed (we are both vaccinated but realize a long list of risks if we go). I'm not asking about Covid risks in this thread.

With that said, as much as we'd like to return to Paris (we've been separately but not together), we figured we'd rent a car and spend more time in the wine regions away from the busy city. Total time in France is 10 days (9 nights). We have done this type of trip in Italy and Portugal, and loved it. But I'm not very familiar with France.

My initial thought, due to distance and time, would be to spend 3 days in Champagne, 3 days in Burgundy, and 3 days in Paris. In the wine regions we would prefer to stay outside the cities in a chateau, or something similar, and then do day trips to both Vineyards and small/medium towns.

Looking for general thoughts (for purposes of this thread I'm not looking for any Paris advice). Is it better to pick one region and spend 6 days exploring it, or is my proposed split reasonable? Any suggestions on towns, or places to see (I assume a day trip to Dijion would be likely). Thoughts on your previous experiences in either region. Thanks in advance!!

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Old Apr 20th, 2021, 02:16 PM
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We did a similar trip a few years ago, but I suspect our interests were different.

Our sightseeing in the Champagne region included many WWI sights, and I think we were in the region for a total of 6 nights (Reims and Verdun).

I don't find visiting vineyards all that interesting, and I'm kinda one and done in any region in any country. I'd rather visit tasting rooms, which we did in a few towns. I think we spent 5 nights in Beaune. We enjoyed Beaune a lot, but 5 nights was enough. From Beaune, we visited Dijon by train one day and drove to the French National Auto Museum in Mulhouse another (very rainy) day. Between Beaune and Paris, we spent a night in Auxerre. Returned the car there near the Auxerre train station and trained into Paris.
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Old Apr 21st, 2021, 12:34 AM
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Staying in the country side in Burgundy makes sense as the wine there is a countryside thing. Champagne us different and is more a cellar thing. I'd stay on Épernay. It is smaller than Reims and so countryside is close but you get easy access to all the great "houses".
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 10:58 AM
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Thank you guys. Helpful good start!
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 07:19 AM
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Epernay is very much a market town with a Unesco World Heritage Road in the middle https://www.france-voyage.com/events...mune-18195.htm gives an idea of festivals we enjoy staying at Parva Domus, very much the French B&B it is right on the Avenue

Sites to visit include the Montagne de Reims and Reims itself by train.
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 10:16 AM
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It really depends on your level of wine geekiness (mine is very high) and wine interests (I love both Burgundy and Champagne). If you’re similar, I think 3 days in each is a great split. If you adore Chablis like I do, don’t miss the opportunity to taste at the Fevre tasting room in town and dine at their restaurant, Le Bistro des Grand Crus. Also, a travel highlight for me was walking up into the Grand Cru vineyards just outside of town. A Holy Grail experience. In Champagne, I recommend the Taittinger house. While a major house, their wine quality is superb and their Comtes de Champagne is, $ for $ the top value in tete de cuvée Champagne. And under no circumstances can you miss the Cathedral in Reims.
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 10:29 AM
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If you are going to stretch into Chablis then consider Alsace, but I think you don't really have time.
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Old Apr 30th, 2021, 01:03 PM
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This is so helpful. Thank you!
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Old Apr 30th, 2021, 05:42 PM
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While we enjoy wine we are not experts and do not aspire to be. As with Jean, we rarely visit wineries and do tastings, preferring to buy wine from wine caves or co-operatives in wine villages. Sometimes we may do a tasting in those. Our budget is not big so we do not spend a lot.
We stayed in the Champagne region in 2012 in the village of Bouzy near Epernay. Champagne is produced here of course, but, interestingly they also produce a Bouzy red. We did the obligatory champagne house tour, in our case, Moet et Chandon, but their champagne is beyond our budget. Instead we stopped at a small house in a small village and bought some excellent champagne much more affordable for us.
Burgundy is one of our favourite regions in France and over the years we have stayed in several different parts. If I am honest, with the short time you have, I would just stay in Burgundy. Most people go to Dijon/Beaune, visit some cote d'or wineries and that is enough. These are both lovely places, but there is excellent wine produced in other parts of Burgundy as well. Chablis has already been mentioned. We stayed in the Yonne department in 2014 and visited Chablis as well as nearby Irancy where we bought an interesting red wine.
South of Beaune, the area around Givry also produces wine. We stayed here in 2006 on our first trip to France. We were lucky enough to be able to visit a wine fair in the small village of Bouzeron which was fun , and we bought a couple of bottles of local red wine. One day we did a day trip over into the Jura and stopped in Chateau Chalon where the Vin Jaune is produced and comes in a 620ml bottle.
Our favourite part is the area in from Macon where there are several wine villages including Chardonnay, Vire-Clesse. We have stayed in this area several times and always enjoy a visit to the Cave de Lugny. One year, from our base we also did a day trip down into the nearby Beaujolais region which is different again. There are also some lovely villages and small towns here. As I said, we are not experts and just enjoy a good glass of wine which we always get here.
If we want bubbles when we are in France, we always enjoy a Cremant de Bourgogne or a Blanquette de Limoux from the Aude department. A cremant pairs beautifully with a cheese such as Delice de Bourgogne or Brillat Savarin and some fresh fruit such as ripe pears.
I cannot help with where to stay as we always stay in self catering, and modest places at that. I have seen this place mentioned but have no experience to relate. It is closed at the moment because of Covid.
https://www.chateaudige.com/en/
Remember that if you do tastings, you will be expected to buy some wine. This may not be the case if you are on an organised tour.
While not wine oriented, this is my report on our last stay in Lugny in 2018. we are hopeful we may be able to return in late 2022.
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowT...nche_Comt.html

Bon voyage.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 03:56 AM
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rhon makes some very good points. Irancy, St Bris and the smaller AC around Chablis open up some interesting tastings. Auxerre in the Yonne (actually on a canal) is a wonderful town visit and in my mind is actually prettier than Chablis.

If I was doing this trip as a joint pretty town and wine tour I might avoid Champagne all together and start in Alsace then move across to northern Burgundy and finish in southern Burgundy. But really you cannot go wrong between Mosel down to southern Burgundy the wines are interesting and many towns are pretty.

My rules if visiting some of the smaller vinyards with often a free tasting thrown in is please buy something. If you paid for the tasting it is not so vital but you are taking up their time and often stretching their language skills.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
rhon makes some very good points. Irancy, St Bris and the smaller AC around Chablis open up some interesting tastings. Auxerre in the Yonne (actually on a canal) is a wonderful town visit and in my mind is actually prettier than Chablis.

If I was doing this trip as a joint pretty town and wine tour I might avoid Champagne all together and start in Alsace then move across to northern Burgundy and finish in southern Burgundy. But really you cannot go wrong between Mosel down to southern Burgundy the wines are interesting and many towns are pretty.

My rules if visiting some of the smaller vinyards with often a free tasting thrown in is please buy something. If you paid for the tasting it is not so vital but you are taking up their time and often stretching their language skills.
Not a big oenophile but have visited some vineyards, mainly for the scenery.

I don't mind spending money for the privilege but I don't want to lug wine bottles back through the flight. I know many places will ship it back to home but not always.

Some of the most scenic wineries have more expensive wine than I'm interested in spending, which would maybe be up to $30-40 tops. I would spend money for a nice lunch but most wineries are set up for tasting and sales, as one would expect.

I researched Lavaux wineries for a trip I would have taken last year. The sense I got is that the wines produced in those scenic terraces were nothing special, not worth the prices they were quoting.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 01:33 AM
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Lavaux is Swiss so you have to pay Swiss labour costs to make the wine. I do have a few Swiss wines in my cellar from a kind BIL but frankly you pay a lot for some rubbish. In terms of buying something I didn't mean wine, but a tea towel a corkscrew a book. Give back for the view and the time.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 03:48 AM
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I thought Champagne was worth at the most, two nights and one day, I'd rather go to Alsace and then Burgundy.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 01:32 PM
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Great info. Starting to think I am going to cut Champagne and just spend more time in Burgundy with a central focus on Dijon and Lyon (and small towns around). This is so helpful. We enjoy wine but are not enthusiast. So I agree that $30-$40 a bottle isn't really what we were looking for. Mostly just the experience, beauty, and relaxation. Maybe I'll mix a vineyard stay with a place in Lyon to get best of both worlds.

Don't hesitate to continue recommendations. This has been so helpful!
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 01:54 PM
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The 30 40 number referred to a different country. I buy fantastic Alsace for €15 or less. The Chablis area is very lovely.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 05:30 PM
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We have done these regions too. With your time limits I would recommend Paris, Beaune and Lyon, especially if you haven’t been to Lyon, which IMO (and the opinions of many of my family from France) is the best food in France. You have to work hard to find a bad meal there. We also enjoyed the quaintness of Beaune and had some of our favorite wines there even though generally we like Bordeaux wines.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 09:30 PM
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Attached is my Lyon itinerary.

Stu Dudley
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