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Does anyone know of places for wine tasting (wineries) outside of Paris?

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Nov 20th, 2000, 11:43 PM
  #1
patti
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Does anyone know of places for wine tasting (wineries) outside of Paris?

I am interested in finding places outside of Paris (not too far away) for wine tasting/purchasing? Any info. would be appreciated!
Patti
 
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Nov 21st, 2000, 05:25 AM
  #2
elaine
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patti
how far is not too far? Are you taking just a daytrip, or will you drive and stay overnight somewhere? For a daytrip, Reims and its champagne caves are easily doable.
www.ville-reims.com Reims tourist office
For train service, go to :
http://voyages.sncf.fr/
 
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Nov 21st, 2000, 07:44 AM
  #3
elvira
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In Paris itself, there are wine tastings, a wine museum, and hundreds - if not thousands - of stores and shops to purchase wine. If you are there during the first week of October, you can attend the vendange in Montmartre. If you want to go to a chateau, you'll have to head a bit further afield to the Loire Valley or Bordeaux region. Reims or Epernay are the places for champagne.
Ask your local wine merchant if s/he can arrange a tour, or offer suggestions for tours or chateaux to visit.
If there is a group of you; if you are wine connoisseurs; if you intend to import cases....all of these would determine a different experience vs the casual (like me) wine drinker who would just like to have the fun of going to a wine tasting.
When you narrow down the sort of experience you want, I'll be glad to help with specifics.
 
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Nov 22nd, 2000, 02:47 PM
  #4
Rex
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As Elvira says, the opportunity to taste wines and buy various choices you find you like does not mean needing to leave Paris. There are a lot of "boutiques de vin" where you may be able to sample 5, 10 or even twenty plus wines on any given day. I don't think it is realistic to sample dozens and buy nothing; but there are plenty of places that also are essentially wine bars, as well as stores, and you can buy any number of wines by the glass (not everything they carry this way, of course). This can be a great way to while away an hour, or even several. More and more, my goal when traveling to Europe is to learn one or two new wines I like - - and it might take a tasting of a considerable number to do that. And then I try to buy at least three bottles of one or two labels, rather than six different bottles - - that I can't remember what they taste like. Too much variety, and you can't remember what it was like without opening it, and then it's gone.

The Ile de France is not a rich wine-producing region; you might find some kind of little wineries in a 50 mile circle, but nothing like going out further to a true wine-producing region.

This can be the framework of a great 2-3 day excursion out from Paris (or much more, of course), and you can learn a lot at every level of your wine enjoying background and sophistication. I recommend the website www.frenchwines.com (click on the little Union Jack for for English) - - to get an overview of regions and producers.

Your choices are far too numerous to describe here, but here are some basic forks in the road for you to consider, roughly closest to furthest.

Champagne region: the appeal besides the bubbly itself is the cellars - - for an example of what a visit to a major champagne producer is like, see www.pommery.fr - - (you can also compare this website to several others by clicking through the frenchwines.com website)

The Loire valley is best known for light white wines; I have only recently come to enjoy Sancerre's for example - - not a "gourmet's" wine - - but they are nice refreshing whites. And the Loire valley is a great destination for many reasons other than wines and wineries.

Perhaps the best combination of reasonably close and great wines is the Burgundy region, centered around Dijon and Beaune. If you wanted to explore this area in a single day trip - - you could be in Dijon in less than 2 hours by train, and rent a car for the day, heading back the same night (though this is very much more expensive than simply leaving Paris for 3 days or more - - a one day car rental can cost you as much as a three day rental). See www.meursault.com or www.mestre-pere-et-fils.fr- - as just a couple of examples of what you will find in Burgundy. And while Burgundy may not have the well-known chateaux of the Loire valley, it is a food-lover's paradise.

For something you may not think of as being very French, try Alsace - - for wines that may seem more German than French to you - - like Gewurztraminer or Rieslings - - but you will find no greater "zest" for good food and good wine than you find in the Alsace.

And last of all (and furthest away), a trip to Bordeaux is a must if you want to "breathe the air" of the "Grands Crus". You cannot reasonably make a trip to Bordeaux and back as a "day trip" - - not even (reasonably) with the TGV (which does go there). And other than wine and wineries, I find Bordeaux lass diversely interesting than other parts of France. The Perigord (which is nearby) - - is a different matter, especially for food lovers, but it is not part of the Bordeaux region proper.

Hope this helps you some.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
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Nov 25th, 2000, 01:06 AM
  #5
Melissa
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Oooooohhhh, a side trip to Reims was the highlights of one of my Paris trips! The countryside is so nice, and the food was divine. Do it, do it. One of my friends just returned from Europe, and had stayed overnight in Reims. She enjoyed it very much.
 
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Nov 28th, 2000, 04:54 PM
  #6
bonstelle
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my mother and i just got back from Paris on Thanksgiving day. During our stay we spent Saturday and Sunday in Reims. It was easy to catch the train from Gare L'Est in the morning. Just an hour and half later through beautiful wine country we arrived in Reims. DON'T SAY IT LIKE IT IS SPELLED. PRONOUNCED REN LIKE "REN AND STIMPY", OR NO ONE WILL KNOW WHAT CITY YOUR TALKING ABOUT. Just walk straight up to the cathedral and the tourist center will help you get a hotel for the night. This is great champagne country. I will never have sparkling wine again!!!!!!!!!!! Several of the caves have tastings after the tours.

Beautiful small town with wonderful food, champagne and a cathedral that ranks one of the best i've ever seen. and I've seen a lot!!!!!

Have fun and just drink.
 
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