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Vineyard visit from Paris (day trip): Burgundy vs Lorie Valley

Vineyard visit from Paris (day trip): Burgundy vs Lorie Valley

Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 02:59 AM
  #1  
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Vineyard visit from Paris (day trip): Burgundy vs Lorie Valley

Need your experince sharing and recommendation.

I will stay at Paris for 6 days during late mid August. Would like to take day trip to visit some vineyard nearby.

Plan to rent a car driving from Paris to the location and take TVG train back to Paris at night (after drinking fair amount of wine)...

As its day trip, seems that Lorie Vally (Tours) and Burgundy (Dijion) are viable option.

Any preference? I like to have a pleasant day with some sight seeing, visit couple of vineyard (English speaking), castles and good food...

Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 04:56 AM
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If you are drinking a significant amount of wine - versus actually tasting it - you should not be driving a car at all. French standards for drunk driving are lower than in the US and they take it very seriously.

Since you often have to make advance reservations to visit a vineyard suggest you look for a tour that will do the driving for you as well as prearrange vineyard visits.

And frankly what you have listed is really more than a one day trip.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 04:58 AM
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How about Champagne - closer than Burgundy and more vineyards than the Loire - a sweet drive along the Marne River goes by numerous small Champagne houses and you could end up in Reims-TGV station and take the train back to Paris.

Burgundy is a long drive from from Paris - the Burgundy Wine Road is neat with lots of small wine villages and wineries but as a day trip IMO just not practical.

The Loire has relatively few vineyards - the largest are at Bourgeuil with miles of vineyards and wineries.

Images of Bourgeuil: https://www.google.com/search?q=Bour...=1600&bih=1075

If going to Loire you could return your car at St-Pierre-des-Corps train station and take TGVs back to Paris.

You may want to take the train to say St-Pierre-des-Corps and pick up a car and then return it to the station and take the train back to Paris. www.capitainetrain.com for discounted tickets and for general info on French trains - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Again booking TGV tickets way in advance can yield huge savings but they are also train-specific and cannot be changed nor refunded I believe. But you save a ton over full fare.

Be very careful about drinking and driving - France now has a zero tolerance for alcohol blood level or near so.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:25 AM
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Thanks nytraveler, I would do tasting not drinking. And drive safely! Seems Loire Valley is more practical.

Thanks PalenQ again, you helped me a lot not only in this thread but my other enquiries on Province a year ago!!! My wife and I like red wine and don't know much on champaign. Hence Loire Valley is a good choice for me and there are few great castles to visit too.

Will do more research by my own regarding Loire Valley first.

As I will drive to the vineyard for wine tasting, is it practical for me to drive? Afraid to be caught by police even I have only had a small glass of wine....
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:25 AM
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Why wouldn't you take the train/TGV both ways instead of hassling with driving out of Paris. Only 1 hr 40 mins to Dijon by train, and 3 1/2 hrs by car to Dijon/Beaune. Car rental pickup in Dijon is in the train station complex.

Also, last train home from Dijon is 8:25PM, which won't work for an after dinner train back to Paris. Tours & St Pierre des Corps trains are a little later, but if you don't dine in Tours - you'll still have to drive into Tours or St Pierre (no place to dine there) to catch the train leaving about 10PM - which is still cutting it close. I would choose a pick-nick in the vineyards or a sit-down lunch in Beaune.

As you might have noted - I much prefer the Burgundy winegrowing area over the Loire. We were in the Loire for 2 weeks last year and the winery "scene" wasn't nearly as prevalent there as it was in Burgundy when we were visited for 2 weeks a few years back. The Burgundy countryside is much more scenic than the Loire, IMO. Burgundy has Chateaux also - Chateau Rochepot is close to Beaune - but note that it closes for lunch.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:34 AM
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>>My wife and I like red wine and ...... Hence Loire Valley is a good choice for me
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:45 AM
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Thanks Stu, yes, I should give up driving from Paris to Loire Valley or Burgundy region, I noticed that TVG can save me a lot of time and I shouldn't drive much after drinking wine even a little amount.

Btw, thank you again for the amazing route for chasing lavender in Province! Amazing memory, just I don't know there are many wineries, and have missed them!

Back to this trip, I will stay at Pullman Montparnasse, hence easy to get a train to Loire Valley. The chateau in Loire Valley looks amazing.

Burgundy is the wine and food basket of the region... Difficult to choose really.

Is it worth to do two day trips (if my wife could sacrifice some shopping time at Paris)?

Last year I have my very first wineries visit at Piemonte region in Italy. I love the scenic vineyard!! So I try to have the very same experience in France this year!!!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:51 AM
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1) I'd catch the train to Epernay, the town is small, the champagne houses right beside Tourist Info and they can book you a half day vines tour. Saves all the car/boose thing
2) Loire has basically 2 main grapes Chenin Blanc and Pinot Franc plus the mixtures of Merlot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that get everywhere. A fair drive and if you use a train you still need to get into the countryside. Saumur is a lovely little town, on the river bank with the french army cavelry based there and of course you can taste in the Tourist Info. Pinot Franc is a special red grape with hints of privet and capiscum, Chenin makes some of the world's great wines, best drunk after 5 years.
3) If you just want a taste then appointments are not high up the scale but vineries expect you to buy summit, this is not Napa where you pay and then drink, however the larger places do this sort of thing, hence, go to Champagne as it is more of that style.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 08:23 AM
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>>Burgundy is the wine and food basket of the region
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 08:42 AM
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>> Burgundy Wine Road is neat with lots of small wine villages and wineries but as a day trip IMO just not practical.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 08:53 AM
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Well for one reason they did not say anything about red wine when I wrote what I wrote!

and yes since you point it out taking a train to Dijon then driving the Burgundy Wine Road is feasible - not sure why I said it were not - but it is - drive to Beaune - a lovely city that is also the commercial wine capital of Burgundy - then blast back to Dijon - return the car and blast back to Paris - yes I think for a lot of wineries and vineyards in a compact area that is your best bet and Burgundy wine is a lot more prestigeous than most Loire wines excpet like Ancerre and Vouvray which are more white I believe than red - though not sure as I am not a wine expert in any sense.

So yes Stu is right and that would be my recommendation as well. dijon is also a fascinating city - if you have time after coming back poke around.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 09:40 AM
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If you do go to Burgundy - a "great day" would include an early evening train back to the Gare de Lyon and then a dinner at the "eye popping" Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare.
http://www.le-train-bleu.com/uk/index.php

>>Ancerre and Vouvray which are more white I believe than red
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 09:50 AM
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One thing about the Loire is that you could easily drop by say Vouvray - a short drive from St-Pierre-des-Corps and also hit a chateau like Chenonceau - Vouvray is a classic wine town (though white wines) with ornate wine houses all clustered together - you can tour the caves at some of the places where the wines are aged.

Strongly consider taking a train to Dijon or St-Pierre-des-Corps and picking up a car at the station then returning it to the station rather than driving from Paris - trains go up to nearly 200 mph on those routes - say time and maybe even money if you nab a deep discounted train ticket.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 10:02 AM
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Is this your first trip to Paris? If so, I'm confused about why you would take a whole day away from Paris, and likewise why you would want to rush through an area like Burgundy and not stay a night or two there. Are you just trying to taste some great wine, or experience seeing the hillsides covered with vineyards? Or a little of both? Are you a big wine aficionado? You'll know that the wines from different regions in France are all very different. The Loire has delicious red and white wines that are very different in style and flavor than Burgundy. I like the Cab Franc wines from Chinon, but I don't really associate the Loire with "wine tasting" like what you'd be used to in, say, the Napa Valley. My husband is a big burgundy fan, so we're finally going on a bit of a pilgrimage there this summer for a week. Others here have given advice on how to structure a day trip from Paris to Burgundy. I agree, I'd probably rely on the trains... catch an early train out of Paris and take a late train back (or if you have enough time, stay a night somewhere and train back the next day). If you're planning on doing the kind of "tasting" that we do in the US where we swallow, than perhaps don't drive. (In France, you spit the taste out.) The French are much stricter about drunk driving, not to mention it's just not safe.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 10:35 AM
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Agree with Everything Stu says!!!
Sancerre is my fave of all.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 06:30 PM
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Thanks all for very useful information.

I have been Paris for few times and visited Chateau Versailles before. Hence want to reach out a bit from Paris downtown. Couple of years ago, I have been to Avignon in Provence region to chase good food and lavender aroma and also got excellent helps from PalenQ and Stu as well!!!!!!!!

I am no near a wine expert and I may have more experience in Italian red from Piomonte and Tuscany region than French. Hence looking for a good experience by visiting a vineyard or two during our stay.

PalenQ pointed out why Loire Valley is on my list coz of Chateau Chenonceau and Chambord, both are killingly beautiful, something only paradise could have....

Regarding red wine and food, I agreed v much with Stu that Burgundy got a lot of good mentions when I did my research!!!!

And yes, I will do TVG train round trip to save the driving bit!

I would definitely go for Burgundy for a day and for the chateau thing, may decide either visiting Versaiile again (as my 8 yr old boy havent been there) or chateau Chenonceau.
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Old Apr 24th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Paris is nice but in many way a tiring smoggy city - I do not agree with those who think even if you have never been to Paris you should spend all your time right in the city - the France outside of Paris is even more nice in many ways and taking a high-speed train a treat too and you see the lovely French countryside - Paris is neat but in many ways it does not represent the real France.

Do both if you like - no need to stick like glue to Paris as many will say - talking about a first-time trip.
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Old Apr 24th, 2015, 07:56 AM
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http://www.wineterroirs.com/2009/02/...ots_bercy.html

right in Paris you can do some wine tastings in a unique setting!
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Old Apr 24th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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PalenQ, couldn't agree with you more, France is beautiful and got difference set of experiences. Paris is great, and reaching out from it should be fun!

The trip is about two weeks. Spend 4 days in Stavanger of Norway to hike Pulpit Rock and the sight seeing, London for 3 days mainly for two Operas and Musesum, 6 days in Paris with couple of day trips!

Couldn't wait for it!
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Old Apr 24th, 2015, 11:12 AM
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I'll admit I have never understand the concept of wine tasting unless you are actually buying in bulk. Otherwise, what's the point? YOu can drink wine in a wine bar back in Paris if you just want to do that.

But I don't agree that Loire has no good reds, it's just personal taste what kind of wine you want. They have good light red wines -- I really love a Sancerre Rouge (which is pinot noir) and Saumur Champigny which is very difficult to find in the US. Both are (at least in midlevel wine shops).

If you want hearty, earthy reds, then no, Loire isn't known for that.
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