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mldukie Dec 19th, 2005 12:40 PM

Wine Tasting During Easter Weekend

We are going to spending a four day weekend in Paris over Easter and would like to visit champagne or another region to go wine tasting for the day. We have been to Paris a number of times, so missing out on time in Paris is not an issue (although we have to start and end in Paris because of Eurostar tickets).

We would ideally like to take a train to a town and then be able to go visit vineyards on foot. We are very enthusiastic hikers and have done this before in Napa, Sonoma, S. Africa and Gaillac (in France), so are not deterred by relatively long distances. Can anyone help with train prices and ideas of where is the best town to get off the train? Also, since we would want to do this on the Saturday before Easter, do you think wineries in these regions would be open? Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!

Robert2533 Dec 22nd, 2005 09:25 AM

Reims, 135 kms northeast of Paris, is the Champagne Capital. The train takes between 30 minutes (TGV) and 1 hour 20 minutes (Regional).

The Loire Valley stretches from Nantes to Tours and Bourges, which is 250 kms south of Paris, about 2 hours by train.

The Burgundy region begins in Dijon, about 320 kms southeast of Paris. The TGV from Paris to Dijon takes about 1 hour 40 minutes. Other cities in the region include Chalon sur Saône, Auxerre, Macon and Beaune.

You can check the SNCF web site for complete schedules to these areas.

danielb661 Dec 22nd, 2005 01:15 PM

Another alternative is a little town called Tonnere, in the Burgandy region. We came across this 2 day wine-tasting several years ago when we were cannaling on the Burgandy Canal and the locks closed for Easter. Coulnd't have happened in a better place.

Dave_in_Paris Dec 22nd, 2005 11:17 PM

You could take the 7:15 a.m. train from the Gare de Lyon to Tracy Sancerre, across the Loire from the hilltop wine town of Sancerre, about two hours from Paris, roughly 40 euros roundtrip. From Tracy, things do get a bit dicey. There may be a bus connection to Sancerre. If not, the cab fare wouldn't be ruinous. The vineyards cover the high hillsides. Great views of Burgundy and the Cher. Auguste Mellot is one of the leading vintners, and the Mellot family runs a rustic and very pleasant restaurant in the town, a nice spot for lunch.

Dave_in_Paris Dec 22nd, 2005 11:51 PM

The Sancerre tourist office site suggests a train-shuttle bus connection at Cosne-sur-Loire, same mainly line route and departure time from Paris as above. Cosne is 12 kilometers from Sancerre. No schedule or price given for the bus. Phone call to a Sancerre taxi company yielded an estimate of 10 euros for the fare from Tracy to Sancerre. (I think I was talking to the owner's son.)

Two Sancerre cab companies:

Mme. Annie Frottier
Taxi Sancerere M. Guenier

Christina Dec 27th, 2005 03:29 PM

I can't tell you exact fares, but if it is a day trip, the fares cannot be very high and shouldn't be a consideration. The last time I went to Reims a couple years ago, I think the RT train fare was around 40 euro.

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