Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy

Our Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy wine tour began on the morning of Monday, May 30th. We hopped on the bus in Paris with our group of 20 and were on our way to Champagne. Our first stop was Billecart-Salmon, the king of rose. We toured the estate in the rain and then enjoyed our first champagne tasting accompanied with a delicious lunch of appetizers that would not stop. We had one more tasting that afternoon at Bollinger, the Queen’s and James Bond’s favorite, and were then off to La Briqueterie Relais & Chateaux just outside Epernay, where we would be having a 4-course gourmet dinner and spending the next 2 nights.

Billecart-Salmon Tasting Lunch

Billecart-Salmon Tasting Lunch

Bec outside Champagne Bollinger

Bec outside Champagne Bollinger

Dan popping some Champagne

Dan popping some Champagne

Tuesday was a busy day as we had 3 champagne houses to visit. But before that, we made the only official tourist stop of the tour, the Reims Cathedral where most of the Kings of France were crowned. After admiring the beautiful cathedral, we were off to the famous Taittinger for a tour of the historic chalk caves and then a lovely lunch overlooking the vineyards. After a long leisurely lunch, we had a quick tasting at Veuve Clicquot before making our way to Moet & Chandon for our final tasting of champagne and an amazing dinner on the estate grounds.

Reims Cathedral

Reims Cathedral

Lunch at Taittinger Vineyard

Lunch at Taittinger Vineyard

Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot

Dom Perignon

Dom Perignon

Moet & Chandon Estate Dinner

Moet & Chandon Estate Dinner

The next morning we said goodbye to Champagne and drove to Chablis. We stopped at William Fevre and Domain Long-Depaquit before arriving in Beaune, the heart of the Burgundy region. We had a free afternoon so we visited the Hospices de Beaune, a hospital foundation from the middle ages, and then found a spot to have some burgundy snails for dinner.

Domaine Long-Depaquit

Domaine Long-Depaquit

Hospice de Beaune

Hospice de Beaune

Burgundy Snails

Burgundy Snails

We were excited to finally be in Burgundy, the land of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We started our wine tasting extravaganza at Louis Jadot, then headed over to Domaine Comte Senard for lunch. I think this was the most amazing lunch we had. A 3 course meal including beef bourguignon and potatoes gratin which were to die for (they wouldn’t give up their family recipe), paired with 6 Grand Cru wines.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon

Potatoes Gratin at Comte Senard

Potatoes Gratin at Comte Senard

That evening we had reservations at the 3 star Michelin restaurant Maison Lameloise. It was Dan’s first Michelin experience and I think we can safely say it met all expectations. The food, the wine and the service were amazing. We made our way back to the hotel bar after dinner with our wine tour friends and ended up drinking some of our wine purchases we had made along the way.

Fancy appies at Maison Lameloise

Fancy appies at Maison Lameloise

One of many courses

One of many courses

The grand finale

The grand finale dessert

Sadly, Friday was our last day of the tour. We found out that morning that many trains had been cancelled due to strikes, including our train the next morning from Dijon to Paris so our tour guide James, was having to deal with that most of the day, but we didn’t let that impact our tour. Our last tastings included a stop at Butterfield Wines which is run by the passionate Canadian wine maker David Butterfield. Our next stops included Bouchard Pere et Fils and Domaine de l’Arlot before we made the 4 hour bus ride back to Paris. Our flight to Abu Dhabi was the next morning.

Our last visit in the Burgundy vineyards

Our last visit in the Burgundy vineyards

We learned so much about these wine regions from our fantastic guide James Lawther, Master of Wine and can recommend Fine Vintage tours if you are interested in visiting some amazing vineyards, meeting some like minded people, tasting a plethora of wines (82 by some accounts), and eating some delicious french cuisine.

Advertisements

About rrettenmier

In September 2010, Dan and I received working visas for the United Kingdom. We sold our condo, quit our jobs and packed our bags to move to London. This blog (though a few months late) is designed to update our friends and family back home about where we are and what we are up to.
This entry was posted in Europe, France and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy

  1. Uncle Dale says:

    Nice going you two. We were by some of those places but we had wine from the wine coop and ham and cheese sandwiches. I’m going to try to recreate some of your grub here. Keep traveling.
    Uncle Dale

  2. Judy Erickson says:

    Wow what meals and presentation!!! Looked amazing and pretty handsome couple!!! Very, very nice.

  3. Uncle Stephen says:

    Wow! What a who’s who of wineries. Totally envious. Vive La France
    From the comments it appears soon there will be 3 star Dining at Dale’s in Alberta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s