While Italy is a close second, France is considered the world leader when it comes to wine production. If you’ve ever been curious about what makes French wine the best there is, consider a trip packed with wineries, vineyards and tasting experiences. Sample reds, whites and rosés while seeing some of the most stunning cities, villages and landscapes in the country.
1. Bicycle Wine Tour in Saint-Émilion
If you like a more active tour than riding in a car, consider a bike-and-wine tour in Saint-Émilion, near Bordeaux. You’ll see the sights by bike and get a light workout at the same time – which means you can treat yourself a little more when it’s time to order a glass of your favorite. The tour from Bordovino includes visits and tastings at two chateaux, a 15km ride through vineyards, a tour of the village and lunch.
2. Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape
If you only stop at one winery in all of Provence, make it Chateau de Beaucastel. You’ll be able to taste several of their Grand Vin wines – just remember to make an appointment ahead of time. You can also take a tour of the vineyards and the production and storage areas of the winery, and you’ll learn about the history of the land and the unique, rocky soil where the vines are planted.
3. Chateau de Berne in Flayosc
Wine tourism doesn’t get much more luxurious than a stay at Chateau de Berne in Flayosc, one of Provence’s charming medieval villages. It’s practically a sprawling wine estate, with a gourmet restaurant, five-star hotel, spa and pool on the property. There’s a winery too, of course, known for its reds and rosés. The estate is huge, with almost 300 acres of vines and 1,500 acres of forest, all ideal for walking or cycling. There’s also a gym, tennis court and cooking classes.
4. Chene Bleu Winery in Provence
Chene Bleu Winery uses state-of-the-art production techniques and in-depth research to ensure their wines meet the highest standards. They also focus on chemical-free and environment-friendly products. Cellar and vineyard tours are free for visitors, and you can taste six of their best wines every day. They have lunch options available, too, with a menu featuring organic Mediterranean dishes made with local ingredients. If you want to stay a night or two, the winery has suites and double bedrooms.
5. La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux
If museums typically make you yawn, be prepared for a surprise – La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, near the Garonne, makes wine even more entertaining than it already is. There are six floors, many of them hi-tech and interactive, that let you explore the world of wine as well as agriculture, the arts, culture and transportation. In addition to the displays and installations, you can also partake in a wine tasting or dine at the panoramic restaurant.
6. Les Primeurs d’Oc Festival in Beziers
As one of Languedoc’s largest wine festivals, you’ll be able to indulge in more than just vino at Les Primeurs d’Oc. The festival also has plenty of food to try, as well as dance and theatre performances to enjoy. Plus, there are wine contests and awards, which will help you expand your list of wines to try once you’re back home.
7. Rosé Wine Tour in Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is inspirational for many reasons, and wine is just one of them. The city is near the coast and washed with sunlight and warmth practically year-round, and it’s also known for producing 50% of France’s rosé. With a tour from Wine Provence, you’ll taste dry rosé as well as white and red wines, all with the lovely Provence countryside as your backdrop. Expand the half-day tour to a full-day tour to include stops in Bandol or Cassis.
8. Wine Tasting Weekend in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is the deep red that’s practically synonymous with “wine” in France, and because this area of the country is such a heavy producer, there are an abundance of wine tastings to choose from. SmoothRed can help you narrow down your options thanks to their varied Bordeaux wine tasting tours. For example, their Silver Travel Bordeaux Wine Experience in Saint-Émilion and Medoc includes a three-night stay in the city, a wine tasting at a nearby restaurant, and chauffeured wine tours along the Route des Chateaux and the Right Bank.
These suggestions only scratch the surface when it comes to wine tasting in France. France is one of the biggest producers of wine, so you’d struggle to explore each and every wine experience in a lifetime – though you can certainly try. If you’re interested in wine production and would like to invest in your own luxury vineyard in France, then contact HOMEHUNTS property agents today, or use search our website and browse our selection of luxury properties.