Would you like to visit your favorite vineyards, taste the latest wines (and some older ones, too), meet and talk with the owners while enjoying lunches and dinners with them? With my help, you can. The greatest feeling I have when enjoying wine is sharing that enjoyment. Explaining how red Bordeaux is a mixture of several wine grapes, or marveling at how tiny vineyards can be in Burgundy and yet the wine is made from only one sole grape. How about walking underground in the chalky cellars of Champagne, and seeing rows upon rows of large, heavy bottles? Or simply visiting the vat room of a great chateau in Bordeaux, whose owner or representative explains why his or her method works best. Wine not only provides for a delightful drinking experience, it also exudes culture, tradition and very often beauty. When you open a fine Burgundy from a specific vintage, for example, you take in the fruit of labor from a very small plot of vines, which also represent the particular characteristics of the given vintage, and the type of wine making employed by the domain which crafted the wine at the time. And nothing beats being there – seeing where the wine comes from, and what sort of methods are now being used in the vineyard and in the vat room, and also during barrel aging. What has always captured my imagination about French wine are the centuries of tradition and culture that lurk behind the wines I taste and the sheer variety of those wine styles.
As a wine writer over the years, fluent in French, I have learned much about French wine both while reporting on it for magazines like Decanter and Wines & Vines and visiting its wine regions. With this in mind, I propose wine tours to prospective tourists – tours that include a brief wine tasting class, tastings of various wines and vintages, vineyard visits, with detailed explanations on why a particular wine is made from a particular vineyard, plus lunches and dinners with winery owners when available, and excursions to discover other treats of a particular wine region, such as cycling in Burgundy, bathing in Bandol, or discovering the old city centre of Bordeaux.