June 2: Welcome to Bubbles Nirvana
Afternoon: Our tour begins early in the afternoon in Epernay, the epicenter of the Champagne district (Epernay can be reached in <90 minutes by frequent train service from Paris.) After introductions and a Champagne Seminar, we’ll head to our first tasting of the bubbly at a nearby producer located on the town’s illustrious “Avenue of Champagne.”
Evening: Dinner will be a private event held in the formal dining room of a Champagne maker. We’ll return to our hotel after dinner with a stroll down the winery-lined Avenue of Champagne which is flood-lit at night with dazzling works of art.
June 3: Fascinating Underground Cellars
Morning: There are nearly 70 miles of cellars underneath the city of Epernay. Today we’ll be welcomed by the Champagne Growers’ Association at their marvelous headquarters for an impressive session. During the seminar we’ll taste wines that have been stored in Epernay’s incredible cellars, some of which are 130 feet deep.
Afternoon: Lunch with one of the Directors of the Champagne Association will follow. Remainder of the afternoon will be free to allow travelers to adjust to the French time zone.
Evening: Dinner will be held at a local restaurant frequented by many of the area’s winemakers.
June 4: “Magnifique” Cathedral & Champagne
Morning: No trip to the Champagne region would be complete without seeing the magnificent Reims cathedral, one of the country’s most notable churches. Immortalized by Monet in numerous paintings, this building has been the site of Coronations for Kings and Queens since 486 A.D. We’ll have a private tour of the building with a historian to learn about this glorious example of Gothic architecture. Then, there will be free time to explore the bustling town.
Afternoon: Visit to one of the most legendary Champagne producers, including a private tour of their massive underground cellars, and a tasting of their highly regarded bubbly.
Evening: Dinner will be a special event in the beautiful countryside home of one of our favorite boutique Champagne producers.
June 5: Chocolate-Maker “Extraordinaire”
Morning: Breakfast at the pastry shop of an extraordinary Maitre Chocolatier (Master Chocolate-Maker). Then, a cooking demonstration will be held at this noted cookbook author’s “School of Chocolate” which has educated some of France’s top chefs.
Afternoon: A special tasting will be held at one of the most revered makers of Champagne.
Evening: There is no better place to spend our last night in Champagne than dinner in the formal dining room of one of the area’s most distinguished wine houses. Part of the Dom Perignon family, this dining experiences has been one of the highlights of many former trips with Wine-Knows.
June 6: Beautiful Burgundy
Morning: To soak up our last sips of the Champagne countryside we’ll head to the southernmost part of the region to the renowned town of Troyes. Once a Roman settlement, this jewel-box of a town is filled with 16th century half-timbered homes. There will be free time to wander, shop, lunch….and buy those last bottles of Champagne.
Afternoon: Next, we cross the border from Champagne into Burgundy. Our first taste of Burgundy will be at a highly regarded estate where there will be a private tour of their impressive state- of-the-art winery. Then, we’ll check into our hotel located in the quintessential medieval walled-town of Beaune, Burgundy’s epicenter.
Evening: Dinner in a super-charming cellar restaurant located within the city walls of Beaune—the meal will be classical Burgundian.
June 7: Barrels and Dijon Mustard
Morning: We’ll kick off the day with a fascinating visit to a barrel-maker whose clients are some of the world’s most distinguished wineries. Next, we’ll tour one of the most renowned producers of the area’s famous mustard.
Afternoon: Free time to explore the enchanting town of Beaune.
Evening: Dinner on your own. Be sure to reserve a spot as the town is very popular, especially on a Friday night.
June 8: Premier Farmer’s Market
Morning: Today is the town’s celebrated weekly outdoor market. Overflowing with produce such as perfumed berries grown in the local hills (which are used to make the famous Cassis liquor), there’s also a cornucopia of artisanal cheeses, a plethora of mustard from nearby Dijon, as well as an assortment of antiques, arts, & crafts.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit one of Burgundy’s most famous wineries located in the heart of Beaune. Their underground cellars are one of most stunning settings in all of wine country. Thousands of bottles of Premier Cru were hidden here from the Nazi’s during World War II. It’s likely to be an experience you will never forget.
Evening: For dinner tonight we will dine in the private chateau of a winery with its winemaker. His family, one of the most famous in the district, has been producing well-regarded Burgundy for > 10 generations.
June 9: World’s Most Famous Wine Auction
Morning: We’ll kick off the day with a tour of the illustrious Hospice de Beaune, supporter of the world’s most famous charitable wine auction. The most celebrated building in all of Burgundy, the Hospice is a must-see for any history, architecture or wine buff.
Afternoon: Then, a tasting at one of Burgundy’s winery jewels.
Evening: Our farewell dinner will be sure to please. It fits all the criteria for our last celebration: gorgeous wines, superb food & a marvelous historical setting.
June 10: Au Revoir
Morning: Tour ends. Paris is <200 miles and the journey can be made by train, or we can arrange a private transport by car.
The tour begins June 2, 2019 in the Champagne district’s city of Epernay (located <90 minutes by frequent rail service from Paris). It is strongly advised that participants arrive in Paris or Epernay the day before the tour begins, to avoid any possibility of missed connections with the group. We will be happy to obtain early arrival hotel space for you in either location.
Group airfare has purposefully not been included to allow maximum flexibility in arrival & departure options. You may go early or stay over after the trip concludes. Wine-Knows Travel, Inc. provides land only arrangements and does not provide airfare.
Our groups are composed of people from diverse occupations, singles & couples, men & women, a mix of young & old, well- seasoned international travelers as well as novices. All have a common interest in food & wine. Many participants on our tours are repeat clients. In addition, each tour participant is a non-smoker.
The following 2 special properties (one in Champagne, the other in Burgundy) will be utilized on this trip. Both offer the best of what the region has to offer the discerning traveler.
- Former 19th century villa of a famous wine-making family. This 5 star hotel offers a rare opportunity to sample how the Champagne aristocracy lived. The 15 bedroom property is a perfect place to unwind from jet leg as it’s located in a peaceful setting with pretty gardens and a swimming pool. Early arrival can be arranged, but space is limited so early booking is essential.
- Elegant 16th century Burgundian mansion with Spa. Lavishly furnished with beautiful antiques, this 4 star hotel has even hosted King Louis XIV. Complete with an impressive tower, the stylish wine country hotel has named each of its bedrooms after a Grand Cru wine. Situated in the epicenter of Beaune, its ideal for easy access to the city’s sights, shopping & sipping.
Dining experiences have been mindfully selected. Meals will be special culinary events ranging from sophisticated world-class restaurants (with tours of their celebrity chef’s kitchens), to simpler family owned places or wine bars.
In addition to carefully chosen restaurants, this tour will feature a cooking demonstration by a famous pastry chef & chocolate cookbook author. There will also be excursions to a premier producer of Dijon mustard, and a visit to Burgundy’s most highly regarded outdoor food market.
The tour will be business casual dress during the day. As the French have a more formal dress standard, there will be no shorts allowed during our winery visits. It is strongly suggested that men bring a sport coat (tie optional) for dining at the more sophisticated restaurants & in the formal dining rooms of private chateaux. Women should bring a similar level of attire for these high-end dinners. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit our first hotel has a pool.
Consider the following 3 rules of thumb to minimize the amount of clothing required: (1) Bring layers. (2) Use the mix-and-match principal (i.e. if it doesn’t mix or match, leave it at home.) (3) Use accessories to change the look versus bringing additional clothing.
Daytime temperatures can vary from 65-75 degrees so pack accordingly. While rain is unusual at this time of year, it never hurts to pack a small umbrella
The price is based upon double occupancy. Should you wish to share a room, every attempt will be made to find you a roommate (most of the time we have been quite successful in doing so, however if we are unable to find you a roommate, you will need to pay the single supplement of $1497 US.
We have provided free time as detailed in the itinerary. Furthermore, it is not mandatory that you attend all of the planned experiences, although most of our clients do! This is your trip—if you would rather sleep in, shop, or simply chill at a sidewalk café, then do it!
The tour ends in Burgundy’s town of Beaune, which is on the rail line to Paris, or south to the French Riviera. We can arrange transport for you to any part of Europe, either by train, rental car, or with a private driver.
Yes. We accept payment through PayPal (PayPal.com). Since PayPal charges us a fee, this fee must be added to the cost of the trip.
- All activities listed in the itinerary
- Double occupancy accommodations with private bath (4 & 5 star hotels)
- Private bus transport with professional driver
- Daily breakfasts, 1 lunch & 7 dinners
- Wine to accompany lunch & dinners (the trip has been priced based on 2 persons sharing a 750ml bottle of wine, or 2.5 glasses per person of 150ml each)
- All gratuities (e.g. restaurants, driver, bellmen, guides)
- Airfare to and from Europe
- Passport fees
- Transport to the start point, or post trip
- Personal items (e.g. laundry, mini bar, telephone calls)
- Single supplement of $1,497
- Meals not listed above
- Wine over and above the 2.5 glasses (150 ml each) per dinner (you are welcome to purchase extra wine if you would like more)
- A Deposit of $1,500.00 US per person is due at the time of booking.
- A second payment of $1200.00 US is due by May 1, 2018.
- A third payment of $1200.00 US is due by October 1, 2018.
- The final payment is due by February 1, 2019.
- There will be a $100.00 US charge for late payments.
- Please make all checks payable to Wine Knows Travel, Inc. Trust.
- A non-refundable fee of $250.00 US, applies for all cancellations.
- Cancellations received prior to October 1, 2017 will be fully refunded less the cancellation fee.
- 75% refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between October 2, 2017 and February 1, 2018.
- A 55 % refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between February 2, 2018 and September 1, 2018.
- A 25% refund of the remaining funds, if any, will be made to those who cancel between September 2, 2018 and February 1, 2019.
- There are no refunds for cancellations after February 1, 2019.
Trip cancellation insurance is *strongly recommended* and can be purchased for a nominal premium.