October 8 - 15, 2017
Bordeaux Wine Discovery, with optional Paris extension Oct 4 - 8, 2017
October 3, depart the US
October 4, arrive Paris - hotel to be determined, day at leisure, individual activities can be arranged.
October 5, day at leisure, Dinner + Great Appellations - includes 5 Grands Vins
Private wine tasting dinner at a very exclusive and upscale wine boutique located in the 5th arrondissement. The boutique is not open to the public but requires an appointment to visit. The owner is a collector of old vintages and literally as any reference the client may be looking for going all the way back to a Cognac from around 1860. The place is full of history and the owner is very passionate about what he does. You will be able to visit the cellar with him where he can tell you anything you need to know on wines and more specifically old vintages & Grand Crus.
This wine boutique is a mythical site where the famous wine merchant Jean-Baptiste BESSE, settled in the early 30’s, had received for more than 50 years wine amateurs from all over the world (HEMINGWAY, USTINOV, etc.). Owner, Lionel MICHELIN has decided to do this place up and settle DE VINIS ILLUSTRIBUS in there, creating a special place dedicated to wine where the catchwords are conviviality and counsel.
You will visit a 2 level cellar thanks to stairs visible from the street
- The cellar on the first basement cellar is a place where the greatest bottles are stored.
- The second basement cellar, which was built in 1636, is especially dedicated to the sale of old vintage wines ranging over more than a century;
The tastings take place right in the middle of the most prestigious bottles in De Vinis illustribus’ cellar & are conducted by the owner Lionel Michelin himself in English.
October 6, day in Champagne region
You will start the day with a tour of the town of Reims, the capital of the Champagne region. You will discover the 800 year old Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame de Reims, where all but 2 of the the French kings were crowned.
Reims is also the home to the Champagne houses which have been established in the town for decades & whose cellars hold some of the most prestigious Champagnes in the world.
Lunch at Les Crayeres – Le Jardin. The brasserie spirit revisited. Le Jardin Brasserie is all about emotional recreation for Philippe Mille. The Chef delights connoisseurs with childhood memories : simmered treats, puckish camaraderie and the simple taste of authentic produce with a hand-picked selection of fine wines. Includes 3 course menu (appetizer, entrée, dessert). No drinks included.
After lunch you will leave the town of Reims & drive through the Montagne de Reims – some of the finest French vineyards.
We will make a stop in the charming village of Hautvillers, known around the world thanks to the Benedictine monk Dom Perignon who is buried in the village. You will discover the narrow streets & alleys lined with colorful wrought irons signs revealing the activities taking place behind the doors of the village houses & buildings as well as the breathtaking panorama over the surrounding vineyards.
We will then take you for a tour & tasting at one of the numerous smaller producers in the area. You will discover firsthand the techniques of Champagne making before enjoying a tasting.
After the tour, your guide will return you to the train station for your train back to Paris.
October 7, TGV to Bordeaux with group, Dinner at Chateau Haut-Bailly
TGV as a group to Bordeaux, check into hotel (to be determined).
Fifteen kilometers from the city center of Bordeaux, atop a hillside that has been home to vineyards for over four centuries, Chateau Haut-Bailly welcomes guests year-round for private visits, hand crafted meals and customized receptions.
In this unique setting, a place of sharing and passion, hospitality is a tradition. Offering a wealth of experiences, vintages and tastings throughout the four seasons, the team at Haut-Bailly invites you to discover the wines, the history and the character of this classified growth.
Meet the men and women behind the label - and discover their traditions, their passion and the savoir-faire that go into making a Grand Cru.
Opening its doors for guests, the Chateau’s private rooms are the stage for an exquisite pairing of fine wines and the seasonal cuisine of Haut-Bailly’s own Chef.
Set in the dining room of the Chateau. The Chef’s four-course menu is designed around regional and seasonal products based on daily market produce. Includes one vintage of La Parde Haut-Bailly and two vintages of Château Haut-Bailly, as well as a visit of the property and an aperitif with Champagne.
October 8, morning free to visit Bordeaux's Cité du Vin wine museum, and in the afternoon embark on Uniworld's River Empress for an 8 day wine cruise. Details HERE.
Paris Optional Price (per person): $1200
does not include hotel, airfare or TGV to Bordeaux
Uniworld River Cruise Price (per person sharing): starts at $4149. If you are ready to book before Feb 28, the rate starts: $3639 sharing. This price does not include airfare to or from Paris or Bordeaux.
Flights are looking very reasonably priced (from $900-$1400 in economy class from Nashville to Paris and Bordeaux to Nashville) and train prices are looking very reasonable as well, approximately €100, or $110USD.
As far as hotels are concerned, I can get a group rate, or points can be used. We can discuss this.