Guided Burgundy Wine Tours
Hi everybody--we are planning a trip through Burgundy in September and were thinking that hooking up with a private or semi-private tour guide might be the most efficient way to bit some wineries and do some tasting. We have both been to Burgundy before and know a little about wine, so we want to avoid a tour targeted at a novice level. I've located some companies that might do what we are looking for via searching the Internet, but din't really know if they are any good, and wonder whether there are some options out there we are missing. Any advice/experience/suggestions? Thanks!
Have a look at Arblaster & Clarke's website - don't have personal experience (maybe someone else does?), but they're specialists in wine tours, with walks built in to ensure a good appetite. One coming up in September: http://www.winetours.co.uk/tours/view....
We're off down there later this month so will keep an ear out for private tours - did you also search this board? I seem to recall mention of a private guide somewhere...
re: Sue Style
We were in Chablis last year, and had one day with guiding. We weere using, http://www.aucoeurduvin.com/, and had a very nice experience. Eric, whos been working at several domaines in Chablis, has a vast knowledge about wines. He made arrangments for tastings (at my favorite producers), took us to the wineyards etc. I can highly recommend him. He is located in Chablis, but I think he can do tours in southern burgundy as well.
I have two suggestions for you. I am a guide in the Rhone Valley, and I have referred clients to two places in Burgundy, and got great feedback on both. I have never used them since I already know Burgundy quite well.
1. Diana Williams,an American, is a former Olympic Athelete and is married to winemaker Alex Gambal.
She has only longer trips on her website but don't hesitate to ask about 1 or 2 day tours; I know that she is happy to do them. If you write, please tell her that Sharon from Vaison referred you.
2. Bourgogne Avec Chauffeur
Some American chef/sommelier clients (And other friends) used them and highly recommend them. Their site looks like they are just chauffeurs, but apparently they have attended wine school.
The Burgundy Wine Bureau has tours, tastings, classes at all levels of expertise and interest. I would definitely check them out before you hire anyone else. Their staff is very knowledgeable and they seem to be able and willing to tailor everything to your particular interests, needs, desires. Prices are very reasonable, for a partial day, full day, as long as you wish.
I've used them for special activities when I'm leading my tours in Burgundy. Here's the link to their web site (in English). http://www.burgundy-wines.fr/
For tastings at wineries such as those you mention, it is best to go through your local wine merchant who can hook you up with their distributor/importers. Those are the folks who can get you into "their" wineries for tastings/tours.
Those specific ones are not on my itinerary, so I can't personally help you with them.
We love Detours in France! We use them every year & feel that they have become friends over time. Several choices of guides & they tailor to your needs. I like that I can tell them exactly what I want to do (nothing crazy mind you like, "Oh we'd like to visit DRC.") or we can give them a general idea & they'll fill in the blanks. We have done the intro type tours quite a few times when we take new friends & even those aren't boring. We also usually have a few days to ourselves where we do something a little different. You can check them out at www.detours-in-france.com.
On topic of food, they always have something great on tap. Last year was the Table d'Chaintre. Lovely!
Jearmy (sp?) Holmes is a great poster on this board for all things Burgundy/wine. He's in the wine biz, so maybe he has recommendations too?
I have not taken part, but some say the "ultimate wine tour" is the Bouilland Symposia in June, led by Clive Coates MW, Becky Wasserman, and Russell Hone.
Hone also does some wine touring for members of the trade. Maybe he could help you.