Champagne & Alsace: Pearls, bubbles, and rolling hills

Private tour 6 Days/5 Nights

Day 1 – A monk and a widow

Let’s meet in the lobby of your hotel this morning! We will pick you up and drive you out of Paris to the beautiful Marne river valley. Our drive will bring us into Hautvillers, where the world famous monk Dom Pérignon served in the Abbey Saint-Pierre in the 16th century having brought with him from Limoux in the south of France what was destined to become “la méthode champenoise”, which is simply how to produce Champagne… Here you’ll be treated to a private tour and tasting at the domain of a Champagne producer in the Marne Valley. We will be welcomed at the magnificent domain of this independent producer, whose vineyard extends around an outstanding castle, overlooking the Marne River. After a commented walk through the vineyards and the cellars, you will taste three different Champagnes from the domain. In the town of Hautvillers we will savour delicate regional specialties for lunch and discover Champagne and food matchings with three single-varietal cuvées. We will then head to Epernay, home to the world- famous Champagne “La Veuve Cliquot”, the widow in our title. There we will discover the grandiose UNESCO listed Avenue De Champagne where the most prestigious Champagne Houses were established in the 19th century: Moet & Chandon, Laurent Perrier, Pol Roger etc… Moet & Chandon will open their doors for us for a private cellar tour and Champagne tasting. Then on to Domaine Les Crayères: a legendary establishment in the heart of Reims. This wonderful place will host us for the two coming nights.

Day 2 – Cycling through the vineyards

After a glorious breakfast at your hotel we will pick you up for an adventurous day. Denis, our guide for today, will be waiting for us with his range of e-bikes. We will enjoy an epic ride through one of the most famous wine regions in the world. Enjoy this day in the beautiful landscapes of the Montagne de Reims area and discover the charming villages that we’ll pass through on our way. Today we will enjoy a private lunch at La Maison Penet, followed by an equally private tour of the cellars and the whole estate in the company of the owners. Situated in the Grand Cru heartland, Maison Penet is a top-range independent producer which releases high- quality “extra brut Champagnes” from the grapes of their prestigious vineyards around the villages of Verzy and Verzenay. We will have the opportunity of enjoying a 3-course lunch matched with 3 unique Champagnes from the house. Mailly Grand Cru was awarded ‘Best Cooperative’ and is a reference for many Champagne lovers. The quality of its terroir – one of the 17 Grand Cru villages of Champagne – gives its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay the optimal conditions for a perfectly balanced Champagne. No doubt you will find your new favourite! We will then head back to our hotel for a well-deserved rest and to prepare ourselves for our dinner at the 2-star Michelin “Restaurant Le Parc”.

Day 3 – Á Table!

After a late breakfast we will head through the streets of the city of Reims to the kitchen of this morning’s host: Chef Eric Geoffroy welcomes us into his kitchen for a private cooking workshop. He will share with you the secrets and keys to Gourmet French Cuisine. Eric will introduce us to his favourite recipes and will answer any questions you might have on the art which of French cuisine. After the class, it is time for you to savour the fruit of your labour. A 2-course lunch served with the unique cuvées of Champagne. After dessert we will head to the lovely city of Nancy. We will enjoy a city tour with our friend and guide Nathalie. She will show us all the secrets and beauties of this imperial city that witnessed some of the most important chapters of French history. In the heart of the city, the Hotel d’Haussonville, a stunning old building built in the renaissance style, will host us tonight in its sumptuous classical style. A gentle stroll around the world famous Stanislas Square before heading to one of the city’s most renowned brasseries: ”La Brasserie l’Excelsior” to really experience the local “Nancéen” gastronomy.

Day 4 – Let’s soak into white wines

This morning we will head to another of France’s great wine regions… Alsace: This wonderful and singular wine region is tainted by a strong German influence, with its beautiful and recognizable rural architecture, famous gastronomy & unique identity, but most of all, its world famous wines and Crémants that will enthral you. We will visit Koenigsbourg Castle: the most emblematic of Alsatian monuments. We will then move on to Riquewihr, a lovely medieval village hidden in the hills, which is home to one of the best restaurants in the region. The chef Philippe Aubron, settled down here and opened his Trotthus restaurant where he develops a wonderful fusion cuisine that will enlighten your day. This afternoon we will visit a very famous Alsatian winery in Ribeauvillé. There, the Bott frêres will welcome us and explain what makes this region so special for white wines and crémants. We will, of course, need to taste them to fully understand. Le Chambard hotel is hosting us tonight in its typical 18th-century mansion in the village of Kaysersberg. Tonight we have a 2 Michelin stars dinner in “Le Chambard ‘’ run by the celebrated chef Olivier Nasti. He will introduce us to his cuisine and take us through all the flavours to be found in his revisited traditional gastronomy.

Day 5 – Fly me to the grapes

Early call this morning but it’s definitely worth it. You’ll take some altitude with Thierry, one of the best hot air balloons pilots in western France. He knows everything about the Rhine Valley and we will most likely fly over some of Germany if the wind is willing. You’ll fly over all the grand-crus vineyards and discover Alsace from a whole different angle. After having recovered from our experience, with a cold glass of crémant at the landing site, we will head to Obernai to enjoy the Crémants white wines route. Our lunch is at one of the finest restaurants in the whole region: l’Osmose, where Antoine Botter combines the authenticity of raw & seasonal ingredients with the most refined gastronomic emulsions. His sommelier, the very famous Frédéric Voné, will put his exceptional knowledge of wines at your service for a perfect match with your menu. You’ll have some downtime at your wonderful “Hotel-Spa 5 Terres” a 17th century building combining the charm and techniques of the past with the elegance and modern comforts of contemporary standards. Then we’ll sit down to enjoy the gastronomy of the hotel’s restaurant which focuses on biodynamic food which brings together seasonal and local specialties, and the wonderful local wines.

Day 6 – Cry me a river, farewell along the Rhine.

After breakfast and having checked out of our hotel we will drive you to the wonderful city of Strasbourg. There we will enjoy a walking tour of the city built along the Rhine River and facing Germany on the other bank. The city is a place full of history and charming corners. We must visit the astonishing cathedral and the Kleber Square, we will enjoy our lunch on the “Petite France Island”, a very quaint place, seemingly untouched by time, right in the middle of the city. We will then bring you to Strasbourg train station where you can grab the high speed train to Paris, a quick 2h journey.

**It is possible to customize your itinerary

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*Package descriptions and pricing are subject to change without notice