Credit: @ Bordeaux Tourisme
5 French regions that are perfect for autumn vineyard visits
In Autumn, the weather is still warm and dry in France and without summer crowds it’s the perfect time for a trip, especially for wine lovers. Here are 5 of our favourite vineyard visits to enjoy in the autumn sunshine:
Half the city of Bordeaux is a World Heritage Site. The centre of Bordeaux, flanked by its three boulevards is a hive of activity with the focal point being the Place de la Comedie with the imposing and architecturally stunning Grand Theatre. The huge square, Esplanades Quinconces, is home to statues of local philosophers such as Montaigne and Montesquieu. Along the riverfront is the bridge of Pont de Pierre from where the view of the city is truly impressive on an autumn day. A visit to the famous vineyards of Bordeaux is easy to do from the city centre. Don’t miss taking a tour of nearby beautiful St Emilion, whose town is built like an amphitheatre.
Beaune is the capital of this fabulous wine region and the pretty, medieval town is surrounded by the Cote d’Or vineyards. It is renowned for its annual wine auction which takes place on the 3rd Sunday in November at the 15th Century Hotel-Dieu museum. The Route des Grands Crus, known as the ‘Champs Elysees’ of Burgundy is well worth a visit. Chateau du Clos de Vougeot is an architectural and cultural masterpiece, an absolute must-see for true wine fans, and a wonderful place to visit in the autumn sunshine.
Take a visit to the impressive city of Reims with its magnificent Cathedral. Enjoy Champagne tasting at Maison Mumm or the Grande Maison de Champagne Taittinger or Veuve Clicquot. A drive or stroll along the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, just 15 miles from Reims, is a must. And it’s here that you’ll find the famous Maison de Champagne of Moët & Chandon. The colours of the rolling hillsides surrounding the vineyards are breath-taking in the autumn.
The Loire Valley is an exceptional place to visit in the Autumn. The sight of chateaux looming out of the early morning mist surrounded by miles of countryside and vineyards is stunning. And, as the Loire is home to some of the best wines in France such as Sancerre, Pouilly Fume and Saumur, a visit to the vineyards and wine cellars will make your trip extra special. The grapes are normally picked between September and October and many chateaux including Chinon, Chambord and Chenonceau along with the Gardens of Villandry are located close to wine domains. Combining a wine and chateaux tour is a great way to give you a real taste of this beautiful region.
It might surprise you to know that Paris has a secret vineyard…
It was the Romans who first introduced vines to Paris, the lush green vineyards stretched for miles right up to the slopes of the Butte Montmartre – at 130m high it is Paris’s tallest hill and a district of northern Paris. The area is more famous for its cafés, boutiques, art galleries and studios, nightlife, and the Moulin Rouge. However, each October, once the grapes have been picked and pressed, a grand festival takes place that’s one of the most popular with Parisians. The Fête des vendanges de Montmartre celebrates the art of food and wine. You’ll enjoy dozens of free concerts, exhibitions, parades and tastings in the heart of the city. There’s even a quirky “singles” event in which single-dom is celebrated. It’s called a non-marriage ceremony and couples may state their love and be declared engaged for eternity.
Why not enjoy an autumn break – check out our thousands of fabulous holiday rentals in France – we’re here to help you make your dreams come true all year round.