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Wine…wonderful wine!

April 13th, 2016 by
Alsace Vineyards

Alsace Vineyards

We’re not ashamed to admit that we like a glass of wine from time to time. And we’re proud to offer tours in some of the world’s best wine regions, where wine growing – and tasting – is at the heart of the regional culture. From lesser-known local vineyards to big name appellations, these wines all go down very nicely, particularly when paired with the local cuisine.

Here are some of our must-visit regions for wine lovers….

Chateau de Pommard, Burgundy, France

Chateau de Pommard, Burgundy, France

 
France: Burgundy

The Burgundy landscape is dominated by sun-drenched vineyards and sleepy villages that lend their names to many prestigious wine. The Yonne region produces some excellent wines in and around the town of Chablis, made from the Chardonnay grape – there are four ranging from Grand Cru through to Petit Chablis. Moving south to the UNESCO-recognized Côte d’Or you’ll find some of the best wines in the world. This region is made up of the Côte de Beaune which produces fine whites (predominantly Chardonnay) and the Côte de Nuits which produces some of the world’s finest reds (mainly Pinot Noir). The Côte de Nuits is home to the acclaimed villages of Nuits-St-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin, the latter of which is widely regarded as producing Burgundy’s most full-bodied and masculine wine with a particularly intense color, aroma and flavor.

The Burgundy landscape is dominated by sun-drenched vineyards and sleepy villages that lend their names to many prestigious wine appellations. The Yonne region produces some excellent wines in and around the town of Chablis, made from the Chardonnay grape – there are four appellations ranging from Grand Cru through to Petit Chablis. Moving south to the UNESCO-recognized Côte d’Or you’ll find some of the best wines in the world. This region is made up of the Côte de Beaune which produces fine whites (predominantly Chardonnay) and the Côte de Nuits which produces some of the world’s finest reds (mainly Pinot Noir). The Côte de Nuits is home to the acclaimed villages of Nuits-St-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin, the latter of which is widely regarded as producing Burgundy’s most full-bodied and masculine wine with a particularly intense color, aroma and flavor.

On our Burgundy self-guided walking and cycling tours, you’ll have numerous opportunities to sample fine wines as you hop between the region’s unspoiled medieval villages. Stroll around the celebrated Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis, or stop for lunch in Nuits-St-Georges and taste wine in the local caves

Piedmont's fine food and wine

Piedmont’s fine food & wine

Italy: Piedmont

The verdant Langhe region of Piedmont produces some of Italy’s finest vintages including Barbaresco, Barolo and Dolcetto as well as renowned whites like Moscato and Asti. Barolo is the most revered – the ‘King of Wines’ – and is produced in 11 localities surrounding the town of Alba. The flavor is dry and robust, yet also velvety and well rounded. Barolo has an extremely long life, but is best appreciated between the 5th and 8th year of its life. For white wine lovers, grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are also cultivated in the area, along with Moscato grapes which produce the very sweet dessert wine. Many of the Langhe’s tranquil villages have their own enoteca and independent wine producers, so there are plenty of opportunities to try the local wines.

On our Gastronomic Barolo self-guided walking and cycling tours you’ll stay at Relais Villa d’Amelia, just outside Benevello, which boasts a superb Michelin-starred restaurant. You’ll also spend two nights at Villa Beccaris in Monforte d’Alba which boasts its very own enoteca.

Alsace's La Cour du Bailli, Bergheim

Alsace’s La Cour du Bailli, Bergheim

France: Alsace

Alsace is blessed with ideal conditions for wine growing: sunshine, warm, dry weather and fertile soil. Alsace’s famous Route du Vin stretches for over 100 miles along the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Medieval towns and villages line the route, each home to friendly winegrowers only too happy to chat about their wines and let you taste them. The region is best known for its white wines, many of which are only sold in France. Unlike other French regions, Alsace wines are not named after the villages or vineyards but after the grape. There are 7 important varieties: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Tokay Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and the only red grape: Pinot Noir. The dry and fruity Riesling is considered one of the finest whites, while Gewürztraminer is probably Alsace’s best-known wine – full bodied with a rich, fruity aroma.

On our Route du Vin Cycling tour, you’ll stay at the Hostellerie à La Ville de Lyon in Rouffach, where your host is an award-winning Michelin-starred chef. The hotel also boasts its very own winstub!

Sierra de Gredos

Sierra de Gredos

Central Spain: Sierra de Gredos

The Sierra de Gredos is situated in the central Spanish region of Castilla y León, to the north west of Madrid. Castilla y León produces some quality wines and is predominantly known for its red wine, which includes D.O. Ribera del Duero, produced using the Tempranillo grape. The flavors range from fruity young reds to older, fuller-bodied wine. The area’s white wine includes D.O. Rueda, cultivated in the Valladolid province and based on the local grape, Verdejo. Rueda – which is reasonably priced – is the main white wine that you’ll find in the Madrid area.

On our self-guided walking tour in the Sierra de Gredos, you’ll stay at Hotel El Milano Real, where you’ll find excellent gastronomic cuisine and an extensive bodega of over 500 different Spanish and international wines. We’ve included wine on your first evening and your hosts, Teresa and Paco, will introduce you to a selection of what’s on offer!




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