Leading Specialists in European Barge Cruises

Wine Appreciation

On our barges in Burgundy, the Canal du Midi and Gascony, we offer some wonderful itineraries for wine aficionados.  Of course, tasting exceptional wines (both on and off the barge) is a highlight of these cruises, but no wine itinerary in France is complete without the fascinating history of the French wine industry and the beautiful domaines that we visit. Exploring some magnificent chateaux and local producers with our exceptional wine expert, these memorable cruises are the pinnacle of a wine connoisseur’s bucket list!

In addition, we can offer excellent incentives for group organisers/club presidents and on certain departures, discounts for all charter guests.

Many wine connoisseurs are also “foodies” – don’t forget that on all our cruises, you will be blown away by the magnificent cuisine offered by your private on-board chef! Exceptional cuisine, premium wines, the magnificent French countryside and pampering by your dedicated crew… BLISS!

We offer Wine Appreciation cruise on board Impressionniste, Art de Vivre, La Belle Epoque, Finesse, Renaissance, Anjodi, Enchante, Athos and Rosa in France, and La Bella Vita in Italy.

Here is the wonderful sample itinerary on “Impressionniste” in Burgundy… if you are interested in any others, please email us!

Impressionniste Wine Appreciation Itinerary

Sunday, Day 1 Fleurey-sur-Ouche
Guests are met in central Paris* and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the elegant L’Impressionniste. A champagne reception welcomes you on board and the opportunity to meet the captain and crew. Then enjoy your first dinner on board.

 

Monday, Day 2 Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Sainte Marie-sur-Ouche
This morning experience your first day’s cruise along this enchanting canal, which also promises a walk or cycle along an ever-present towpath cruising past sleepy villages and pretty lock houses. Late morning, our expert wine guide joins the barge to give an introductory talk on the vineyards of Burgundy and during an on-board wine tasting, ensures that everyone has mastered their tasting technique! In the afternoon, he takes us on a visit to Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Chevaliers du Tastevin, who annually award prized special labels to the finest Côte d‘Or vintages. Driving past legendary Grand Cru vineyards, we also pay homage at the fields of Romanée Conti, then stop at the family-run Domaine Jafflin in the heart of Nuits-St-Georges on the Route des Grands Crus. A tour of their cellars is followed by a tasting of their exceptional Pinot Noirs including Vosne Romanée, Nuits St Georges and Gevrey Chambertin. Dinner on board.

 

Tuesday, Day 3 Sainte Marie-sur-Ouche to La Bussière
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of old Dijon, including a visit to the vivid produce markets, mustard shops and the impressive Notre-Dame de Dijon, or enjoy some excellent shopping time. Return to the hotel barge for lunch and a leisurely afternoon cruise to La Bussière and perhaps a walk or bicycle ride to the next lock or two. Dinner on board.

 

Wednesday, Day 4 La Bussière to Pont d’Ouche
After a short morning cruise, we set off on a drive through the vineyards, stopping en route at the “vigne de l’enfant Jesus”, a famous vineyard owned by the Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils. There, a wine expert will give us a real insight into the domaine’s production of its Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines. We continue to Beaune, capital of Burgundy wine country, for a winery tour and private tasting of Bouchard Père et Fils wines before enjoying a gastronomic lunch in the orangery of Château de Beaune, owned by the winery since 1820. Afterwards, we visit the fascinating 15th century Hôtel-Dieu Hospice and explore the town, before returning to the barge for a short evening cruise to Pont d’Ouche. Dinner on board.

 

Thursday, Day 5 Pont d’Ouche to Vandenesse
After breakfast, we cruise to Vandenesse, past grazing white Charolais cattle, rolling hills and picturesque villages, crossing the only canal bridge on the Burgundy Canal. Later, our wine guide joins us again and we drive from the barge through wooded hillsides out into the world famous vineyards of the Côte de Beaune. After making a stop in the Grand Cru vineyards of Le Montrachet, we visit a domaine in the village of Puligny-Montrachet where we enjoy a private cellar tour and a tasting of some of the world’s greatest white wines. Dinner on board.

 

Friday, Day 6 Vandenesse to Escommes
Our last day’s leisurely cruise takes us to the canal summit, 1,250 feet above sea level, just before the Pouilly tunnel. This afternoon we visit the moat-encircled Château de Commarin to be treated to a private demonstration of the medieval sport of falconry. Afterwards, we meet Count Bertrand de Vogue, the current resident and 26th generation of the de Vogue family to maintain continuous residence since the 13th century, who will give a fascinating insight into the Château’s history.  Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

 

Saturday, Day 7 Escommes
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris*.

 

*Other locations available
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.


Whet your appetite watching this video about a Chablis wine tasting!