Indagare outlines the ideal week-long sojourn through France's most revered wine regions—Burgundy and Bordeaux—with stops at the best vineyards, restaurants, charming towns and cultural attractions.
Arrive in Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy and one of France’s most important wine centers, and check into the Hostellerie Le Cedre, an elegant boutique property right outside of the city. Wander the charming old town, which is well preserved as a wall city and visit Hospices de Beaune, France’s most famous wine auction housed in a former French-Renaissance hospital. On Saturdays, don’t miss the gourmet food market where you can purchase local delicacies and fresh produce.
Begin the day with a visit and tasting at the exquisite Chateau de Pommard. The estate produces full-bodied red wines, expertly aged. Transfer through the vineyard to Gevery Chambertin, known for the famous Chambertin, a Grand Cru Burgundy wine.
Enjoy lunch at Drouhin Laroze, a restaurant overlooking the vineyards, or inside the cellar with wine pairings
Afternoon Visit Joseph Drouhin Domaine, housed on 200 acres and featuring the Burgundian pinot noirs and chardonnays, for a tour and tasting.
Travel to La Cote Nuits, the wine region famous for the Pinot Noir. Begin with a guided tour of Chateau du clos de Vougeot, a grand country house built by monks in the 16th century on top of the underground wine cellar. Afterwards, transfer to Philippe Leclerc at Gevrey-Chambertin where the wines are not refined or filtrated, but made exclusively from the pinot noir grape.
Have lunch in nearby Dijon at Le pre aux Clercs, a Michelin-starred restaurant that overlooks the magnificent Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Afternoon Tour the city of Dijon, the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. Explore the historic center of the medieval city, strolling past monuments, mansions and gardens, and see the church towers with multi-colored tiles.
Near the Romanee Conti vineyards, visit the authentic, family-owned Fruirouge farm where jams, fruit butters, condiments and drinks are produced from black currants, a staple of Burgundy. Within the same hamlet, tour Chateau d’Entre-deux-Monts, an estate that grows truffles, to learn about the truffle production process and culinary uses and observe the dogs that are trained to sniff them out.
Enjoy lunch at Le Relais de Grepissot (7 Chemin de Grepissot) for excellent regional cuisine.
Enjoy dinner at one of the city’s newly opened bistro, Le Chien de Pavlov, headed by inspired young chefs. Consider getting tickets for an opera or ballet performed at the exquisite Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, one of Europe’s last and oldest wooden-frame opera houses. Have a nightcap at Night Plage on the Grand Hôtel’s roof, or stroll to one of the many lively piazzas, like Place Saint-Pierre or Place du Parlement, to take in the local scene. Another hot spot is the rooftop bar at Mama Shelter hotel; the crowd is young, hip and fun.
Take a walking tour of the historic center to get your bearings, exploring such historic monuments as the Cathédral de Bordeaux, Tour Pey-Berland (which you can climb) and the impressive Place de la Bourse, home to Michel Corajoud’s permanent installation, Miroir d’Eau, a reflective masterpiece. Contemporary art enthusiasts shouldn't miss the Institute Cultural Bernard Magrez, about a 10-minute cab from the historic center, to see the impressive works from Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.
Either have lunch at Le Comptoir de Cuisine, a chic spot next to the Grand Hotel that serves light fare or stay at the museum for lunch at two Michelin-starred restaurant Pierre Gagnaire.
Afternoon Enjoy a private wine tasting at the L’Intendant, a wine boutique located in the heart of Bordeaux. The design highlights are the spiral staircase and the appellations of Bordeaux lining the walls.
Dine at foodie favorite La Tupina, considered one of the world’s best bistros.
Transfer to St. Emilion for a day tour. St. Emilion is the epitome of a charming wine town—stone buildings surrounded by scenic vineyards and a town plaza lined with cafés. Arrange for a guide to see the town’s hidden treasures: catacombs, the impressive Monolithic underground church and the cave of St. Emilion.
Afternoon Visit Chateau La Dominique in St. Emilion for the rest of the day. The entire winery is clad in reflective, stainless steel panels, all of which are colored a crimson red, creating a whimsical mirror play with the surrounding landscape.
Tour the restored 18th-century chateau that serves as the welcoming centerpiece to the property that also includes gardens and a wonderful restaurant La Terrasse Rouge. A tour takes about 30-45 minutes and wine tastings can also be arranged. Do not miss lunch at the congenial restaurant with gorgeous views and ask the staff to point out the famous neighbors, including Cheval Blanc (another modern winery with an eco-inspired roof garden) and Petrus, a modest structure sitting in the distance.
Morning Begin the day with a visit to the world-renowned Chateau Mouton Rothschild to see the vat room, cellars, great barrel hall, Museum of Wine in Art and the exhibit ‘Paintings for Labels,’ and enjoy a tasting at the end of the tour. Enjoy lunch in gourmet style at two-Michelin-starred Cordeillan Bages.Afternoon
Visit Chateau Pape Clement for a wine-blending workshop. Budding winemakers arrive at a table that is set with a variety of glasses, test measuring tubes, cylinders and, of course, wine. The main ingredients for the novice are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the classic grapes used to blend Bordeaux, though more advanced wine aficionados can also work with other varietals. Once you’ve decided on your perfect concoction, you are given an empty bottle that you fill, cork and seal, then design your own custom label for a truly unique, personalized memento from Bordeaux.
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