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Wine tasting in Beaune

My boyfriend and I will be in Beaune only 2 days before moving onto Nice..... We would like to experience an authentic wine tasting and history tour that covers the bases of the region. When researching different tours, there are so many I feel like I need the advice from travel enthusiasts out there
Thanks
Beth

Posted by
784 posts

The Marche du Vin in Beaune might fit your needs since you have limited time. You pay a fee (when we were there it was 50 Francs- it was awhile ago) and receive a tasting cup that you can keep. Then you walk through tasting about 50 different wines - you spit a lot. The better wines are at the end, so save your drinking til then. I'm going on the assumption it is still in operation, though I'm sure the fee has gone up. Rick's Burgundy guidebook probably has details, if it is still in business and worth a visit.

Posted by
12172 posts

It was still there in May, Caves Patriarche Pere & Fils. I was planning on going but I caught a pretty bad cold and decided I really couldn't taste anyway so it would be pointless. For the price you get, I believe, ten tastings - which is why the above suggestion to save your tastings until you are further into the place where the better wines are offered.

Most other places want reservations. Two days ahead is about the most you would need. You can probably call in the morning before you go, but you risk them being closed that day. If you want to visit one, have your hotel or TI call ahead for you. It's not hard but there may be a language barrier.

Posted by
20316 posts

Went with this outfit a few years ago and they were fantastic. Van tour of the region with driver/guide and 3 other couples. 4 wine tastings at different wineries throughout the Cote de Nuits.
https://wineandvoyages.com/

Posted by
1825 posts

There are many wine shops with tastings in town. I would start there and of course the Hospice. The second day I would rent bikes and visit a few villages on the bike route through the area. You could hire a guide but I stuck with Rick's guidebook and had a great time. Everything is the area is easy and the small wine villages are so perfectly French in every way. What time of year will you be there?

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you all for such great info. This has given me a great starting place for planning our trip. We are traveling the second week of October so I'm hoping the weather is still warm enough We did consider a bike tour too. I'll need to download Ricks tour before I go Anybody have thoughts on Nice? We have already reserved an apartment but have no tours planned yet...

Posted by
2261 posts

Like us, your time in Beaune is relatively short, so the Patriarche thing could make sense. We did the individual walk through-not a guided tour-which includes ten self tastings at stations along the way. The wine definitely got better as we went, I'd suggest starting actual tasting about half way through. Interesting, though we would rather have done a more comprehensive countryside tour-time permitting.

Posted by
698 posts

We enjoyed the in-town cellars and exploring some tasting rooms in the villages (e.g., Nuits St. George) However, if you are serious and can't book independently, one of the recommended wine tours may be best.

Regarding Nice, are you seeking wine tours or regular tours? It's not a huge wine region (Bellet is the appelation) except further west towards St Tropez (Rose!) and regular sightseeing tours may not be worthwhile. It's easy to find your way via public transport (train, bus, ferries), except into parts of the countryside .

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you Brad and Coco for directing me to Patriarche. That could be a good start to our first day… Definitely a great way to immerse yourself in the wine culture with so many wineries to choose from

Richard I like your idea of renting bikes and doing small wine village tours that way using ricks guidebook. Thank you for that suggestion we will be there in October I will do some research on bike rental As Dave mentioned we were interested in doing something more on the countryside but we also do have a short period time available so if anybody has suggestions for areas that Would fit that description please keep me updated.

Posted by
755 posts

We used Rick's guidebook for an excellent self-guided bike tour. I agree with Richard that you should buy Rick's guidebook and check out the options.

Posted by
16 posts

Joseph Drouhin and Bouchard Aine & Fils are both excellent wineries with tasting and tours right in Beaune. Both are very interesting. Drouhin for its history and Bouchard Aine for the intresting tour that empasizes experiencing wine through the 5 senses. They are fairly close to each other and you could walk from one to the other. Both have tours in English. Outside of Beaune try the Imaginarium in Nuits St Georges. A wine Disneyland. People in the tasting room are fun. Also Antonin Rodet or Phillip Juillot in Mercury. Lovely setting a little further away. Both are very welcoming to English speaking visitors. AR has more English. PJ not so much but you might meet someone from the family in the tasting room. This area is considered a less prestigious winemaking area, but the wines are delish, less epensive, and fewer crowds. Have fun.

Posted by
16 posts

Be sure to go to Chateau Le Rochepot. And not to be a party pooper, but you might want to think abut the bike riding...A little goes a long way. Once you see one vineyard, the rest look pretty much the same and it will take a lot of your time just getting from one village to another. You might be happier in a car, be sure to be brave and go up into the vineyards on the back roads. Some of the famous vineyards are signed in some way and you will recognize the names of some of the world's greatest wines.

Posted by
8 posts

Lee
Thank you so much for your advice.. I love the options you have given me. I believe that you are correct w our timing, a car may be a better option I like the idea of trying a smaller family run hidden gem. Definitely putting them on our list. Awesome advice !!!
Cheers
Beth

Posted by
1384 posts

Another option while in Beaune, weather permitted, is cycling from town/vineyard to town/vineyard.
The Vineyard Way: Beaune to Santenay. The Vineyard Way is followed by a good towpath ride from Santenay along the Canal du Centre Greenway into Chalon-sur-Saône. At the end of the route you can load your rented bike on the train & head back to Beaune.
Cycling in Burgundy: http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/where-to-go/cycling-in-burgundy.html

Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
2916 posts

I don't want to be a spoilsport, but we visited Patriarche about 20 years, and thought the wines were dreadful. There were 4 of us, and none of us bought anything. On the other hand, the cellars were spectacular.
My wife and I have visited hundreds of French wineries over the years, including southern Burgundy, w/o ever doing a tour. On the other hand, this might be a time I'd recommend a tour, such as the one Sam links to.

Posted by
19 posts

We really enjoyed our few days in Beune and especially renting bikes for a few hours. We rode through vineyards and stopped at a couple small "family" wineries to taste and purchase--all seemed fantastic. These were so small that they only sold there and were very willing to share about their land. It was a highlight because it was "low key", spontaneous and we didn't have to worry about drinking and driving (a car at least!). Our bike baskets held several bottles!

Posted by
2916 posts

Karen, your wine experience is exactly what we've done all over France, including Burgundy, except in our case it's been by car or walking. Whenever someone posts a question about visiting wineries in Burgundy, the assumption always is that they want to visit the prestigious domaines; same with Bordeaux and Champagne. But there's so much more than that, as you've discovered.

Posted by
237 posts

If biking appeals to you, I did a biking wine tour through these guys and loved it: http://bourgogne-evasion.fr/

It was my mom, me, and then a group of four 20-somethings from Dijon. We had a great time getting to know them and the guide while biking from vineyard to vineyard!

Posted by
8 posts

Karen,
thanks for the suggestions. We are wine lovers but like to get to know some new small family operations that we would never have known.
Matt,
Loved the links that you sent me. took notes and will use your suggestions as well as the other couples. Thanks