I am wanting to rent a car in Paris and visit Rheims, Epernay, and the Burgundy wine areas. I will be traveling alone and would like to stay overnight in a vineyard B&B. I am having trouble finding enough information to plan this trip. I have both Rick Steves guide to Paris and France. Any help, suggestions would be appreciated
Yes, I have read those sections of Rick Steves France guide. I have two questions. One is: Where is a nice place to stay the night? I am hoping for a small vineyard. Two is: I have been told by some tour companies that the champagne houses are not friendly unless you go on a pre-arranged tour. I do not want to do that unless I have to.
This is a website for you for the Champagne region. There are a few off links that will only be in French - try google translate to help if your French needs a little assistance.
Here you will find detail information about the wineries and in the "Discover Section" information about where to stay.
Many of the local towns will also have websites.
For car rental - consider a pick up at Gare Austerlitz (Avis) (ligne 10 and RER C). This is really great access to the A4.
I would also suggest a small purchase of detailed maps. They are split in regions - Michelin #306 will give you excellent routes.
As for Burgundy - this is a bit more complex - are you looking for the entire region - Cote de Nuits? Cote de Beaune? Are there particular wines from the region? Chablis, Mersault, Corton? Are you planning to go as far south as Lyon?
To Kent, yes I did think that maybe the tour companies were discouraging visits to the champagne houses to benefit themselves. Thank you, Jona, for the information. I will probably only visit the part of Burgundy that is closet to Paris. I am not at all familiar with Burgundy and appreciate any suggestions. I want to make my side trip from Paris only 1 or 2 nights long.
I would reply back to you Kimberly - what kind of wine do you like? As Burgundy has so many - it will make a difference which direction (distance) you would want to consider. The main cities you may want to look at are Montbard, Dijon, Beaune and Chalon-sur-Saône. These are reachable by train as well as car.
Burgundy is the largest region in France and is very accessible of course by car and train. It maybe since you are only thinking of a few days to narrow down your visits to wines you are most interested in.
Well, I do not have a big knowledge of wine so after reading more and looking at the web site you recommended, I think I should stay more around the Chablis area since I do not want to drive in my rental car too long.
Chablis is lovely, and Chablis wine is amazingly complex French chardonnay--nothing like American chardonnay. If you are interested in reds, though, you probably need to head a bit farther, towards the Cotes D'Or.
I did not reply to your first post because I'm not familiar with chambres d'hote (that's the term you want to look for, not B&B) linked to any vineyards in the area. Many of the vineyards I saw are not exactly farms, more like vast patchworks of small plots intensively worked.
No one would build housing on those vineyards--it would be a waste of VOC land. Sill, you might find a working farm with rooms around some of the less prestigious vineyards, say in the north. You might inquire via the TI in Auxerre. Or find a nice B&B or auberge anywhere
Vezeley makes an interesting visit near Chablis, though it has little to do with wine.
This is the first time I have ever used a post bulletin board. Thanks to everyone for all of the great tips. It is a great help.