Day 1 - Monday, October 15:
We have an early evening departure from Toronto International Airport direct to Paris with Air Canada on Flight #880. Dinner and a light breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 - Tuesday, October 16:
We arrive in Paris at 8:45 AM. A deluxe coach will take us to Reims in the heart of Champagne. We’ll arrive for afternoon check-in to our hotel, the centrally located Hotel Mercure
a four star hotel located within walking distance of the Cathedral. This will be where we will stay for the next three nights! We’ll have free time to settle in before our welcome dinner.
Day 3 - Wednesday, October 17:
Over the next two days, we will explore the champagnes and food in the historic towns of Reims and Epernay. These two towns are at the heart of Champagne - boasting numerous champagne houses – from the large iconic champagnes such as Mumm to the smaller grower champagnes that rarely leave the area. We will have visits and tastings with a range of producers, expecting to include Tattinger and Möet & Chandon as well as others. We will have a chance to explore the towns (including the magnificent Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, where French kings were crowned for centuries), and have dinners at excellent restaurants.
Day 4 - Thursday, October 18:
This morning we leave Champagne full of food and excellent champagnes, and head to Beaune, capital of the world-famous Côte d’Or, or “golden slope” wine region of Burgundy, and our base for the next four days. En route we will stop to explore the ancient capital of Burgundy, Dijon. It is an opportunity to do some shopping, in the wonderful covered market, in the “Parisian” department store Galeries Lafayette, and/or at the world-famous shop of Maille, founded in 1845, grand spécialiste in “Dijon mustard.” Lovers of art and history, on the other hand, will want to visit cultural attractions such as the nearby Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy and the Cathedral. Late afternoon arrival at our home for the next four nights, the boutique hotel, Hostellerie Le Cedre,
Centrally located in Beaune, and with parts of it dating back to 1660, it is a short walk to the heart of this charming old walled town.
Day 5 - Friday, October 19:
Much of our day today will involve an exploration of the exceptional wines produced by one of the leading families in the world of wine, the Boisset family. Founded in the early 1960’s with the family’s first vines at the north of Gevrey-Chambertin, the family now has extensive vineyard holdings throughout both the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, and owns and operates numerous wineries in France and North America. We have been invited for a visit and tasting at Domaine de La Vougeraie
created from the union of several estates acquired over the years together with the Boisset family’s first vineyards. We also plan a tour of the historic Chateau du Clos de Vougeot. The Clos de Vougeot vineyard is the largest single vineyard in Côte de Nuits entitled to the grand cru designation, and was created in the 12th Century by Cistercian monks of Cîteaux Abbey. It served as the flagship vineyard of the Cistercians, and has been a highly recognized name for centuries. The Château de Clos de Vougeot, situated inside the wall, was added in 1551. The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin acquired the Château in 1945, and started to restore it, turning it into the seat of the Order.
Day 6 - Saturday, October 20:
After breakfast, we plan to have a guided tour of Beaune’s renowned Hospice, a superb medieval architectural complex featuring the interior of a Medieval Hospital as well as an art gallery; the Hospice is also the site of the famous annual auction of some of the best wines of Burgundy. We then have a free afternoon to explore beautiful Beaune of your own or to shop in the many local specialty shops. Perhaps a visit for more wines at the Marche au Vins, and a chance to relax in one of the bistros and cafés.
Day 7 - Sunday, October 21:
This morning we will make our way for an exclusive tour and tasting at the venerable producer Remoissenet Père et Fils. Founded in 1877, Remoissenet has cellars below the town of Beaune holding thousands of Premier and Grand Cru bottlings dating back to the early 20th Century. After generations of family ownership, it is now partly owned by the Halpern family of Toronto. The estate has experienced a renaissance and should be viewed as a new winery with a glorious cellar of historic wines. The firm has specialized in old vintages, and has now expanded its vineyard holdings in Clos de Vougeot, Charmes-Chambertin, Poissenot, Village Nuits, Vosne, and Gevrey-Chambertin. They are constantly seeking out new parcels to add to their holdings. Everything is in place to produce the finest wines possible from the region and if the current scores are any indication, Remoissenet is returning to the list of elite producers of the Cote d’Or. Following lunch, we are being hosted for another exceptional tasting at Bouchard Père et Fils. Founded in 1731, Bouchard Père & Fils is one of the oldest wine estates in Burgundy. The cellars run deep underground beneath The Château de Beaune, a former royal fortress built in the 15th century by King Louis XI, providing ideal natural storage conditions for Bouchard Père & Fils’ wines. The biggest domaine in the Côte d’Or, the estate boasts 130 hectares of vines, of which 12 are classed Grand Cru and 74 classed as Premier Cru.
Day 8 - Monday, October 22:
After breakfast, we will leave Beaune on our way back to Paris. But all is not lost! We plan to pay a visit to a leading producer in Chablis on our way back to Paris. Following lunch we continue to Paris where we will check into our centrally located Jardin de Cluny Hotel
. Walking tour of the neighbourhood, including a stop to enjoy a glass of wine and some charcuterie at a local wine bar. No group dinner this evening but there are many choices available in the area including Michelin star restaurant, Lucas Carton.
Day 9 - Tuesday, October 23:
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a choice of programs. Options will include:
- Trip to Versailles
- Day of visiting the museums
- Cruise on the Seine River
- Macaron class
...the list goes on and on! This evening “au revoir” dinner.
Day 10 - Wednesday, October 24:
This morning, we will have an early breakfast and a short transfer to the Paris airport for our flight on Air Canada, leaving at 11am and arriving in Toronto at 1pm.