Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne Tour: Wine, Cuisine & Beauty

A 8 day trip to France 
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The pleasures of wine, cuisine, and history in Champagne, Alsace, and Burgundy are sure to seduce you. Vineyards drape across the valleys and hillsides, creating a sea of emerald. Charming castles and villages resemble pictures out of storybooks. Towns celebrate wine production, and locals relish the chance to sit in the sunlight and sip a local varietal. Explore the robust and delicate flavors of dishes being paired with regional wines. Your custom tailored tour of Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne immerses you in the gourmet and rustic world of the French countryside, letting you experience the passion of daily life. 

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Reims, Hautvillers, Epernay, Strasbourg, Ribeauvillé, Colmar, Chateau Koenigsbourg, Beaune, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosnes Romanée, Nuits-St-Georges, Aloxe Corton, Hospices de Beaune, Puligny Montrachet, Paris    

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Enticing First Taste

Reims has the culture of a big city and the relaxed, friendly ambiance of a small town. Gothic architecture creates an impressive skyline. Public squares gracefully open up to quiet cafes and chic restaurants. Your private transfer meets you at Charles de Gaulle International Airport upon your arrival in France and escorts you to the dazzling city of Reims, located 90 miles away. The famous Cathédral Notre-Dame de Reims was where French kings were crowned, and continues to act as a stupendous example of French Gothic architecture.

The structure was erected in the 13th century over the foundations of churches that have decorated the area since the 5th century. A rainbow of stained glass shines from the elegant windows. The grand rose window contains 12 petals on the western façade. An early 20th-century statue of Joan of Arc in full body armor decorates the organ case. The famous French general once stood by the side of Charles VII during his coronation in 1429. The tower climbs to a height of 266 feet, containing 250 steps from the base to the top. In the afternoon, you venture to the world-famous Mumm House with over 200 years of history and encompassing more than 537 acres. Follow your guide through the soul of the home and its lavish history, with a family lineage dating back to the 12th century. At the end of the tour, you celebrate with a sample of champagne, tasting the quality of the drink and the characteristics of the region. Consider learning more about your France travel agents who strive to produce a highly personalized and exceptional touring experience for you. 

What’s Included: dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 2: Following Champagne

In the morning, you wake up to the quiet sounds of the countryside. At breakfast, you delight in the decadent flavors of a freshly brewed espresso, accompanied by a flaky, buttery croissant. The grandeur of the Palais du Tau, the Archbishop’s Palace, emanates from the French Neoclassical style of the face. Your guide meets you in the hotel lobby and escorts you to the village of Hautvillers. The village stands on a hillside overlooking a sea of emerald vines. In the spring, tulips blossom with magnificent pastel hues.

Between the 17th and 18th-centuries, Dom Pierre Pérignon invented champagne within the borders of the village. 17th-century woodwork adorns his tomb near the altar of Église Abbatiale. Wrought iron signs decorate the streets and highlight the medieval ambiance of the village. At the edge of the hill, you can take in the sweeping verdant vines of Marne Valley. You venture to your first tasting of the day at the Moet and Chandon Cellars. Your guide leads you down over 90 feet into the Champagne’s chalky soil. The estate covers more than 17 miles, a winding subterranean network of tunnels.

The temperature and humidity are reliably constant and allow the grapes to ferment perfectly. The vines extend for more than 2,480 acres, with Grand Cru accounting for half of the grapes grown on the property. The cool temperature and dim light of the cellars sets a historic ambiance. Your guide pops open a Brut Imperial bottle and pours you a sample. The golden straw-yellow glows with highlights of green. The aroma of citrus fruit and green apple drifts from the glass, accentuated by notes of brioche. You taste pear and peach, finding comfort in the subtle caress of the bubbles.     

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 3: European Attraction

In the morning, the sunlight spreads across the 3rd century Roman triumphal arch decorating Place de la République, the main square of Reims. It served as the town’s entrance gate until the mid 16th century. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the exquisite town of Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region. The town borders French and German culture. The cathedral soars into the air with a spire reaching a height of 466 feet. Victor Hugo, the author of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, described the church as a “gigantic and delicate marvel.” The stained glass window tells tales of saints and the New Testament.

Narrow alleys twist and wind around the half-timbered houses of the town, exuding fairytale qualities. Historic and charming taverns provide views to the banks of the canal. The historic Rhine River has provided Strasbourg with a prosperous history spanning two millennia. Stroll along the quarter known as La Petite France to immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of the Strasbourg’s historic center. The River Ill surrounds the small island. Leather tanners and fisherman populated the district in the 16th and 17th centuries. Bright flowers decorate the balconies stretching along the cobblestone streets. Four medieval defense towers watch over the historic bridges.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Castles and Charms

In the morning, the storybook charms of Strasbourg continue to captivate you. The images of colorful half-timbered houses remain at the forefront of your mind. After breakfast, your guide leads you to Chateau Koenigsbourg, where you continue to find fantastical structures and marvelous history. The structure was erected in the 12th century on a hilltop overlooking the Black Forest and the Alsatian plain. Emerald trees climb along the hillside. The German Emperor Wilhelm II refurbished the castle in the early 20th century, returning the edifice to its former glory. The main gate contains a coat of arms flanked by two soldiers, the armorial of Wilhelm II. The image is etched into the stone above the portico.

The romantic architecture stands out against the trees at 2,483 feet above the plain below. The drawbridge leads visitors into the furnished living quarters and the armory filled with a collection of medieval weapons. The capital of Alsace is Colmar, a town taken out of the storybooks. Alleys create a labyrinth of walkways around the heart of town. Half-timbered houses lead to canals laced with bridges. The neighborhood known as Little Venice has a collection of restored houses and shaded almond trees. You can glide down the canal on a rowboat and enjoy the aroma of blossoming geraniums accompanied by the quiet trickle of the rushing water. You continue into the countryside for a tasting of Grand Cru at a family-owned winery known for its sophisticated flavors.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Delights of Beaune

Today your private transfer leads you into the region of Burgundy. The wine produced in the area is known to use single varietals, instead of the blend of several grapes, as is common in other parts of France. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay represent the two dominant varietals of the region. The town of Beaune lives for its wine and the unique properties of its soil. The Old City contains the Hôtel-Dieu, a medieval charity hospital erected in the 15th century. The hospice is now a museum. Polychrome glazed tile roofing decorates the historic skyline.

The interlaced designs create a unique color mixture of Flemish Gothic and half-timber building. The Duke of Burgundy once called the town home. Caves surround the village and have been used as cellars to house wines for centuries. Your guide takes you into a cellar located in the heart of town and explains the diversity of the soil and the richness of the vines. The patriarch pours you a sample of the local Pinot Noir. The ruby red color emanates notes of dark fruit. The light body fills your palate with fresh cherry and underscoring spice.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: The Route des Grands Crus

The sun-drenched valley around Burgundy shines emerald in the morning light. After breakfast, your guide leads you along the Route des Grands Crus, a 37-miles long road running along the foothills of Côte d’Or. The limestone border at the heart of Burgundy’s wine region rises into the mountainous ridge. The vines are endless, stretching across the region. At Clos de Vougeot, you pass through the old walls encircling the 125-acre vineyard. The estate was donated to Cistercian monks in the 12th century. The wall was erected in the 14th century.  Rows of vines run back and forth from the wall to the castle, sloping along the natural gradient.

The soil has chalk, soft limestone, and clay qualities that help produce the earthy notes of the wines. The chateau no longer produces wine on the property and is instead divided between numerous wineries that work the land and create the celebrated wines of the region. You continue to the northern edges of Cote de Nuits and tour the family-owned winery of Gevrey-Chambertin, which was established in the mid 19th century. The vineyard is located at an altitude of 1,200 feet. The Petite Chapelle has an earthy hint of truffles on the nose and a fine tart finish of lingering fruit.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 7: A Day in Beaune

The town of Beaune lives for wine in all its glory. In the morning, the sunlight drapes across the multi-colored tiles of the Hôtel-Dieu, a medieval hospice with conical roofing that rolls like hills across the skyline. The gothic architecture combines the influences of Burgundy and Flanders. Golden hues glint against the black and red geometric shapes decorating the structure. Stone gargoyles extend from the wooden frame and spout water onto the cobblestone square when it rains. The marketplace fills with perfect wine accompaniments, from marinated olives to creamy cheeses.

At lunch, you venture to Olivier Leflaive, a winery established in the 1980s covering approximately 30 acres of land. You stroll through the entire winery, noticing the way in which they use oak corks to cork the bottles after having been filled. Your lunch lets you revel in the flavors of the region like a local, indulging in a variety of exquisite wines paired with a delectable dishes. Begin with a cheese puff choux pastry. The stringy warmth of the melted cheese blends into the buttery and golden puff pastry. When you sip the wine, the pale color of the Pinot Blanc blends with the herbal nose. The fresh and citrus palate satisfies with white licorice and light juicy fruits, complimenting the savory components of the cheese.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Lingering Finish

In the morning, wine bars and cafes open their doors and set out tables along the cobblestone streets of Beaune. In spring, bright flowers decorate the city, radiant against the medieval buildings. The locals enjoy lunch at Bar du Square, outside the city’s central walls. A chalkboard explains the specials of the day, with a variety of by-the-glass wines, including a Puligny-Montrachet. On Saturdays, the market sprouts up along the city streets. Old men in barrettes stroll down the lanes and search for the perfect tomato. Women hold blossoming carnations. Fragrant strawberries emanate from the fruit stands. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris for your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer 

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized France vacation packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $400 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $350 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $300 per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within France, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24x7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.