Three great wine districts on a single trip, is it possible? Absolutely! On the tour “Three Classics” we combine Champagne, Chablis and Sancerre, three classic French wine regions. Beginning in Sancerre and ending in Champagne it is filled with beautiful landscapes, fine wines and good food.
Meeting point at Gare de Lyon. One of Paris’s main railway stations. It may not sound very flashy for an exclusive wine tour. But it is a good choice. It’s easy to get to Paris by plane, and the Gare de Lyon is easy to find in Paris. But most importantly: from Gare de Lyon it is quick to get to the wine lands.
And out in the wine regions is where you want to be as soon as possible. If you join us on a Three Classics wine tour you will have a comfortable ride there, just over two hours by bus south east of Paris. Just enough time to get a brief introduction to the tour and to the first wine district. Once you see the sign with grapevines (yes, grapevines on the road sign), we are almost there.
I will not go into all the details about the trip, you can find the tour program here, but only give you some highlights. But highlights is perhaps not the right word, there are no highlights. The entire trip is a highlight!
But we actually do start on a literally high point. The town of Sancerre is situated on a hill, a small mountain, with expansive views in all directions. The hotel is with good reason called Hotel Panoramic.
This is trip especially for white wine enthusiast and bubble wine enthusiast.
Sancerre is perhaps the world’s premier region for fresh and aromatic wines made from Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc has become very popular thanks to the success of Sauvignon Blanc wines from New Zealand in recent years. Here in Sancerre we get “the original”. May I say that the original is probably more elegant and more subtle than the far-away variant?
But there is a very good family feeling between Sancerre and New Zealand. Some of the wine producers in Sancerre have also invested in vineyards in New Zealand. So on one of winery visits you will probably have the opportunity to try even the Kiwi variant. But you can never be quite sure. They make more than 20 different wines there and we might not taste them all…
In France they talk a lot about terroir and soil. Terroir is a little broader concept, but perhaps the most important aspect of it is the soil. This trip is also an excellent illustration of how important the soil is for the wine. All three districts are located in an area that was once the ocean floor. There are many similarities but also many differences.
The most fascinating comparison is perhaps between Chablis and Champagne. In Chablis the exclusively use the chardonnay grape. In Champagne Chardonnay is also an important grape although it is joined by pinot noir and pinot meunier. However, many producers do a 100% chardonnay champagne, a so-called blanc de blanc. And of course there are many similarities between Chablis and Champagne, if you disregard the fact that one has bubbles.
Both Chablis and Champagne are wines with a tight, elegant acidity, sometimes almost ethereal, but often with a little more body. But still very different. You will get many illustrations of this on this tour.
Both Champagne and Chablis (as well as Sancerre course!) are perfect to match with many different kinds of food. Also this will be well-illustrated on this tour. For instance, we have a sumptuous dinner at the best restaurant in Chablis. Its sommelier knows us since long and usually digs out something really exciting from the cellar when we arrive.
Also in champagne you will enjoy some sumptuous gastronomy. Self-evidently. Champagne is the epitome of luxury so what else could you expect? It is easy to see champagne “just” as something to celebrate with, or to have simply as aperitif. But that is wrong. Well, not wrong, but under-estimating the potential of Champagne. It is an excellent wine to go with food. You will get to enjoy a lunch at a champagne producer’s where you will be served champagne throughout the meal. Or rather, champagnes with an s. We usually go through at least four or five different champagnes, with almost as many dishes, before we get to the coffee. After that, I hope that you will agree that champagne is an excellent beverage!
And finally it’s off back to Paris and the Gare de Lyon, to our meeting and parting place. In addition, having the meeting point in Paris can also be a good excuse to extend the holiday with a few extra days in Paris, and that cannot be wrong, can it?
You can find more details about the Three Classics wine and food tour to Sancerre, Chablis and Champagne here.