5 eonotouristic destinations
Our selection of wine cellars open to the public to drink the spring’s return away.
Wine tourism is very trendy: the 10 000 French cellars open to the public attracted 7.5 million visitors, according to Atout France, the public tourism promotion agency. Winegrowers don’t just open their cellar to visitors, they become more and more creative to offer new activities. The latter favor a family story, a soil and appellations, and add a real cultural dimension to touristic holidays.
In the heart of Provence
From Cassis to Bandol, the most prestigious appellations in the region offer breath-taking landscapes. The sunniest vineyards in France are cultivated in “restanques”, sort of typical Provence terraces, and they can be up to 150 meters high. The Brunan Domains, in Bandol, reveal a fabulous case. Winetasting with exceptional dishes (oysters, truffles, ceps…), smart walks or exhibitions in the thunder room, this familial domain offers amateurs an original and welcoming way to discover wine.
White wine lovers will drop by Cassis, 30 kilometers away from there. At the foot of the Cap Canaille ochre cliff, the Clos Sainte Magdeleine is worth the ride.
, Moulin des Costes, 338 chemin de Fontanieu, 83740 La Cadière-d'Azur
Clos Sainte Magdeleine
, Avenue du Revestel, 13260 Cassis
Where to sleep:
Where to sleep: the Cypriado, a peace haven in the purely Provence style in the heart of the Bandol vineyards (double room from 90€ a night).
605 chemin de Fontanieu, 83740 La Cadière-d'Azur
In the Rhône Valley
From Vienna to Nîmes and Avignon, on both sides of the Rhône, vineyards deploy a multitude of geological types and varieties, including the thirteen varieties of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. To discover all the specificities, stop by the Château Beauchêne, in Piolenc, which has an ampelographic garden where you can practice you varietals identification.
On the same appellation, drop by the Maison Ogier to visit (if you booked) its cellars, some of the largest in the region, and its conservatory of the 4 terroirs of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. An occasion to improve your knowledge of the vineyard!
Further north, the Maison Meffre, famous Gigondas trade institution, welcomes visitors on its Longue Toque Domain for wine tasting workshops centered on terroir, syrah or winemaking.
, 1452 route de Beauchêne, 84420 Piolenc
, 10 avenue Pasteur, 84230 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
, et Maison Meffre Événements
, Le Village, Route des Princes d'Orange, 84190 Gigondas
Where to sleep:
take some rest at the Provence gates in the lovely guest house of the Domaine de ProvenSol. Taste the property’s wines on the shaded terrace and enjoy the immersion in the winegrowers’ daily life to recharge your batteries. (Double room from 109 euros a night)
Domaine de ProvenSol
, Route de Vinsobres, 26110 Venterol
In the Mâconnais
Kingdom of the Chardonnay, of the Pouilly-fuissé and of the Saint-Véran, the Mâconnais has many appealing traits for eonotourists. Start your tour with a stop at the Hameau Duboeuf in Romanèche-Thorins. A 10 000 m² ultra-pedagogical oenotouristic center where one can both familiarize with winegrowing, wine aromas, taste and enjoy unusual attractions (3D movie theater, nacelles…).
Between the Roche de Solutré and the Abbaye de Cluny, don’t miss the Château de Pierreclos, an ancient stronghold looking out over the valley and producing its vintage over 8 hectares of vineyards! Besides the breath-taking panorama, the authentic timeless castle is provided with 5 very comfortable guest houses and… a medieval museum! From 155 euros a night in a double room.
Hameau du Vin
, 796 route de la Gare, 71570 Romanèche-Thorins
, 71960 Pierreclos
Where to eat:
at the Ô des Vignes, in Fuissé. The chef Sébastien Chambru, 2 forks on the Michelin guide, offers an inventive market cuisine! In the summer, one can even have a drink of wine on a small guingette-like vineyard parcel facing his establishment.
L'Ô de Vignes
, 129 rue du Bourg, 71960 Fuissé
Between Saumur and Tours
The Val de Loire vineyard is as impressive as its famous castles. At least, it multiplies their appeal. Walk through the old-stoned alleys, looked out over by a proud castle. In what is known as the “bubble street”, on the banks of the Thouet, sparkling wine houses are legion.
At Ackerman’s, Crémant producer, visit the underground cellars through a “journey to the center of the bubble”. Contemporary artists exhibit their work in this impressive place.
Not far from there, the Maison Bouvet Ladubay offers a bike tour on 2.5 kilometers throughout the cellars. At the end of June, for the Anjou Vélo Vintage, you will be joined by 3500 cyclists wearing period costumes.
Maison Bouvet Ladubay
, 11 rue Jean Ackerman, 49400 St-Hilaire-St-Florent
Bear in mind:
on the 16th of July, the Château de Chenonceau offers an evening winetasting, under the stars!
Where to sleep:
at the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud hotel, the largest monastery city in Europe. The 4 stars establishment, set up in a priory, shelters an odd iBar for those who love wine and culture clash.
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud
, 49590 Fontevraud-l'Abbaye
At Bordeaux’s entry
In the heart of the Pessac-Léognan appellation, enjoy a retirement in one of the guest houses of the Château Le Pape. This renovated chartreuse, surrounded by 9 hectares of vineyards, is a peace haven with its landscaped garden, its pool and its wine library. (Bedrooms from 220 euros)
Not far from there, the Château Haut-Bailly can welcome you to its Private Table, rewarded with a Best Of Wine Tourism, for a gastronomic experience around the property’s wines.
Château Le Pape
, 34 chemin le Pape, 33850 Léognan
, 103 avenue de Cadaujac, 33850 Léognan