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Not surprisingly, these are our most requested destinations in France, and we revel in taking guests to discover wonderful "unknown" winemakers that we've befriended over the years, as well as visiting the grands crus.
Chablis is one of the least-known regions of France for many people, but it's a "must do" in ouir book - only a couple of hours from downtown Paris, a lovely village with friendly, humble winemakers and wines that express their terroir better than almost anywhere on earth. Come during the annual fete of the Chablisiens (the local winemakers' brotherhood) and see how the French can party!
The Loire is familiar to tourists for the palacial Royal Chateaux built by kings and dukes, but is also home to a vast array of fine - and good value - wines. From the Muscadet of the lower reaches of the river, through Bourgueil, Chinon and the Touraine vineyards, to Sancerre in the upper Loire, there are great reds and whites.
Alsace is one of the lovliest and most unique parts of France, with its northern climate and Franco-German heritage. Wonderful food, a warm welcome everywhere and plenty of great wines and some of the best markets in the world - especially if you're there during the Christmas season!
The Rhone stretches all the way from Lyon to Avignon, with the Cote Rotie and Condrieu, Hermitage and Chateauneuf du Pape offering different geography, grapes and wines, all the way to Menerbes in the Luberon Valley and the roses of Tavel. Along the way there's plenty of history and architecture, jazz festivals and Roman cities.
Provence is best known for the Riviera, but there's plenty of wine to be enjoyed here also. From Aix-en-Provence through Bandols and Cassis on the coast, to Bellet in the hills overlooking Nice there are wines to discover, even on the tiny island Abbey of Lérins where some of France's most expensive wines are produced by the monks.
And Champagne... another unique place! 90 minutes drive from Paris, and you're in the land of bubbly - great names are of course easy to find here, but some of the most interesting wines come from small independent producers. We'll take you to some the best of both!
Avalon Wine Tours has been conducting luxury wine tours in France since 1993 - longer than just about anyone...The reference for winemaking tradition throughout the world, France has a huge variety of terroir and styles of wine.
Bordeaux and Burgundy are each home to some of the world's most famous wineries, but are very different. The great estates of Bordeaux with their extravagent chateaux contrast with Burgundy's famous producers, who may only own a few rows of vines in some of the most prestigious appellations.