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Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:35 pm
by JohnToo
My wife and have conceived a romantic vision of a lazy tour in French sunshine, staggering from one wine tasting to another. Any suggestions or experience of the best way/place to turn that vision into something approaching reality?

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:35 pm
by Iris
Unless you like the full-on snob experience, look for the caves co-operatives - likely to be spit and sawdust places where you can pick up a few litres of vin en vrac for a few Euros if you supply the bottle. Or you can buy bottles or bag-in-box for a bit more.

Many years ago we did a driving tour through Champagne, Beaujolais, Burgundy and Rhone - the length of France over about 3 weeks - and came back with a boot full of bottles. But do it this month or next, because no-one knows what the import duty situation will be like in April.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:38 am
by JohnToo
Iris wrote:
8 months ago
Unless you like the full-on snob experience, look for the caves co-operatives - likely to be spit and sawdust places where you can pick up a few litres of vin en vrac for a few Euros if you supply the bottle. Or you can buy bottles or bag-in-box for a bit more.

Many years ago we did a driving tour through Champagne, Beaujolais, Burgundy and Rhone - the length of France over about 3 weeks - and came back with a boot full of bottles. But do it this month or next, because no-one knows what the import duty situation will be like in April.
Thanks. I think the basic choice of bicycles may place some limit on the number of bottles involved....

Having driven through each of those wine regions, which would you feel lent itself to cycling best?

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:44 pm
by Iris
A bike tour? A bike tour?! Why didn't you say? What is this? Some sort of cycling forum?!

In that case I'd suggest the Rhone valley. Less pretentious than the areas further north (mostly) and a wider range of wine styles, plus things to do other than drink and ride. And eventually you end up at the Camargue, which is gorgeous and wild.

Alternatively, there's always the Loire valley - but the weather is better further south.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:50 pm
by JohnToo
:)
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Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:46 pm
by Joan
Easter 2011 I spent a few days near Amboise, on the Loire. We took our folding bikes and had a lovely 30+km pootle around the area. Cycling was great, You could stay in the valley where most of the wineries had their "caves" or venture up into the hills where the vines were. There was a cycle path along the river, which is good and bad: it meant we got tooted on the road because drivers knew there was a cycle path parallel, but we didn't.

The hotel we stayed at which was very basic, but lovely in it's own way told me they the cyclists that departed as we arrived at to checkout had left most of their luggage with the hotelier, who was sending it on (via cab, I assume) to their next hotel.

There was a wine and food expo in the literal cave under Amboise. It was hot (even for 3 Australians in April) so we went underground. My partner noticed that they were reading numbers over the PA, and further that the numbers were on his entrance ticket. We won a hamper.

I would definitely recommend Amboise/Loire.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:36 pm
by Joan
Oh, I've got that pootle on strava.

It's nearly an animal!


Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:00 pm
by Regulator
Joan wrote:
7 months ago
Oh, I've got that pootle on strava.

It's nearly an animal!



We were just along the road in Monteaux...

...albeit we were in a car (we had my mother with us).

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:07 pm
by Greg
Regulator wrote:
7 months ago
We were just along the road in Monteaux...

...albeit we were in a car (we had my mother with us).
I was just up the hill in the Novotel, I was only there one night though (work).

Have we all been to Amboise?

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:43 pm
by Rutabaga
I have been there too, on a CTC cycling holiday some years back. It was lovely.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:02 pm
by ransos
Greg wrote:
7 months ago

Have we all been to Amboise?
No.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:04 pm
by Regulator
ransos wrote:
7 months ago
No.
Now you have something to look forward to...

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:05 pm
by LowlifeDes
ransos wrote:
7 months ago
No.
You are Spartacus.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:52 am
by Greg
ransos wrote:
7 months ago
No.
You surprise me.

Re: Touring vineyards in France

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:29 pm
by Planetary Gear
I've cycled down the Rhone valley, in the dim and distant. It's quite fun, as the prevailing slope and wind are both in your favour, by and large. DO NOT try and go up the valley, as everything is against you and you will cry.
There's a big hill nearby too, if you get as far as Avignon.
Alsace is also worthy of consideration, although it varies between really flat and far-too-hilly-by half, with not a lot in between. The wine and food are excellent though.