Discovering France Through Wine

Discovering another side of France with enotourism

As much as I love Paris, there is so much more to France than just Paris. Most people won’t even go off the beaten tourist path of Paris. That’s why, when Atout France offered me this trip, I decided to take on the challenge to show a different side of France through enotourism — tourism that revolves around the wine industry.

Little did I know when I accepted this trip that it would truly be the adventure of a lifetime. Along with one of my best friends Eve, I discovered a new side of France that I didn’t know about — and I’m very excited about it.

Here are the experiences, restaurants, places & activities that caught my attention while I was travelling in France.

P.S.: you still have time to participate in the contest I announced in blog post where I announced this trip. Make sure to check out the contest if you haven’t already


Paris

First stop of our wine trip was Paris. Obviously, the French wine is mostly made out of Paris, but there’s a lot of wine consumption in the Ville-Lumière. En route to Lyon, the final destination, our 24 hours stopover in Paris with Air France allowed us to meet true wine aficionados in the city and experience the city from a new perspective.

Discover Paris in a 2CV with a private driver with Paris Authentic — Travel — Activities — Jeff On The Road — All photos are under Copyright © 2018 Jeff Frenette Photography / dezjeff. To use the photos, please contact me at dezjeff@me.com.
Discover Paris in a 2CV with a private driver with Paris Authentic — Travel — Activities — Jeff On The Road — All photos are under Copyright © 2018 Jeff Frenette Photography / dezjeff. To use the photos, please contact me at dezjeff@me.com.

Vantre

After crossing the pond overnight, Marco Pelletier was waiting for us in his wine bar located in the 11ème arrondissement. Marco is a Canadian sommelier that has a huge background in the best restaurants of Paris and France. He opened a few years ago and it gained in popularity with locals as much as tourists. Rumor has it that Beyoncé and Jay Z had dinner there back in July — no wonder why, it’s scrumptious and their wine list is carefully curated to serve only the best vines out there.


Kube Hotel Paris

After a wonderful meal at Vantre, it was definitely time for a quick nap before exploring Paris. Quick and flawless check-in process and hop, I was jumping into the large comfy white bed. Kube Hotel Paris is conveniently located between Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est right in the 18ème arrondissement.

Kube Hotel Paris also is host to a beautiful restaurant and bar named Jungle — where you’ll definitely feel right in the middle of the Amazonian Forest for a few hours.

If you’re into quirky boutique hotels, you’ll have an amazing time at Kube Hotel Paris.


2CV Tour with Paris Authentic

Now, if you wanna have the ultimate tourist experience in Paris — without any walking involved — this was made for you. Paris Authentic offers different kind of tours with a private driver in a mythic Citroën 2CV. I had the best time riding through the narrowest streets of Montmartre and Saint-Germain-des-Prés to reach our last destination in Paris: De Vinis Illustribus. It offers a unique view of Paris with fun insights from a real local driver. Loved every minute of it.


De Vinis Illustribus

Before heading off to Lyon to discover the Beaujolais and Drôme Provençale regions, we had the chance to do a wine tasting at De Vinis Illustribus — a place that offers wine lovers a unique experience with rare wines from their fabulous cellar.


A NEW BUSINESS LOUNGE AT PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE (https://corporate.airfrance.com/en/news/new-business-lounge-paris-charles-de-gaulle)

Technically, this one is located 25km North East of Paris, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you ever have the chance to fly business with Air France. This is one the most beautiful airport lounges I’ve had the chance to see and experience. The customer experience was tailored to reflect the French savoir-faire and touch through the food, the wine, the spa treatments, etc. They even have showers where you can refresh and small pods where you can rest for a bit — but the biggest highlight for me was definitely the Clarins Spa where you can get facials and massages before your long haul flight.


Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

After spending some time in Paris, now was the time to explore Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: first stop Beaujolais to learn everything about this winemaking region located north of Lyon. After two days, we moved south to explore Drôme Provençale. Both regions are very unique and emanate different vibes through their own specificities.


Sweeping panoramic view atop Mont Brouilly

To have a good sense of what the region looks like, we headed up Mont Brouilly that offers a wonderful panoramic view over four types of landscape that can be found in the region — “val de Saône”, the vineyard hills, the “Pays des pierres dorées” and the “monts du Beaujolais”. On location, you can also learn more about the different types of rocks and soil laying underneath your feet that makes a Beaujolais wine. This site is part of Beaujolais UNESCO Global Geopark network.


Lunch at La Terrasse du Beaujolais à Chiroubles

After learning everything about the the famous blue stone of the Beaujolais region, we had lunch at La Terrasse du Beaujolais, a restaurant located in Chiroubles that offers typical cuisine found in the Beaujolais region.


Wine tasting and tour of Domaine Château de Pizay

Now that lunch was over, we made our way to Château de Pizay in St-Jean-d’Ardières for a fun wine tasting activity that put all of our senses at test. Fabulous location and the gardens were so impressively well taken care of.


Overnight and dinner at Domaine du Mont Verrier

Domaine du Mont Verrier is located right at the center of Beaujolais, precisely in Saint-Julien. It is a bed & breakfast that is located in a vineyard — did anyone say perfect place to stay when you’re in the region? I think so! 

From check-in to check-out, you’ll be taken care of in the best possible way. Edith was so welcoming, cheerful and prepared us the best meals in the most beautiful setting on the terrasse outside.


Vineyards Segway tour with Mobilboard Villefranche-Beaujolais

After a good night of sleep at Domaine du Mont Verrier, it was time for an unusual activity for me: riding a Segway in the vineyards and in a medieval village. The folks at Mobilboard Villefranche-Beaujolais gave us a crash course on how to use the Segway and minutes later, we were on our way to nearby medieval village called Oingt. After riding through the old cobblestone streets, we were on our way to “slalom” through the vineyards to make our way back to the starting point. What a fun activity!


Lunch at La Table du Donjon in Oingt

That Segway activity definitely opened my appetite and here we were, at La Table du Donjon, sipping on a glass of Beaujolais with a magnificent view on the surroundings. They offer a gastronomic menu in a somewhat casual setting. One of the best tables of the region.


2CV Tour with Diabolo Spirit

Rode through the winding roads of the Beaujolais with Diabolo Spirit after having lunch at La Table du Donjon. I felt like I was in a French movie that was shot in the country. I even drove the 2CV in a parking lot — it was my first time driving a manual car — what a crazy experience!


Apéro and wine tasting at Domaine des Terres Vivantes

After riding the 2CV, we ended up at Domaines des Terres Vivantes to meet Ludovic and tour his property. He gave us a thorough explanation on how he produces natural wines and bread. We tasted a few of his own vintages.


Harvest Dinner at Emmanuel Fellot

Now for this one, we definitely had a lot of chance of getting an invitation. Usually, the harvest dinner is reserved to the grape pickers that have been working tirelessly for the past few weeks. We were definitely very lucky to join them in their festivities. There was such an unique ambiance that night, I’ll never forget. I also had one of the best meals ever: cooked saucisson in a wine sauce, absolutely delightful. Needless to say this night implied a lot of great wine too!


Drôme Provençale

After spending a few days in the Beaujolais region, we headed south to La Drôme Provençale, a region that is well-known for its many vineyards, lavender fields and overall Provence feel without all the hustle and bustle from actual Provence.


Domaine de Grangeneuve à Roussas

 


Le Clair de la Plume


Chapouton Farm


Domaine M Chapoutier


Gîte Chapoutier L’Ermite 3


My Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Google Maps

My Paris Google Maps


 

 

 


Want to win a trip for 2 to France?

I’ve also been told there’s a huge contest for you guys — you could win a dream trip for 2 in France in October of next year. How does that sound? Exciting, eh!

The prize

  • A trip for two to France provided by Air France, Occitanie-Sud de France and CroisiEurope.
  • Air France flights to Lyon and back from Toulouse
  • Gastronomy and vineyards cruise departing Lyon, France on October 23, 2019
  • Train ride from Lyon to Toulouse
  • Two night stay in the Cahors vineyards
  • Car rental for two days in Toulouse

All the details on how to participate will be included on this website.

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