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Wine tasting in France: our top three destinations

Posted 13 Dec 2017

Wine tasting in France is a dream holiday for many of us, but how do you decide where to go in a country that has an abundance of vineyards? We’ve distilled your choices down to our top three châteaux, with stunning backdrops of the Loire Valley, Bordeaux and Burgundy.

grapes in vineyards

Sip Chinon at Château de Rivau

Nestled in the heart of Touraine, in the Loire Valley in central France, you'll find the fairy tale Château de Rivau. Combining medieval architecture with romantic renaissance touches, the castle has historic connections to a real-life heroine – Joan of Arc summoned her horses for battle from the stables here.

It’s in these historic surroundings that you can sip some of the best wines that the 185,000 acres of Loire vineyards have to offer, and find out why they are renowned all over the world for their unique taste. You can also sample one of the celebrated Chinon vintages, which – unusually for the region – features mostly light red wines.

Red wine

Fall in love with life (and wine) at Château de Pommard

At Château de Pommard, the emphasis is placed on slowing down. Wander around the expansive grounds, unwind over a glass or two, and relax. The château sits three kilometres south of Beaune, the capital of the famed Burgundy region, and its 20 hectares of vines make it the area’s largest private clos. The wine here is steeped in history: the château stands on the site where, in the 11th century, Benedictine, Cluniac and Cistercian monks and nuns first starting using standardised vineyard practices and tools.

Wine tastings here are perfect for everyone from novices to seasoned sommeliers, as château experts take you through the basics and also delve deeper into the wine-making process. If you don't feel like brushing up on your wine knowledge and you prefer to admire the surroundings, simply head outside to sip on a delectable Pinot Noir by the elegant yellow-stone château.

Vineyards France

Get artistic at Château Malromé

Located in the southwest of France, Bordeaux is known for its robust wines and artistic sensibilities. Where better to sample a taste of both than at Château Malromé, a stunning 16th century castle that became the home of Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec, mother of famed Parisian artist Henri. Although entrenched in Paris life, Henri would return to Malromé each summer and remain until the grape harvest, which he depicts in several of his paintings – many of which adorn the château's walls.

Visitors can take part in a guided tour of the Toulouse-Lautrec former residence, before tasting Château Malromé's wonderful produce. Head to the large terrace that overlooks the castle’s 57 hectares to sample the vintage wines produced on-site, while also drinking in the breathtaking scenery.

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