I have great expectations of this trip - and I hope that it does not disappoint. I had originally thought that perhaps I could visit the Beaujolais area of France (Lyon) as that is my favorite wine to drink and brings back such fond memories of living in New York City and celebrating the winter months with good friends and fruity wine. However, the distance between Paris and Lyon is just too great to attempt during this short trip. So that led me on an internet search for a wine tour that is within a day's travel of the city. One option was Riems, home to the great champagnes of the world - but I am not much for the bubbly, so I continued to search.
I booked with Wine Day Tours because they offer small groups (no more than eight) - private mini van service - visits to two local wineries who promise to take us out to vineyards and truly teach us the process from start to finish - as well as a sampling of their fine products - and a visit to a local farm that makes chevre (goat cheese - my favorite!). This is an all day affair (7:30AM - 7:30PM) and includes breakfast and lunch. I hope to document this unique educational adventure with lots of photographs. I only hope that I am not the only single in the trip and feel like a fifth wheel.
WOW -- what a marvelous day with terrific people and a wonderful tour guide!
I had to meet Jean-Bernard at an unfamiliar metro stop this morning at 7:40. He is happy to pick up customers at hotels, but for obvious reasons he can't be expected to make stops at every apartment. I arrived right on time and he was only about 5 minutes later than expected PERFECT timing!
The van was full - and all of South American decent. There was a couple (probably early thirties) from Brazil and very welcoming; two girlfriends on vacation from Brazil (probably mid thirties) and one was the life of the party - a real delight; and then two guys from San Francisco, probably mid twenties who were very nice but still dealing with jet-lag.
While Jean-Bernard has only been doing this tour a little over a year (he was let go from work about two years ago - spent a year deciding what he really wanted to do - and then started the company) - he is a top of the line professional. He schedules stops every hour - so those who have rather small bladders do not have to suffer. The first stop (just outside of Paris) he included hot coffee a croissants for us to munch on. The next stop was just outside of Pouilly - at a goat cheese farm: Ferme du Port Aubry. Absolutely delightful!!
All in all an absolutely fantabulous day --- and I am now very excited to see Giverny tomorrow!