Wine Tasting & Appreciation Barge Cruise
La Belle Epoque's wine-themed cruise for charter groups includes a comprehensive wine itinerary with additional winery visits, private tastings and the services of a professional wine guide. There is also an upgrade of the wine list to include additional premier and grand cru wines.
Sunday, Day 1 - Tanlay
Guests are met in central Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to La Belle Epoque. A champagne reception with canapés welcomes you on board and the opportunity to meet the captain and crew. Time to settle into your cabin before your wine guide arrives to introduce himself and outline the week's itinerary. Then enjoy your first dinner aboard and an introduction to Burgundy’s excellent cuisine.
Monday, Day 2 - Tanlay to Lezinnes
After breakfast we enjoy a leisurely cruise to our mooring at Lezonnes, with the opportunity to cycle or walk into the picturesque canalside villages. Following lunch, we visit the town of Chablis, dating back to Roman times, and enjoy a private wine tasting at the prestigious Domaine Laroche. There, we also visit the 1000-year-old Obediencerie, originally part of the monastery of St Martin, the founders of Chablis, where for centuries, the Domaine’s wines have been aged. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Lezinnes to Ancy le Franc
After breakfast, we continue our lazy cruise up the Burgundy Canal to our mooring at Ancy-le-Franc, again with plenty of opportunity to wander or cycle ahead as the vessel ascends through the locks. After lunch on board, we visit Château d’Ancy-le-Franc. This beautifully symmetrical, 16th-century masterpiece contains France’s largest collection of Renaissance murals and is set in magnificent gardens and parkland. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 - Ancy le Franc to Ravières
A truly unique day lies ahead. Following breakfast aboard we head to Les Riceys, the only wine growing area of the Champagne region to have three Appellation d'Origine Contrôlées. Here we visit Maison Taisne Riocour, viewing the vineyards and winery before tasting some of their champagnes. We then head to Château de Ricey-Bas; with its 12th-century vaulted cellars and thousand-year history it’s the ideal location to appreciate the rolling vineyards and enjoy a glimpse of family life in a rural château. Here we will be greeted for a Champagne aperitif and a gourmet lunch with the Baroness herself, which we take in either the private salon or the atmospheric vaulted 13th-century kitchen. We will spend the remainder of the afternoon strolling the beautiful gardens or exploring the regal château interiors. Upon your return to the barge we'll begin our cruise to Ancy-le-Franc, with plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle along the towpath… or sit on deck with another glass of bubbly! Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 - Ravières to Montbard
Leaving the barge shortly after breakfast we drive south with our wine guide to some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world. In the town of Nuits-St-Georges, we visit a small family wine producer to visit their cellar and taste some of their world renowned Pinot Noirs from villages, including Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée. After lunch in the wine capital of Beaune we return to the barge and enjoy a cruise to Montbard passing the Forges de Buffon on the banks of the tiny yet powerful Armancon River, whose power was harnessed to run the forge. Light dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 -Montbard to Venarey les Laumes
Morning cruise through woodlands and rolling fields with great towpath biking and walking opportunities past the tiny canal side villages of Nogent, Courcelles and Les Granges. This afternoon we escort you to the exquisite World Heritage Unesco site of Abbayé de Fontenay founded by St Bernard in 1118. Representing a distinctive example of early Cistercian architecture and virtually intact, Fontenay allows an exceptional glimpse of early Cistercian life and industry with its peaceful gardens and ponds and fascinating cloisters, dormitories and scriptorium. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 - Venarey les Laumes
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris.
NOTE: On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.