Ah, Paris, land of luxury, romance, and, of course, endless amounts of bon vin. With the rise of affordable airlines, flying from the U.S. to Europe has never been more accessible — and easier on your wallet. While it’s certainly easy to land in Paris and spend your days sipping along the Seine, planning a day trip to one of France’s luscious wine regions is actually pretty easy. Not sure where to start? Check out one of the following three regions during your next trip to the City of Light. Best of all, the high-speed TGV train even has a station right at Charles de Gaulle airport– make a wine tour your first stop!
Most wine professionals will agree that wines of the Loire Valley are some of the best quality-to-price ratio in the entire world. Welcome to the land of Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc (locally known as Breton), Sauvignon Blanc, and other well-known grape varieties. While heading all the way East to Muscadet might be a little excessive, take the fast train to Tours and discover the savory Cabernet Francs of Chinon, regarded as some of the best in the world. Drive slightly east to Vouvray and sip on luscious Chenin, made in styles ranging from bone-dry to deliciously sweet. This is a trip you won’t forget.
Definitely the most popular out of the three choices, but always a solid choice. For a more city-like experience, grab the fast train to Reims and visit the bigger houses, including Ruinart, Taittinger, and Veuve Clicquot. For a more curated experience, head to Epernay to discover some of the smaller, family-owned houses (AR Lenoble is one of our favorites!). Be advised, for the latter, setting up appointments in advance will most likely be necessary, but totally worth it — because you can never go wrong with a glass of Champagne, right?
The longest of the three voyages, but definitely worth it. Still, the TGV/TER combo from Paris gets you to Beaune in just over two hours. There, you’ll find some of the best tasting rooms in the entire country as well as a gastronomical heaven for savory French cuisine. While visiting producers may be a little more difficult, renting a car and making a few calls should do the trick. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay lovers, this one’s for you.