Burgundy Wine School
Lessons & Workshops • Wine Tours & Tastings
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Private Courses from One Single Person. In depth and Initiation Wine Classes focusing on the Cote de Beaune & Cote de Nuits. From 2 hours and up to 2 days. Fun & Informative wine Programs for beginners and advanced wine lovers. Open by appointment only. Monday to Friday. Please email us via our website.
Beaune, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

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Burgundy Wine School
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
128 reviews
Excellent
124
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3
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1
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jewelmaker1
Portland, OR10 contributions
Sep 2022
Three of us from the Pacific Northwest United States attended Christina's two hour class in September. Let me say first that Christina Otel-Lafon is a teacher and a wine expert, but not just in evaluating wines. She taught us in a graphic and easy to understand way, how geology, soil type and depth, slope, access to groundwater, and microclimate, all affect where specific grape varietals are grown and how wine from the very same vineyard can change dramatically from one vintage to another. She explained how French laws regulating the winemaking industry have changed from over time and impacted how wines from one vineyard to the next are classified. This educational background gave all of us a much better understanding of wine. We then headed to her wine cave to test a broad range of wine from the very simple young white to the more complex reds. In all we tasted about 10 whites (all chardonnay) and 7 reds (all pinot noirs), of varying vintages and from different Burgundy vineyards. The differences among them was staggering. Christina helped us understand the dynamics of each wine based basically on where the grapes were grown, how they were aged, and what weather was present for the vintage year. She also explained in detail how to read labels in order to make better wine selections at the shop. Christina delivered all this in a professional way and emphasized throughout the importance of selecting wines you enjoy, no matter it's source, vintage, or price. We each walked away with a much better understanding of wine and how to appreciate and purchase it. If that's your goal then don't hesitate to book this experience. You won't regret the investment.
Written October 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

heidner2020
1 contribution
Aug 2019 • Friends
We are 5 friend who have our own little private wineclub where we meet to taste and explore the wines from the main areas in Europe. This time we visited Burgundy and participated in the two days Burgundy course. I have through the years participated in countless tastings, seminars and local visits, but never before have I learned so much in such a personal and professional way.
Cristina has such an impressive knowledge about not only the region and its wines but down to the smallest detail with each producer.
The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, and all questions were answered and explained.
I am personally considering going back for a brush up.
Cristina and the Burgundy Wine School matches a Burgundy Grand Cru wine - the best you can get.
Bendt
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BeeJay1967
Perth, Australia1 contribution
May 2012 • Solo
When I was seeking a guide in Burgundy, I had in mind someone who had an in-depth knowledge of the area and its wines, to organise a tour and winery visits that would suit those with more than a rudimentary knowledge of viticulture and vinification. My expectations were surpassed at every level.

Right from the very first email communication, Cristina showed efficiency and professionalism, which was to continue throughout my intensive three-day visit. She displayed attention to detail, punctuality and, respect, both towards myself and the vignerons we visited. Indeed her ability to put our hosts at ease, whilst simultaneously translating for me, was masterful.

The additional information she provided on the cultural, historical and geographical particularities of the area, while visiting Beaune itself, the outlying villages, and individual Grand Cru vineyards, added to the holistic experience for me.

Cristina obviously has a passion for wine, and Burgundy in particular, a passion that is infectious, and married to an intimate knowledge of winemaking and the wine business. I have no hesitation in recommending her service, and her informative website, to my fellow oenophiles, and hope to return in the not too distant future.

Brendan from Oz
Written November 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

A_Little_Tripsy
Chicago, IL11 contributions
Jun 2011 • Couples
I am sure that Cristina was hoping that I would not write this review, but I feel it is only fair to those of you considering the Taste Burgundy tour.

We, like many, were wowed by the positive reviews of Taste Burgundy and Cristina Otel on Tripadvisor. We had a very limited time in Burgundy during our 2-week tour of France, and we wanted to make the most of our time exploring the region, so we chose an afternoon half-day tour with Christina.

We made our reservations exactly 3 months ahead of trip (as most travel advisors recommend). In total, we exchanged four e-mails. The last of which involved Christina asking how to get to our hotel. She had somewhat brusquely asked us to clarify the name of our hotel, which was the Hotel le Clos (highly rated on Tripadvisor). She asked us to be clearer on the exact name of the hotel, because "Clos is a common name around here," as she said. When I wrote back that the full name of the hotel was, in fact, "Hotel le Clos," her response was, in its entirety, "I have never heard of it but I will find it. -Cristina" And that was the last we heard from her until the day of our scheduled tour.

At 2:00 p.m. on our scheduled day, we went outside the hotel and waited for her to arrive. We waited. And waited. For an hour. At that point we were quite worried that the wineries would be closing for the day before we could really get to see them, and we had to leave Beaune the next day. Finally, I went up to the room and made my first attempt to make a telephone call in France (I was hoping to avoid it). After figuring that out, I was able to reach Christina on her cell phone. Her initial reaction was that I must be wrong, there is nothing on her schedule for that day. She told me she would call me back once when she figured out what the issue was (the issue, quite clearly, was that she had made a mistake). She called back 10 minutes later to apologize and say there was nothing she could do but return our money. Now my wife and I were left with dwindling time to visit the local wineries, and no idea where to go.

My quite upset wife took it upon herself to call Christina back and ask (if not demand) that she tell us which wineries we could still visit without a reservation. Christina then gave us some good suggestions for places we could see without calling ahead, and we were able to see two wineries before they closed at 6:00.

When we returned to our hotel, we were surprised to have the front desk staff stop us to give us a package. It was a bottle of wine and our deposit money, returned in cash. Christina had driven to the hotel and dropped it off while were out. It was a nice gesture, and the reason we give 2 stars instead of 1. We know that Christina was sorry for her mistake. Mistakes happen, it just happened to happen to us this time.
Written October 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vicki T
West Vancouver, Canada3 contributions
Oct 2011 • Couples
This is not your typical educational wine tour. My husband and I along with our friends did not know much about wine let alone the wines of the region. By the end of our 4 hours with Cristina we had a better understanding of the region to enjoy our week there. She took us to some unbelievable locations and with her wealth of knowledge made it a very pleasant afternoon, plus the wines were very delectable!
Written December 16, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AussieRoaming
Portsea, Australia23 contributions
What a wonderful day we had with Cristina, discovering and learning about French wine. We now understand so much more, though we also know how much we don't know! Cristina is a font of knowledge.
Written December 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sam E
Beaune, France1 contribution
Mar 2011
There is no designation "Family" that doesn't specify the age of the children so I should note first that I am nearly thirty and went on the tour with my mother. While I live here in Beaune and know the region well, my mother, though she likes wine and has spent time in France, had never been to Burgundy and I thought a tour such as this would be a great introduction for her, while at the same time relieving me of duties as tour guide. It was the right decision.
Cristina's years of experience, as a student of wine, vineyard worker and tour guide, were clearly on display, as she discussed with us the history of the region, the classification system for the vineyards and soil types, all the while sitting above Pommard with a glass of wine. She was charming, eloquent on the subject at hand and made a complicated subject seem plain and simple.
We drove down to Puligny for a look at Le Montrachet and its' sister grand crus, and then up to Vougeot for a walk through the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, where I had never visited. The giant old wine presses are worth the price of admission alone. Finally we finished with a tasting at Domaine Dominique Gallois in Gevrey-Chambertin. All in all, a memorable and well-spent afternoon.
Written October 23, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael_J_F
Sevenoaks4 contributions
Cristina gave us an excellent day which all four of us – two children and two adults - thoroughly enjoyed, and which well exceeded our expectations. She had clearly put a lot of thought into the day to ensure we were all given a varied, interesting, and enjoyable Burgundy experience. We also appreciated the information she sent us in advance about restaurants and shopping, and the local Burgundy produce she provided for the picnic.

We had two overall objectives for the day: to taste representative examples of good Burgundy and to learn more about the region and the wines. Cristina more than met these objectives. Having collected us from our hotel, she started the day (in a stunning position overlooking the vineyards) with an explanation about wine-making in Burgundy, the different characteristics of the different districts, the details of appellation system, and how to read a Burgundy label. This was a most helpful introduction which put the rest of the day, and the wines we tasted, into much clearer perspective. Cristina has herself worked in wine-making in both Burgundy and Australia, so the information she gave us and the answers to our questions had the considerable benefit of first-hand knowledge and experience and were exactly what we wanted. We also appreciated her choice of wine-tasting visits to producers in the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. The wines we tasted were not only good representatives of their appellations and vintages, but also gave us an appreciation of the way in which the different red and white styles vary widely over really quite small areas.

We spent 8-9 hours with her, but the day didn't end there. Cristina obtained us a reservation at "Aupres du Clocher" in Pommard. We had a lovely meal there, and enjoyed a bottle of Pommard 1° Cru recommended by the restaurant. The combination of the Pommard and the mousse d'epoisse was one of the most perfect food/wine combinations I have ever tasted!
Written July 26, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fogland
San Francisco, CA20 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
Rather than overwhelm by recapping all the excellent reviews about Cristina Otel and her wonderful Burgundy Wine School, I'll just start by saying I'd read and relied on the many excellent Trip Advisor reviews in deciding to hire Cristina as our wine teacher and Guide to the wines of Burgundy. The reviews were helpful and very accurate, so our thanks to Cristina's prior reviewers, you made it very easy for us to hire her for her full-day class.

Given the significant cost of the full-day, which turned out to be more than well worth the money in every respect, I also corresponded by email with Cristina prior to finalizing our booking, to discuss how the day would unfold, ask questions, explain my hopes for what we would learn, etc. and, again, we got exactly what we asked for and expected.

You can do cheaper wine schools, and several also have rave reviews. What clinched it for me was that your family and/or friends group - whether 1, 2 or more - will be Crristina's only clients for that day, the price is the same if you are one or more. In our case, it was just my wife and me, and we learned far more from 10 am to 7 pm alone with Cristina than would ever have been possible in a larger "put-together group".

In addition, if we were going to splurge on this day early in our stay in Burgundy, so that the rest of our trip was benefitted by what we learned with Cristina, I also wanted the opportunity to taste and understand Burgundy's best and most famous wines, its Grand Crus, which we did throughout the day.

In fact, during the afternoon of our day together, having expressed an interest in the wines of Gevrey-Chambertin, Cristina stopped off at a local producer, bought a reasonably-priced Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru, and then drove us to the specific vineyard where it was grown. We sat on an old stone wall looking out at the vineyard where our grapes had been grown while Cristina had us taste the gorgeous wine. Then we discussed its terroir and all the other factors that go into the Burgundian wines which Cristina had taught us about that day, turning a lesson into a peak moment of the day and our trip.

Finally, about Cristina. She is a wonderful teacher, patient and passionate about her subject. She is an interesting person that we loved spending the day with and she is fun to be with. She also provided us with great course materials, as well as terrific suggestions for other vineyards to visit, many terrific restaurant and other recommendations in Burgundy and near-by, many of which were in a long email that is priceless and contains spot-on recommendations and advice.

We have been traveling in France more than two weeks. Our day with Cristina is our trip highlight so far, and undoubtedly will remain within the top two or three days of our trip. Mercí Cristina!
Written September 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Quax
Boston, MA61 contributions
Apr 2012 • Couples
We spent an entire day with Cristina and learned more than we have before about wine making, terroir, the impact of different soils on the wines, tasted some wonderful wines and met fun winemakers, and all in all, enjoyed ourselves tremendously. We also kept our wine map that Cristina drew and even bought our own to help us in the future! Great investment and we will come back!
Written April 30, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Burgundy Wine School (Beaune) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go