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All reviews goat cheese farm jean bernard french countryside loire valley french wine day trip wine making wine enthusiast champagne region cheese making pouilly fume cheese maker wine maker moet chandon tour guide dom perignon champagne tour
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Reviewed September 23, 2018 via mobile

Fantastic trip with a stop at a big name house, lunch at a smaller family owned estate and a coop. Richard was great and kept us all entertained and his knowledge was impeccable. Definitely a great day trip that would be few to do as a couple or group but was even fun alone.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Sam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2018 via mobile

A great day spent in the Champagne region. A great itinerary and plenty of tasting during the day. JB is knowledgeable, friendly and made sure we had a great experience.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Brooke C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2018

We did two tours with Jean-Bernard (JB) on consecutive days. The first was the Wine Enthusiast Tour to the Loire-Valley (Sancerre) and Burgandy region. The other was the Champagne Enthusiast to the Reims and Epernay areas of the Champagne region.

I cannot recommend these trips more. I wish I could give more stars. Review the website for details of each of these tours. JB was fantastic. Funny, passionate and extremely knowledgeable and took lots of pictures for the group which he later forwarded to us. You can’t go wrong with either of these tours – worth every euro. If you want more details read on. I will also post some pictures.

So, starting with the logistics of getting to the bus for the start of the tour. JB gives great directions when you book. The tour starts a little bit out of central Paris (where we were staying) which is great because you don’t waste time in traffic getting out of central Paris. We would highly recommend you take the metro from wherever you are staying. It is so easy and costs about 1.5 euros each way. Some folks used Uber or taxis to get to the meeting place and end up being a little late due to traffic and it costs 10’s of euros.

For the Wine Enthusiast tour (our first day), JB drove a mini-van which was comfortable and actually created a good atmosphere for all of the tour guests.
We visited the Port Aubry cheese farm which like wine has its own “region” crottin de Chavignol. This was a really interesting bonus as we had no idea of what goes into making this famous and very tasty cheese. (Yes we sampled!)

Next we visited Domain Champeau, (Pouilly- Fume wine) in the village of Sancerre. This where JB taught us about the terroir that makes up the uniqueness of each French wine and why the French order wine by the region and not the grape varietal. We tasted 3 excellent wines grown in a different soils and areas (terroir) on the winery.

As part of the tour cost, we had a fantastic lunch at Cote des Monts Damnes, Loire village de Chavignol, Sancerre. This is a really lovely restaurant where we tasted a Sancerre but others tasted Chateaumeillant Red or Rosé & White from Domaine Bourgeois.

We visited two other wineries where we tasted a Sancerre white (from a flinty soil) at the House of Sancerre and 4 different wines (red & white) from Estate Domaine Champault et fils.

In all we tasted 9 wines. We toured the wineries but also JB gave us some time to explore the small beautifully picturesque villages we passed through. I’ll post some pictures.

On the second day, we met JB at the same location but this time he had a larger bus with a driver because there were more guests. It wasn’t a huge bus so there was still that personal contact with JB and the other guests.

We started in Reims visiting a fantastic cheese and wine shop Vins et Fromages du Boulingrin. JB and the shop owner once again explaining the making and maturing of the different cheeses we sampled. We moved on to the unbelievable Notre Dame Cathedral (not to be confused with the one in Paris) first built in about 491 AD. A true highlight! Google the history you’ll be amazed.

We visited the famous Fossier biscuit maker and tasted some samples. JB told us that these are best had dunked in Champagne! It was time for us to visit the Mumm Champagne wine house were we had a fantastic tour and tasted Champagne Brut (Cordon Rouge). The tour takes you through the entire process while walking through the world heritage tunnels hewn out of the chalk.

Included in the cost of the tour, we had a great lunch at the Boulingrin Art Deco Brasserie accompanied by a Brut 1er Cru, from the Besserat Champagne house and a red & white Coteaux du Languedoc – Petit Pont vintage 2015. This was a great social event where we got to know the other guests from around the world.
In Epernay we visited and toured Moët & Chandon where we sampled the Brut Imperial champagne. What an amazing tour this was! I thought even better than the Mumm tour.

A really pleasant surprise was the visit to local small champagne wine maker Joseph Desruets Champagne in the village of Hautvillers. A very unpretentious place where the son, who has taken over from his recently deceased father, poured us samples of their Desruets Estate, Blanc de Noir and Brut Rosé. Bought a bottle of the Brut Rosé here and had the son sign it.

This is the village where Dom Perignon is buried. We visited the church containing his grave. The history is just amazing.
A very moving moment happened at the end of the day when we visited and paid honor to the fallen WWI British and Common Wealth soldiers at the Marfaux 1st World War Cemetery.

So, there you have it - really packed days with lots of fun times but also a good education into French culture and wine and cheese making. Pick one or both and just do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks JB! A great memorable trip. (P.S. The camera lady says HI!)

Date of experience: July 2018
3  Thank Randy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2018 via mobile

Everything you could want in a tour of the Champagne region!! I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone. It was a wonderful day and JB was the best host, not only showing us around but having you feel the history and the French way. The food and champagne were excellent❤️

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank tamwerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2018

My husband and I took this 12 hour day trip on our last day in Paris. This is a small tour with only 10 people, so be sure to book in advance. We got to visit a working goat cheese farm where we saw how the cheese was made, tasted several delicious types and even saw the goats. The 3 winery visits were intimate and informative, and we were able to taste around 12 wines throughout the day. We purchased several bottles - extremely inexpensive. Our amazing host JB also took us to a small French restaurant where we had a relaxing lunch complete with wine. The Burgundy region is beautiful and in addition to the wine, we got to see a lot of pretty scenery. He took pictures throughout the day of our group and emailed them when we got home. I definitely recommend this tour if you like wine - it is a nice change from the busy city of Paris!

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Brooke C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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