Travelling Through Wine Country – Burgundy

3D Wines explore the famous wine country of Burgundy. ADVERTISING FEATURE

For the lover of good food and wine, travelling through France is a joy. By road, it is far more relaxing than driving in the UK. And wherever one stops en route, there is usually a lovely spot for a picnic or good food available to help sustain you on your journey.

One of the favourite destinations for the wine lover is Burgundy. It’s the gastronomic heart of France and is one of the most fascinating wine regions on earth. This veritable wine and food haven has a wine history that goes way back to the Romans, Cistercian and Benedictine monks. Their influence on this region is very apparent with every twist and turn of the famous Côte d’Or or ‘golden slopes’.

But before you get to Burgundy, we suggest a stopover in the Champagne region, just three hours south of Calais. A visit and a tasting at one of the smaller growers or récoltants is likely to be more engaging and intimate than one of the famous Grande Marques. 3D Wines’ small, but beautifully-formed récoltants Champagne Fresne Ducret and Maison Lenique near Reims and Épernay make award-winning champagnes that are great value too. Picking up from the vineyard is not only fun, but you can save over £30 a dozen on duty – and it’s perfectly legal!

And so suitably refreshed by the uplifting bubbles of Champagne, on to Burgundy.

A couple of hours drive south east and you can be in the famous Chablis wine region. It’s a peaceful location, bucolic and charming and yet it is an area responsible for some of the greatest white wines in the world. After a short tour and tasting at 3D Wines’ Domaine Vrignaud in the heart of the Premier Cru Chablis vineyards, head further south for an hour and twenty minutes and you are in the heart of the beautiful Côte d’Or. The backdrop is the stunning sea of vines on the concave shaped hillside – vines planted in some of the most expensive dirt anywhere in the world. The villages dotted around the so-called ‘golden slopes’ are a roll call of the great and the good; Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée, Volnay, Meursault and so on. These are ancient, romantic names that get wine-lovers salivating.

Beaune is the place to be. With its beautiful medieval buildings with their brightly coloured roof tiles, bustling bars, fine restaurants and wonderful market there’s plenty to do and see. After spending time here in the commercial heart of the region, head up into the hills to the village of Échevronne in the wild and beautiful Hautes Côtes. Here, 3D vineyard Domaine Lucien Jacob provides the warmest of welcomes and their award-winning wines have great purity and bright, vivid summer fruit flavours. They make just a few barrels of Beaune Premier Cru and Gevrey-Chambertin for 3D Wines’ members.

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It’s a real privilege to taste these from barrel in the sanctity of their cool cellars. The enticing perfumed aroma of wine and the exotic fragrance of the oak barrels is a heady and evocative mix. Where else could you get a personal tour and a private tasting by the genial winemaker himself? And then fill the boot of your car with top burgundy at prices your friends will only envy. Just think of all those wonderful memories that come flooding back as you pull the cork on one of your bottles, in the midst of winter – dreaming of another return to France, sometime soon.

3D Wines bring these vinous dreams to life for their members. Starting out as a hobby over 20 years ago, the company has seen many thousands of members enjoy some of France’s greatest assets – great food, fabulous wine and amazing travel experiences to some of the finest wine regions in the world.

Once you become a member, not only does it mean you can buy beautifully-crafted, hand- made wines at member’s prices – you can also go and collect them from the vineyard, meet the vigneron and enjoy a thoroughly memorable experience. 3D help organise your visit and you are greeted warmly, in fact like a member of the family.

3D also organise a number of fun and memorable event, with themes like truffle hunting in the Rhône Valley or becoming a Champagne blender for the day.

UK 3D Wines’ vineyard partnerships, events and unique wine gifts

USA NEW for French wine lovers living in the USA – lease a parcel of terrior, have your wines made for you and shipped to you at home.