From impressive châteaux to cosy apartments, we have the best places in France for you to enjoy your favourite French wines
CHÂTEAU DE BERNE
For those looking to sample fine wines in a rural setting, the luxurious Château de Berne will not disappoint. The 600-hectare estate lies in the hills near the Provençal village of Lorgues and is a short distance from the dramatic Gorges du Verdon. This country house retreat comes with elegantly decorated rooms featuring tiled floors and Provençal furniture; many have balconies overlooking the wine estate. Meals here are a splendid affair, with a gastronomic restaurant serving creative cuisine and a brasserie offering lighter dishes. Activities on offer include a wine tasting and tour of the estate. Alternatively, you can while away an afternoon in the outdoor pool or play tennis or pétanque. Get out and about by hiring quad bikes to explore one of the vineyard trails.
Doubles from €330, breakfast €29.
DOMAINE DE VERCHANT
Nestled among 13 hectares of vineyards just 20 minutes from the centre of Montpellier, this luxury hotel is the perfect place for wine lovers. The 26 rooms are spread out across the 17th-century mansion house and a series of soft stone outbuildings, which once housed the harvest workers. Rooms are strikingly contemporary. with white bed linen, bold curtain fabrics and Italian designer furniture. The hotel has a bistro and gastronomic restaurant where dishes are paired with wines from the estate. Guests can also book a tasting session with the sommelier. Other facilities include an infinity pool and spa, where the signature treatments include a Grand Cru grape-seed exfoliation and red-grape body wrap.
Doubles from €329.
CHÂTEAU PAPE CLÉMENT
Surrounded by 60 hectares of vineyards a 15-minute drive from Bordeaux, this elegant estate, which is owned by wine magnate Bernard Magrez, is one of the oldest grands crus in the region. Vines were planted in the late 13th century by Bertrand de Goth, the future Pope Clement V, whose name was given to the château. Visitors can find out more about the wine estate on a daily tour and tasting (advance booking required), which are tailored to meet guests’ interests, whether they are enthusiastic beginners or experienced collectors. And to top off a perfect wine tasting, guests can savour private fine dining in the château’s elegant dining room, where you will be served by your dedicated chef and butler. The château has just five guest rooms, each one sumptuously decorated with herringbone parquet floors, 19th-century furniture and marble bathrooms. Other in-room facilities include flat-screen TVs, coffee-makers and air-conditioning.
Rooms from €230 including breakfast.
CHÂTEAU DE PIZAY
Nestled in the Beaujolais vineyards near Morgon, this medieval château offers fine wines and a tranquil setting to make for a truly enjoyable stay. The elegant château has a dozen well-appointed rooms, featuring antique furniture, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. All the rooms overlook a large, French-style garden and some come with private terraces. Activities include a tour of the estate and a chance to taste the château’s fine wines. You can then take a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool or go for a stroll through the garden. For a bit of extra pampering, head for the spa, which has a sauna and hammam, and provides a range of multisensory treatments. Guests can also look forward to a fine dining experience at the gourmet restaurant, which serves seasonal menus based on fresh local produce.
Doubles from €200 including breakfast.
AUBERGE DU VIN
Anyone with a soft spot for wines from the Rhône Valley and a desire to learn more about them will be in good hands at the Auberge du Vin, located at the foot of Mont Ventoux. This 18th-century farmhouse is the home of British expatriates Linda Field and Christopher Hunt, who offer wine holidays and courses for up to 16 guests. Popular choices include a three-day wine holiday weekend or the week-long ‘Rhône Ranger Adventure’, during which you will visit and taste the wines of the eight most important Rhône villages. If you would rather explore on your own, you can stay on a bed and breakfast basis or rent one of the two self-contained cottages.
Doubles from €140 including breakfast and two glasses of rosé, cottages from €750 (minimum one-week rental).
For a relaxing stay in the heart of Champagne country, look no further than this charming B&B, set in a former winemaker’s home in the Grand Cru village of Mailly. There are four en-suite bedrooms – two in the main house and two in an adjoining annexe – and a spacious lounge-dining room, which is available for all guests to use. The village lies between Reims and Épernay, and makes an ideal base for visiting the famous champagne houses. The owners provide free guide books and maps of the Route Touristique de Champagne.
Doubles from €70 including breakfast.
DOMAINE LA YOLE WINE RESORT
Anyone looking for a camping stay with a strong wine focus will find exactly what they need at La Yole on the Mediterranean coast. Set on a long-established wine estate, the campsite offers tastings, winery visits and talks. Other activities include gastronomic-themed hikes, as well as tennis, fencing, pétanque and dancing. A large water park and a farm offering animal encounters will keep youngsters amused. Open 1 April to 15 October.
Pitch based on two adults from €21.30 a night; cabins from €69 a night.
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