Our cruise route on the Nivernais Canal is perfectly situated to visit three distinct wine grown regions in France of Chablis and Beaune and in the Loire Valley, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé
From the Nivernais Canal one can see the vineyards of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée wines of the Côte d’Auxerre, Saint-Bris, Irancy and Coulanges-la-Vineuse. To the east, close by, are the famous vineyards of Chablis.
Our cruising region is associated with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. However, other grape varieties are grown in the vineyard too. In St-Bris-le-Vineuse it is Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris; in Irancy the ancient grape César, brought to France by the Romans is also grown. The Aligoté grape is also grown and particularly associated with the Burgundian aperitif ‘Kir’, made from blackcurrants.
We visit the esteemed winery and vineyards of Jean-Marc Brocard. Jean-Marc’s son, Julien has earned a highly valued reputation for his organic wines. Their winery is to be found in Préhy and after the tour, we cross the valley of the River Serein to visit 'Grand Cru Hill' to fully appreciate the expanse and beauty of the Chablis region.
The town is situated, to the south of our cruise route in the region of Burgundy, called the Côte d'Or. A flank of vineyards extend down from the Côte de Nuits into the Hautes Côte de Beaune, where both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are grown.
Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé
Lying to the west, in the Loire Valley the wines of Sancerre and Pouilly are associated with the crisp Sauvignon Blanc varieties. We visit the two towns, lying each side of the might River Loire, Sancerre perched on its hill top and a little farther south along the river bank, Pouilly.
Caves de Bailly
The impressive cellar in Bailly is within walking distance from the canal. In this historic ‘cave', from where stone was quarried and sent to Paris by barge, a thriving winery now produces the delicious ‘Crémant de Bourgogne’. The combination of Crémant de Bourgogne and Kir is known as Clément Royale. Simply delicious!
WINE WEEK ITINERARY:
We rendezvous in Paris at the Hotel Mansart for the transfer to the barge. Captain Francisco welcomes you on board the Luciole, with Champagne reception and canapés.
In the morning we begin our cruise towards Vincelles. Along the route, we stop in Bailly to visit the impressive caves where Crémant de Bourgogne Bailly Lapierre is made The afternoon wine tasting is at the inspiring vineyard of Brocard. The tour introduces you to Chablis, the real Chablis made from the grapes within the town's boundaries. After the tour, we take you to look over the prestigious ‘Grand Cru Hill’ and the vineyards stretched out, into the distance.
Breakfast cruise to Vincelles before a departure to Beaune. The Pinot Noir grape is grown in this famous wine region of Haute Côte de Beaune. We visit the stunning Chateau Mersault and lunch town before going to Beaune to visit the Hospice.
The small delightful town of Irancy nestles in an amphitheatre of vines and cherry trees. The winemakers here combine Pinot Noir grapes and the ancient variety of César for the town’s Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOL) red wine. We wine taste in St Bris, awarded AOC status in 2003. The wine is famed for being the only Burgundy to be permitted to use the Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris grape varieties.
Cruise in the afternoon is to Mailly-le-Château, where we moor beneath the dramatic rocks.
Early morning cruise to Lucy-sur-Yonne, a delightful mooring between the village and the River Yonne.
The bus departs to drive west for lunch in the enchanting hill-top town of Sancerre, overlooking the majestic River Loire. In this region, the Sauvignon Blanc grape is grown, a fruity contrast to the mineral white Chardonnay of Burgundy
We return home via Pouilly Fumé on the Loire's east bank. The wine of this town, called Pouilly Fumé, takes its name from the grapes, that when ripe, are covered with a 'smokey' bloom. A fascinating day for wine lovers.
Our final cruise is to the medieval town of Clamecy.
The afternoon visit is to an organic wine producer, close to the magnificent hill top town of Vézelay. After the winery we visit the imposing World Heritage Site Basilica of Mary Madeleine for culture and an opportunity to shop at the delightful boutiques of clothes, jewellery, art and crafts.
In the evening we celebrate the cruise with the farewell ‘Captain’s Dinner’.
Departure from the Luciole is after breakfast at 9.30am.
Arriving in Paris at lunchtime.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change