Discover the wine regions of France in partnership with Headwater

Each Autumn, the vineyards of France are alive with activity, as winemakers race to harvest the grapes at the perfect time, to ensure the best resulting wine. In celebration of this import event, throughout September, we are focusing on all things wine.

France is home to some of the most prestigious wine regions of the world, steeped in history and tradition as well as boasting breath-taking landscapes. Taking a walking or cycling holiday to one of France’s wine regions is the perfect way to discover the distinct, revered history, whilst sampling some delicious wines along the way. We have teamed up with self-guided holiday specialists, Headwater to review four of the most popular French wine regions, and the trips that enable you to take in the best of the area.

Burgundy

The Côte d'Or is home to some of the most famous Burgundy wines, made from Pinot Noir they are cherry red in colour, with fine tannins and good fruit. Visit Côte de Nuits; an area that holds the world’s most expensive vineyard real estate. Afterwards, venture south to the Côte de Beaune, where Chardonnay plays a more dominant role, offering the perfect location for you to enjoy the floral, fruity aromas of this iconic grape. We recommend booking the Gastronomic Burgundy Self-Guided Cycling - Short Break to enjoy the quiet, country lanes, vineyard tracks and waterside paths at your own leisurely pace. Take in the majestic, medieval castles and traditional unspoilt villages peeking out from within this charming countryside, as your journey unfolds in this beautiful region of France.

Alsace

Wines from Alsace offer a contrast in taste to most other regions of France. With a blend of French and German influences, you’ll find a great mix of off-dry, aromatic styles, such as Riesling, Sylvaner and Gewurztraminers as well as incredible bone-dry whites and light, fruity reds.  Explore the region on a Villages & Vineyards of Alsace walking tour and you will discover that its rich culture heritage is both similarly eclectic and intriguing. The tour takes you on sections of the Camino de Santiago trail. Following in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims, make your way through its spectacular medieval villages and castles ruins. With the magnificent Black Forest and Vosges Mountains in the background, there’s no better place to stop and enjoy a sample of this region’s wines in their ancient, yet carefully-groomed vineyards.

Chablis

Wines from Chablis are renowned across the world. From an area further north in Burgundy, the light citrus and floral aromas of their whites are quite distinct from the rest of the wines in this region, but equally delicious. A Chablis Vineyards Walk will allow you enjoy the delights of this famous wine alongside other regional specialities such as Irancy, Aligoté and Cremant. You will also amble through one of the prettiest riverside cities of Auxerre, which is full of historic interest. Continue on to discover the medieval Cravant and UNESCO basilica at Vezelay, before unwinding in the flower-filled hillsides. If you’re lucky you may also catch a glimpse of roe deer or hen harriers before indulging in the region’s culinary delights and local wine tastings.

Provence

Rolling hills of vines and olive trees, cocooning picturesque villages that enjoy a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate, Provence offers visitors a wide variety of wines to enjoy in a glorious holiday setting. Discover deep-coloured red wines from the Syrah and Grenache grapes alongside crisp, fruity whites and of course their famous rosés. Throughout Provence, wild, resinous shrubs like rosemary, juniper, thyme and lavender grow almost everywhere, as well as contributing to the beautiful landscape, these plants, (known as “Garrigue” or ‘Maquis”) influence the character of the wines. Steeped in Celtic and Roman history, there are also plenty of cultural delights to take in throughout the region.

Win a Headwater Holiday

Headwater offer a range of relaxed self-guided walking and cycling holidays in France and beyond. They seek out the most authentic accommodation, the highest quality restaurants and the most idyllic locations that allow you to experience the true beauty of a region. We are delighted to offer you the opportunity to win one of these amazing experiences.

The lucky winner will enjoy a holiday for two to Provence, choosing from either walking the Landscapes of the Luberon or cycling the Vineyards of Vaucluse. The eight-night holidays include flights, accommodation and board along with Headwater’s detailed maps and local knowledge to help you explore this wonderful region.

This competition has now closed.