French wine region tour with Philip Rich
Are you a lover of French wine and food looking to elevate your wine knowledge? Well then, this once-in-a-lifetime trip – and the inaugural Halliday Wine Academy: Wine Immersion Tour – is the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge. And what better way to learn than through an expertly guided tour of the key French wine regions.
The six-night, five-day tour will showcase the very best that France has to offer. Hosted by Halliday Tasting Team member Philip Rich, over the course of the week you will visit Paris, Champagne, Burgundy, and the Rhône Valley, before a farewell in Lyon.
So, what can you expect?
Your tour will begin in Paris with a welcome dinner on Sunday May 12, 2024. After spending a night in Paris, you will travel to Champagne and stay one night, before heading east to Burgundy for two nights. After exploring Burgundy, you will travel to Lyon where you'll visit producers in the northern Rhône Valley and dine out in the gastronomic capital over two nights.
The six-day tour will showcase the very best of France's wine regions.
While we do want to keep some of the wineries and sites a surprise, we asked your tour guide Philip Rich for a sneak preview.
"Every producer we’ll visit has their own story to tell – from Bouchard Père & Fils who acquired its first vineyard in 1770 to Billecart-Salmon in Champagne, which was founded in 1818 when Nicolas François Billecart married Elisabeth Salmon – we will be visiting some of France’s greatest names.
"Then there's Jane Eyre – the Australian who has been working in Burgundy for 20 years. In 2021 Jane became the first Australian and first woman to be named Negociant of the Year by the prestigious La Revue du Vin de France.
"We will be eating (and drinking) at some of my favourite restaurants too. We'll dine at the humble farm to table restaurant, La ferme de la Ruchotte, where Frédéric Ménage raises rare breeds of chickens and grows all his vegetables organically. And we'll visit the incomparable Georges Blanc in Vonnas, who has turned this small town into a gourmet village over the past 50 years."
ItineraryDay one: Dinner and one night accommodation in Paris.
Day two: Two appointments in Champagne and one night accommodation.
Day three: Two appointments in Burgundy including a masterclass and lunch at Jane Eyre.
Day four: Two appointments in Burgundy and a visit to a local cooper to understand how barrels are made. Dinner and accommodation at the three-star Michelin Georges Blanc.
Day five: Two appointments in Beaujolais. Dinner in Lyon.
Day six: Two appointments in the Northern Rhône Valley, before finishing with a farewell dinner in Lyon.
AccommodationAccommodation in Burgundy will be in private lodgings, which the tour will exclusively occupy. All rooms have private ensuite facilities. In Paris and Lyon the accommodation will be at premium hotels. All local transport will be in private commercial vehicles.
The Halliday Wine Academy French wine region tour with Philip Rich is limited to eight placements only (plus tour guides).
The cost of the tour is $9600 per person. The price includes all accommodation, meals, drinks, and local transport. Deposit of 20 per cent required to secure you place.
About Philip RichPhilip Rich has more than 25 years’ experience as a retailer, educator, wine show judge and wine writer. One of Philip’s greatest passions is French wine, and he has led annual private tours of France for 20 years. When he's not covering Victoria's Geelong and Yarra Valley wine regions for Halliday Wine Companion, Philip consults to MacPhee's Wine Cellaring Specialists and looks after the iconic 6000-bottle cellar at Melbourne brasserie, France Soir.
Philip co-founded Prince Wine Store and its award-winning restaurant Bellota Wine Bar. From 2016–2019 he was the general manager of wine for Lucas Restaurants, including Chin Chin and Kisumé, for which he won a wine list of the year award. He has chaired numerous wine shows around Australia including the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula wine shows, the Halliday Chardonnay Challenge and the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge. Philip is also the new chair at the Limestone Coast Wine Show.