For a complete immersion in the heart of the French vineyards, what could be simpler than a stay on an estate or a hotel surrounded by vines? Whether it is a hostel, or “Bacchus B&B”, a boutique hotel or the manor house of a wine-making estate, your stay will let you combine relaxation with a wine-tasting initiation, the exploration of local attractions, the work of a vineyard, hiking or storehouse visits.
Four small, nomadic, villas in the shape of bubbles four metres in diameter, all in white and with a 70s feel to them, are nestled in the centre of Klingenthal’s undulating landscape, known as La Vallée des Lames (Blade Valley). Each sphere keeps its shape thanks to a constant flow of clean air, with no humidity or dust. All that is left is to sleep with your head in the stars.
Bulles et une nuit – 67530 Klingenthal.
Tel. : +33 (0)6 64 13 95 05 – www.bullesetunenuit.fr
The Rhône Valley’s luxury cavemen
The heavenly surprise is at the end of the road - at Beaunes de Venise. The Clos Saint-Saourde welcomes guests to its troglodyte house - an 18th century construction built into the rock, and surrounded by vines. A cabin with private luxury spa, heated salt-water pool and an exceptional view of the “Dentelles de Monmirail” mountains... a stunning way to taste the local Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages wines.
Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 37 35 20 – www.leclossaintsaourde.com
Glamp it up in Beaujolais
The Portes du Beaujolais campsite has a new type of accommodation on offer – an oeno-lodge. Wine-making influences are everywhere: a wine cellar with several bottles of Beaujolais and decanters are on hand, along with wine-themed board games, and grape-based essential oils.
Tel. : +33 (0)4 74 67 12 87 – www.camping-beaujolais.com
Roussillon: designer rooms in a former wine co-operative
The Riberach Hotel is much more than a luxury hotel; it is a designer building with 18 unusual rooms (9 suites) inside, and on top of, old wine vats. Every room has original décor: lighting, colours and materials move away from the cold and austere nature of the vats, towards a resolutely contemporary and Mediterranean style. The restaurant “La Cooperative”, organises “wine and food match” dinners.
Tel.: +33 (0)4 68 50 30 10 – www.riberach.com
Cognac: hotel with a view of the River Charente
Perched on the head-land, a few cable-lengths away from Cognac, the Yeuse Hotel is set in a 19th century residence with its own “bio diverse” garden. Enjoy winter nights by the open fire trying Cognac and cigars. Some rooms benefit from a mesmerising panorama over the Charente Valley – its vineyards and villages.
Tel.: +33 (0)5 45 36 82 60 – www.yeuse.fr
On a wine-making estate
The Château de Cheman, Loire Valley
Nestled amongst Anjou’s vines, this charming 14th century château has an exceptional vineyard on the banks of the Aubance River. The owners welcome guests for romantic weekends and stays in their enchanting B&B. New: Why not rent a solar-bike to explore the region in an environmentally friendly and nostalgic way!
Tel. : +33 (0)2 41 66 93 32 – www.chateau-cheman.com
The Château des Demoiselles in Provence
The long, majestic and plane-tree lined alley that leads to a magnificent country house, built in 1830, reflects the Provencal lifestyle. Decorated with furniture that has been varnished with time, the five bedrooms (available for a night or a week in the summer) have superb views of the estate’s vines and the Var hinterland. The swimming pool and pool house, everything reflects the colours of the South.
Tel.: +33 (0)4 94 70 28 78 –www.domainelesdemoiselles.com
Hostels and B&Bs
Charme Merry: designer B&B in Burgundy
In the countryside between Chablis and Vézelay, in the Yonne County, Charme Merry is a 17th century wine-maker’s house which has been restored to a high, contemporary standard. It is ideally situated for hikes in the local vineyards or for a trip along the Wine Route. In the evening a gastronomic dinner awaits with wines to match.
Tel : +33 (0)3 86 81 08 46 – www.lecharmemerry.com
B&B in Champagne
Near Reims, in the Saint-Thierry Massif, the Domaine des Grattières B&B in the village of Hermonville has three bedrooms, in a renovated 18th century farm. All rooms have stunning surroundings and a panoramic view of the village, vineyard and Champagne countryside..
Tel. : +33 (0)3 26 02 10 60 – domainedesgrattieres.com
Domaine de la Mouthe in Crimson Périgord
The Domaine de la Mouthe estate - run by Marie-Ange Guérault - is surrounded by lush prairies and forests, is located between Bergerac and Saint-Emilion, and is a house with a lot of character. Between forest and vineyard, make the most of the three personalised bedrooms in Périgord colours (crimson, white and green).
Tel.: +33 (0)5 53 82 15 40 – www.bergerac-tourisme.com/Domaine-de-la-Mouthe-Marie-Ange