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(or Michelin-starred restaurants) and lovely accommodation. British tour operator Arblaster & Clarke ( runs specialised, coach-based wine tours and, over its 27 year-history, has established a reputation for excellence. Tours are available in diverse areas across France, from Alsace to Provence, and are led by in-the-know wine experts. British expats Lynne and David Hammond host dedicated wine tasting events with their company, Bringing Burgundy to You ( “Burgundy can appear confusing for even the most knowledgeable,” says David. “Our aim is to demystify the region’s wines in an informative, informal and fun manner. Living in the heart of Burgundy since 2003, we have built close relationships with many of the independent, family growers who make great wine with heartfelt passion – often beneath the radar. We’re here all year, every year and we know the growers as people, their families and how they produce their wine.”

“David showed great professional knowledge and experience of the wines in Burgundy,” says Andrew Hollis, who participated in a ‘Buy & Collect Wine Tasting Weekend’ in 2013, “and his enthusiasm for the subject is infectious.” This year, Lynne and David are again running a stellar programme, including a ‘Flavours of Burgundy’ weekend (May), the ‘Burgundy Comes To Provence’ masterclass (selected dates until September) and the ‘Sensory Pleasures’ weekend, in association with the École des Vins de Bourgogne (November). In addition, the Hammonds arrange private wine tasting events. Of course, France is not limited to wine production and the country’s spirits, such as cognac, are often labelled the ‘elixir of the gods’. Contact Cognac Tasting Tour ( for a behind-the-scenes experience with passionate local craftsmen. While you’re in Cognac, be sure to

stop at Camus (, a maison which has been family- owned since 1863, for a tour

Alexandra Blanc-Véa reveals the region’s contemporary scene on her Art Visit Provence tours

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