Backroads Bourgogne Wine Tour

Wander the hidden paths of Bourgogne, where every turn reveals rustic charm and wines waiting to be unearthed.

Oct 13 - 18, 2024

6 days

Led by Andrew Jefford

$5,190*

Tour Overview

Journey beyond the famed wine routes, discovering secluded vineyards and intimate cellars that encapsulate the soulful essence of Bourgogne's heritage.

Bourgogne wines are some of the finest, most sought-after wines in the world. Bourgogne is a legendary wine region and a reference for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. It is also a complex wine region with its numerous appellations and climats and is not always easy to understand. Travelling to Bourgogne in the hands of an expert allows you to grasp first-hand the meaning of terroir, the underlying concept which is the basis of its appellation system. You'll also have unparalleled opportunities to taste the wines that hail from these exceptional places, with their makers.

Not only are there 140 miles of distance between Chablis and the Mâconnais, but there are also 45 million years of geological history represented in soils on and around escarpments, coombs, colluviums, fault lines and bioherms. One visit to Bourgogne will make you a terroir-ist for the rest of your life.

The landscape is fractured by extensive multiple-ownership and also by geology. Bourgogne is both complicated and complex… Seeing is believing and understanding. 

Bourgogne takes the broad French concept of terroir and winnows it down to something infinitesimally exacting within the framework of AOC law. There are approximately 500 AOCs, or designated zones of wine production, in France. One hundred and one of them are in Bourgogne alone. This northeastern section of France representing a 140 miles stretch from Chablis to the Mâconnais, is responsible for 6% of French wine production, yet represents 20% of all French AOCs.

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What's Included

Experience an immersive wine experience curated by the esteemed journalist Andrew Jefford. Enjoy a backstage pass with exclusive tours, tutored tastings and gourmet delights on the roads less travelled. 

Instruction by renowned journalist and author, Andrew Jefford

Professional-level tours and tastings at top-quality wine producers

Services of a tour manager, providing customer service and logistics support

3 nights at 5-star Grand Hotel La Cloche in the center Dijon, double occupancy

2 nights at 4-star Hotel 360 Panorama in Mâcon, double occupancy

5 buffet breakfasts

4 gourmet lunches and 2 delicious dinners with top-quality wines

Enrolment in Bourgogne Masters online course, including study manual, online webinars and online exam

Price per-person, double occupancy. Download the brochure to get detailed pricing.

Itinerary & Pricing

Join the waitlist!

Enter your name and email to receive an email if a seat becomes available.

Meet Your Expert Guides

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Andrew Jefford

Your Wine Tour Instructor

  • Wine writer since 1988.
  • Author of The New France, Whisky Island, Andrew Jefford's Wine Course, and Drinking With the Valkyries: Writings On Wine.
  • Academic Advisor at Wine Scholar Guild.
  • Contributing Editor and columnist for Decanter and World of Fine Wine.
  • Winner of 8 Glenfiddich Awards and 8 Roederer Awards
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Mary Kirk

Your Wine Tour Manager

Assisting the instructor and making sure logistics run smoothly and that your needs are answered will be Mary Kirk. Mary has been leading wine tours in France for over 15 years and has been tour manager for WSG study trips for over 5 years. She is also a DipWSET, FWS and certified French Sommelier-Conseil.

Mary also teaches wine in Paris, specifically Sommellerie at Ferrandi Gastronomic school of Paris, and has also taught FWS in Paris. Her other activities include leading wine events and consulting in the French wine sector. She may be a familiar face to some of you because until recently she also took care of WSG members as our Community and Membership Manager. She now devotes herself soley to being the Wine Tours Manager at WSG.

We visit estates such as...

Why travel with WSG?

Top wine industry professionals and regional experts as instructors

Service of tour manager offering customer service and logistics support during the trip

Professional-level visits with educational objectives

Tastings of dozens of top-quality wines during estate visit and included meals

Opportunity to meet the producers and local specialists

Access to wine estates often closed to the public

Join a community of fellow wine professionals and serious enthusiasts

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take a WSG trip? Why not just go on my own?
  • You’ll learn so much more than you would on your own! Internationally renowned instructors are with you at all times throughout the trip, giving fascinating information, making sure you understand the nuances and subtleties of the region and its wines, and responding to all of your questions. 
  • You will have amazing tastings and get access to estates you would not be able to visit on your own.  We have the highest-level contacts in each region. You’ll get to taste fascinating wines at each estate, and you’ll be welcomed as an honored guest. 
  • Your instructor has lived or worked in France, Italy, Spain, or other countries we run tours in, for many years. This has allowed them to cultivate extensive experience and contacts within the region. You’ll get expert information about the wine business there, and an insider’s take on local culture. 
  • You will not have to take chances on hotels or restaurants you don’t know.  With more than a decade of experience in these wine regions, we use our first-hand knowledge to choose the best hotels and restaurants. 
  • Your itinerary makes the most of the limited time you have in the wine region, minimizes driving time, and ensures that you get a thorough overview of the region and its wines. 
  • You don’t have to worry about getting lost (which is easy to do on the backroads of France or Italy!), or about drinking wine at meals. You can just relax, enjoy and learn. 
  • You get the camaraderie and pleasure of exploring the wine region with other like-minded people who are as passionate about wine as you are. 
  • Your instructor and tour manager will translate for the group at all times, so you will have no communication issues, as many winemakers in France, Italy and Spain have limited English. 
Preparing for the trip
Can I buy wine during the tour? Will the estate ship it home for me?

Please ask the instructor if there is enough time at the end of the visit for you to make your purchase without impeding the progress and timing of the trip.  Not all estates sell onsite in Bordeaux, for example, very few of the Classified Growth châteaux sell wine at the château (they sell exclusively through wine merchants). It is rare that estates offer international shipping.    

If you would like to purchase wine, we recommend that you ask your government’s customs office for their rules and regulations if you intend to bring wine back into your country, or have wine shipped to you.  

You always have the option of bringing wine home with you in your checked luggage. A specialized wine suitcase is perfect for this. Depending on your home country, this amount will vary. You may have to pay some amount of duty on your wine when you go through customs. Therefore, it's best to check with your local authorities for further information.  

TRANSPORTATION, FOOD & LODGING
How do you choose the hotels for the educational wine tours?

We choose 4-star hotels to ensure a high level of comfort, including en-suite bathrooms, WiFi and air conditioning.  It’s very important for the hotels to be well situated in the region, to keep driving time and distance to a minimum. We want to make sure you are as close as possible to the vineyards and other local sites of interest. The hotels we choose also must be large enough to accommodate groups.  

We thoroughly check out each hotel before including it in a trip. In wine regions that are large and spread out, you will only change hotels once or twice during a week-long trip (to keep driving times to a minimum each day), and in other regions, there is only one centrally located hotel.

Organizers & Instructors
What are the trip instructors like?

Our trip instructors are among the most renowned and respected wine professionals in the wine business. They are also professional wine educators who are absolutely passionate about the region and its wines.  

You can see a full biography of the instructor for each trip on the corresponding page, so you can know exactly with whom you'll be touring and learning.  Most are native English speakers (American or British), and all other instructors speak English fluently. Our instructors have that special combination of high-level wine expertise, personal warmth, friendliness, and excellent leadership skills. They'll accompany you every day, throughout the trip, and will be able to answer all of your questions about the wines of the region you’ll be visiting (and about wine in general).  

Booking a trip
Should I purchase travel insurance?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to purchase a very comprehensive travel insurance package once you have paid your deposit for a Study Trip.  Note that many plans require you to purchase the insurance very soon after your deposit payment (some require it within 14 days).  

There are any number of things that can happen that can cause cancellation or interruption of package travel, and travel insurance can help cover the costs you incur as a result.  You can find travel insurers easily and there are sites where you can compare policies (for example, Insure My Trip).  

Be sure to read policies very carefully before you purchase.  Include your airfare, train fare, and any other expenses you will have in addition to the price of the study trip itself.  We highly recommend getting a “cancel for any reason” policy, which offers the best coverage. Travel experts say “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” so don’t skimp on this important coverage!

Have a different question? Feel free to contact us.

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