1 – Saturday 13 October: Left Harrogate by Eddie Brown VIP coach at 3 pm. Brief stop at Ferrybridge service station to pick up last three members of the group of 21 and biscuits & tea. Pongaz Brut, Gusbourne Brut and Huet’s sparkling Vouvray served. Checked in at Hull at 5pm. Some upgraded to Club class cabins. Drinks at Langan’s Bar before dinner in Langan’s Brassarie.
Day 2 – Sunday 14 October: Disembarked in Zeebrugge at 9 am and started the long drive to Puligny. Cakes and coffee, followed by a blind tasting of Godello, Furmint and Niepoort Drink Me Branco. “Sideways” screened after lunch. Arrived in Puligny at 6.15 pm and checked into Maison Leflaive for a three-nights stay. Gin & Tonic reception. Dinner venues were Le Montrachet and the two restaurants in the village.
Day 3 – Monday 15 October: Drove to Beaune after breakfast to taste at Bouchard Pere & Fills. Returned to Puligny for a light lunch in the hotel courtyard and drove back to Beaune for the 3 pm tasting with Alex Gambal. Drove back to Puligny. Dinner that evening was at Maison Leflaive – “Petit Plate D’Olivier.”
Day 4 – Tuesday 16 October: Morning drive to St. Aubin to taste at Domaine Gerard Thomas. Drove back to Puligny for a light lunch. Met Tracy Thurling of “Burgundy By Request” and drove Beaune for guided walking tour. Drove to Fixin to taste at the stunning Clos Perriers. Drove back to Puligny for the ten-wine tasting dinner at Maison Leflaive.
Day 5 – Wednesday 17 October: Morning drive to Chablis. Tasting at William Fevre followed by lunch at Bistrot des Grands Crus. Afternoon tasting at Chateau Long-Depaquit with winemaker. Dinner and overnight at Hostellerie des Clos.
Day 6 – Thursday 18 October: Drove to Urville for tasting at Champagne Drappier. Light lunch followed by tasting at Champagne Henri Billiot in Ambonnay. Overnight Hotel de la Paix in Reims.
Day 7 – Friday 19 October: Fabulous tasting with Didier Gimonnet in Cuis. Visit Hautville. Grand Champagne Dinner at Maison Ruinart.
Day 8 – Saturday 20 October: Long drive to Zeebrugge. Hugel Gewürztraminer 2009 and Palataia Pinot Noir with lunch en route. Overnight ferry to Hull with dinner in Langan’s.
Day 9 – Sunday 21 October: Back home.
“Ann and I greatly enjoyed our trip to Burgundy and Champagne with HMWS. The mix of many old friends and a goodly number of new members was very encouraging. Hopefully new friends will have been made. The mix of tastings was very good, as always, the most memorable being Domaine Long-Depaquit and Pierre Gimonnet, but Gerald Thomas and Alex Gambal were close behind. The setting of our tasting and dinner at Maison Ruinart will remain a great memory for a long time. Many thanks for the long hours of work in setting up this tour. The driver/coach/accommodation was excellent.” – Dr. Stephen Cameron
Thank you for a wonderful trek through Burgundy and champagne -both fun and informative. I appreciate all your effort which made the tour such a success. – Gail Bent
“Very jealous indeed, was lovely to read about the tour and brought back some great memories of my last trip in 2006!” – Richard Fox, Harrogate, 22rd October
“Thank you for you warm e-mail. It’s always a pleasure to welcome you. Take care. All the best…and see you in the future.” – Julie (Leflaive) and the all team, La Table & La Maison d’Olivier Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet, 23rd October
“It was a pleasure for us to see you in Urville and you know that you will be more than welcome to come and see us again. Very best regards,” – Samuel Thomas, Champagne Drappier, 23rd October
“And many thanks. It was a pleasure to receive you and your friends. My sons are a little better. Have a good day.” – Isabelle, Domaine Gerard Thomas, St-Aubin
“You are welcome. It was a pleasure having you all with me.” – Alex Gambal, Beaune
“Very well organised tour, as usual! Great attention to detail – I enjoyed it all, especially being drowned in Champagne by Ruinart!” – Gwynneth Owen, Leeds