A major benefit of visiting all these different vineyards is being able to buy the wines you taste. A coach trip can be a definite benefit in carrying back wine, I was assured by a couple who had been on a wine-tasting trip to South Africa, and had to have the wines they bought shipped over.
Their experience was also especially beneficial in that
they profited most from the trip by buying their maximum allowance, while some of us held back on the buying, and later wished we had bought more of a certain wine.
Derek, experience again, was a great plus. His knowledge allowed him to give us advice on how long we should keep each wine,
so that it matured to
In fact, it got to the point where he kept suggesting that we keep the wines for at least two to three years, so we were
all very pleased when we got to Beaujolais where the majority of wines are for immediate drinking.
The highlight of the tastings must surely be at Domaine Monrozier in
Fleurie, not just for their hospitality, but also for the beautiful setting.
A buffet lunch was arranged at tables under a wonderful walnut tree. In a field nearby, a tethered horse enjoyed the lovely weather, while among
the trees young children of the house amused themselves in a swimming pool.
Across the vineyards, in the distance, is the majestic Moulin-a-Vent (windmill) for which some of the local wines
are named. That evening too we dined at one of the
prettiest, and perhaps more expensive, restaurants of our trip, Les Platanes de Chenas. Outside on a terrace which had fairy lights in the trees, under the stars, we again had wonderful views of the Moulin a Vent in the distance.
By this time, too, Rebecca had sorted out the restaurant
situation so that those who chose a cheaper priced menu were not penalised for those who wanted more courses or
ate a la carte. However, we still split the drinks.
Towards the end of the trip there were some optional wine tastings, which allowed those of us who wanted to relax a bit of spare time. In all we tasted 87 wines in the
company of our guide, who kindly supplied us with a list of what we had drunk at the end of the trip. And that was not counting anything that we may have imbibed when we were not with him!
One couple, who are great fans of Arblaster & Clarke, have been on several of their trips, including New Zealand, and that had been a rather
'There were lots of tastings, and not enough sightseeing or spare time.' They were
delighted to see that their comments had been taken onboard with this trip.
About half of the group had been on their trips before. 'Many people start with a champagne trip,' said Rebecca, 'which is just a long
weekend, and once they find they enjoy it, they go for something longer.'
In fact one fellow, who had been on nine previous trips, had already signed up for Bordeaux in a couple of months' time. Another couple were also going on the New Year tour, which they had done before and enjoyed so much, although this time they were going to a different destination.
Arblaster & Clarke are happy to give any Freemason who books one of their tours
before the end of the year a free copy of Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of Wine. Please
quote MQ1 at time of booking. This is a free offer per booking, and not per person.
Arblaster & Clarke
Wine Tours Ltd
Clarke House, Farnham Road, West Liss, Hants. GU33 6JQ. Tel: +44 (0) 1730 893 344 E-mail: Sales@winetours.co.uk
Web site created by Mark Griffin