Are you searching for a romantic destination for yourself and your partner while traveling through Europe? Or perhaps a charming wine-related visit during your honeymoon in France?
If so, look no further than France’s many wine regions, where days and evenings are romantic by nature. Witness rolling hills, sprawling vineyards, and scattered villages as you explore France’s wine regions. Whether it be closer to home or a far-flung exotic getaway, wine regions make for the best romantic escapes in France.
What could be more romantic than waking up in luxury splendor with views of majestic vineyards or historic wine villages like St. Emilion? Wine lovers searching for a special lover’s weekend break are spoiled for choice in France. Will you spend the afternoon sipping Dom Perignon in the beautiful Champagne capital of Reims, or dining at one of Bordeaux’s many Michelin-starred restaurants, sampling the finest vintages money can buy?
Here are some of Winalist’s top ideas and destinations for a romantic wine-based getaway in France.
#1 Romantic destination: Champagne, France
There’s nothing more romantic than sipping bubbly with your honey — and you can go right to the source of romance with a visit to the best Champagne houses, just an hour and a half outside of Paris.
While in Paris, take a day or two to visit Reims Champagne houses by car or train. One of our favorite hotel is le Domaine Les Crayères, which offers special packages for those looking to visit this wine region.
This winemaker’s onsite Michelin-star restaurant, Le Parc, has a special truffle-menu — and don’t forget to add on the Champagne pairings. Beyond just the famous Veuve Clicquot, Krug and Moet Chandon visits, make sure to check out the expansive cellars of Billecart Salmon. You can also take a look at some boutique Champagne houses well worth visiting.
Renowned throughout the world from countless Champagne labels, Reims offers a rich historical legacy, great restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Its most famous monument is the magnificent Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame, which was built in 1211.
It served as a setting for the coronation of French kings and is rich in history and intrigue. The city also contains many of the noble Champagne Houses’ headquarters, such as Krug and Taittinger Champagne, who are happy to welcome visitors.
A short drive south of the city of Reims is the delightful small city of Epernay, along with its wine producers. The town boasts one of the most beautiful streets in the world: the Avenue de Champagne where you’ll be able to discover champagne houses in epernay.
Quite a few of the most famous firms have their headquarters here, and again they welcome visits from passionate Champagne lovers. You could, for example, treat your loved one to a tour of the historic cellars at Moët & Chandon, which has a statue of the great Dom Perignon outside the entrance. And, of course, all tours must end with a glass of that famous wine!
Travel to the Champagne Region from Paris
Burgundy wine tours in France illustrates what this country does best – culturally, historically, and gastronomically! The region’s fine wines and beautiful landscapes have inspired awe for centuries, and for a couple with romance on their mind, we cannot imagine a better location for a wine-themed Valentine’s Daybreak.
One of Burgundy’s most important white wine villages is also one of the prettiest in the region, boasting a historic Chateau that welcomes visitors with open arms.
Chateau de Chassagne Montrachet was built in the 11th century and today boasts a modern tasting room, wine shop, and even a boutique hotel within the grounds. It’s the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with white Burgundy’s finer points in a gorgeous setting – and a perfect place to host a romantic getaway in France.
The Cote d’Or, France’s most revered red wine village, is a surprisingly friendly, bustling, and relaxed place. It boasts several good restaurants, hotels, and a beautiful Chateau, constructed in the late 13th century by Yves de Chazan, Abbot of Cluny. The surrounding vineyards are where the Pinot Noir grape is brought to perfection – rich, concentrated wines with a touch of the exotic and sensual.
Located between the French cities of Dijon and Lyon in the Cote d’Or region, Beaune has been the nerve center of Burgundy since medieval times. Its historical and commercial importance to the wine-making region has left the city with an unrivaled architectural heritage – inside this walled city, the atmosphere is still largely medieval, full of Renaissance courtyards, hidden alleys, and many more surprises for the unsuspecting visitor – ideal for a late evening romantic stroll!
From Burgundy’s world-famous village of Gevrey-Chambertin on the Côte de Nuits, a minor road leads up the hill and into the Bois de Forey. There, a vehicle may be temporarily abandoned in favor of a dirt track running between the woods and the top of the vines, which offers easy access on foot to a score of places where a picnic may be spread with a view that brings legends to life.
Mazis-les-Hauts, Mazis-les-Bas, Chambertin-aux-Charmes, Clos-de-Bèze: a few hundred meters steeply below are the vineyards that lend their names to some of the most illustrious of all Burgundies. A few kilometers to the right are Morey St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot. After looking in at a boulangerie and a charcuterie in one of the villages, having brought something away from a cellar visit before lunch (and maybe kept a bottle of something in the hotel refrigerator overnight for an apéritif), you can settle back, offer a modest libation to the spirits of place, and savour an unforgettable view.
No area is more synonymous with fine wine and romantic scenery than the dynamic and beautiful region of Bordeaux. The city of Bordeaux, located in its namesake region, offers a variety of legendary chateaux and winemaking estates. Standing outside such beautiful Chateaux as Margaux and Lafite is an extraordinary experience for wine lovers; the exportation of wine has always been the basis of the city’s prosperity and renown. But, its attractions stretch far beyond imbibing superb wines, including the architectural wonder of the city itself through well renowed Bordeaux wineries.
Medoc Chateau visits
Welcome to the world’s most important fine wine region. This famous wine-producing area lies close to the Gironde river, known as the Medoc appellation; it contains the Chateaux of legends, including Margaux, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild.
Undoubtedly Bordeaux’s prettiest village, it’s not hard to see why couples are drawn to the quaint wine village of Saint Emilion, a bastion of history and fine varietals. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its largely unspoiled character and medieval monuments. The place is bursting with chic boutiques, great cafes, and restaurants; indeed, simply taking a stroll around the center is a highlight in itself. Vineyards stretch in all directions from the old town hub, and many of Bordeaux’s most famous estates are located in the region.
There is far more to this fascinating and lively city than simply fine wine. Exploring Bordeaux reveals a wealth of attractions, especially along the waterfront, where a long sweep of classical facades is broken by the Esplanade des Quinconces, with its striking fountains and statues. Another must-visit is the Basilique St-Michel, which was started in 1350 and took 200 years to complete. If you visit Bordeaux, make sure to see the 18th century Grand Theatre, a magnificent example of French Neoclassical style. For nightlife, head to the trendy St Pierre district.
The Loire Valley, France
Renowned for its delicious wines, sumptuous Loire Valley Chateaux, and beautiful towns and villages, the glorious Valley of the Loire is rich in both history and gastronomy. As the Loire runs through the heart of France, so the region embodies the essence of the French joie de vivre; sophisticated cities, luxuriant landscape, and magnificent food and wine offer the ultimate Valentine’s Daybreak for any discerning wine lover.
The utterly charming and chocolate box Blois is a quintessential Loire town. It rose to prominence during the reign of Louis XII, who established his court here in 1498. The town remained at the center of French Royal and political life for many decades after. But today, Blois offers a sedate, pedestrianized old quarter full of romantic courtyards and fine mansions. It’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon with a loved one before enjoying an aperitif at one of the many lovely cafes dotted around. Also, make sure to visit the Chateau de Blois, home to kings Louis XII, Francois I, and Henri III.
Chateau de Chenonceau
No other Loire Chateau is as architecturally splendid or romantically positioned as Chateau de Chenonceau. Stretching across the River Cher, it is a fairy tale place, surrounded by elegant formal gardens and wooded grounds. But in fact, this Renaissance building started life as a modest manor and watermill. Over the centuries, it has been transformed by its various owners as a Palace solely for pleasure and relaxation—a great Valentine’s Day out for any couple.
The Loire’s most famous sub-region, the French appellation of Sancerre, has been renowned for decades for its pungent, singular expression of the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Such sauvignon Blanc is now imitated across the world. But the original is still the best, and in recent times, winemakers have been experimenting with barrel fermentation and extended lees aging, giving more depth to the wines.
The Sancerre village itself is charming and full of small wine producers that will happily share their wines and history with visitors. We’d recommend Domaine Jean-Paul Balland for a great introduction to the wines of Sancerre. This superb, small family Domaine produces ripe and expressive whites from limestone and chalk-based soils. A great tasting awaits you and your romantic partner!
Where to stay in Loire Valley?
If stately, grandiose Chateau accommodation is your thing, then welcome to paradise! Our first suggestion would be Chateau de Noizay, a gorgeous Chateau amid the Vouvray appellation between Amboise and the city of Tours. The grounds are exquisite – in the summer months, you dine on a terrace surrounded by parkland, with majestic views of the Loire Valley. The restaurant is also one of the finest in the region, presided over by maestro Frederic Collin. You’re simply going to love Chateau de Noizay.
Or perhaps a stay at the opulent Chateau de la Barre is in order. Near the charming village of Sarthe, guests are warmly welcomed by the resident Count & Countess Guy and Marnie de Vanssay. Arriving at the Chateau, you feel more like an old friend than just another hotel guest. Your hosts will arrange any activity you desire during your stay and invite you to join them for afternoon tea and special dinner events, with a mouth-watering selection of fine Loire wines accompany your feast.
Where to stay in Bordeaux?
Magnificent Chateau with lavish dining rooms and vineyard views, cozy boutique hotels in picture-postcard villages, or modern accommodation in the center of Bordeaux – take your pick. Bordeaux caters to every possible whim and desire. But for a romantic weekend break, you can’t go wrong with Cordeillan Bages in the Medoc. The restaurant is one of the region’s finest. The Chateau’s utter seclusion in the famous vineyards of Pauillac makes it an ideal candidate for couples who wish to escape and relax.
Another top choice is the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa. It has long been one of Bordeaux’s finest hotels. Behind the gorgeous facade lies a panoply of perks, such as a Michelin-starred restaurant, a fantastic pampering spa, and extremely professional and gracious service. The more informal Brasserie L’Europe is the place to be at weekend lunchtimes.
Where to stay in Burgundy?
Burgundy is now full of romantic Chateau accommodation and boutique guesthouses, perfect for couples who want to escape the outside world for a few days. Our top choice would be La Cueillette, in the white wine village of Meursault. Gorgeous Chateau accommodation is complemented by a state-of-the-art luxury wine spa specializing in treatments based on the healing power of the compounds found in grape skins. The restaurant is also top-notch; Alexander Bellini will prepare a gastronomic feast for your perfect Valentine’s Day evening.
Couples who like smaller, more private affairs will love Le Clos du Cèdre in the charming town of Beaune. It offers individually tailored rooms, friendly, discrete service, and outstanding cuisine from head chef Christophe Canati, who was appointed in 2012 and has since earned its first Michelin Star. Modern luxury personified!
Where to stay in Champagne?
Prepare to be seriously pampered and indulged at the legendary Chateau Les Crayeres in Reims. This gorgeous mansion, built at the beginning of the 20th century, boasts elegant, lavishly furnished, and adorned bedrooms, extensive grounds, and arguably the best restaurant in the region, Le Parc by Philippe Mille. Prepared to be dazzled, for Mille is one of France’s great chefs; for a memorable and romantic Valentine’s Day meal, we cannot imagine a finer restaurant.
Giving Les Crayeres stiff competition is L’Assiette Champenoise, which offers a more modern, contemporary experience with chic, stylish bedrooms & suites and an informal, relaxed ambiance. But the star attraction is undoubtedly Arnaud Lallement’s superb 3 Michelin-starred cooking, using only the finest local ingredients and his culinary imagination to spectacular effect. And if that wasn’t enough, the bar is the only place in Champagne – to our knowledge – that offers Krug by the glass. Formidable.