What could be better than relaxing in the peace and quiet of the French countryside, watching the sun go down with a glass of local wine in your hand? For wine lovers, camping in France is about more than finding a good campsite to relax in – it s also about discovering the local vineyards to try the wines right at the source.
If you can tell your Beaujolais from your Burgundy, the destination of your camping holiday in France will depend just as much on your taste in wine as your appetite for the local attractions. For the perfect combination, here is a guide to the sights and wines of some of France s premier wine producing regions…
What To See – The towns of Chablis and Beune are beautiful and charming towns in their own right and great places to sample the local produce (red wine lovers should head to Beune, whilst fans of white wine should concentrate on Chablis). And don t miss the Abbaye de Fontenay, a beautifully restored 12th century monastery near Dijon, a good place to regain a sense of spirituality if you ve been overindulging!
What To Drink – Burgundy is the producer of some of France s most popular wines, with the main grapes of the region being Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The most popular regional wine is Beaujolais, a light bodied red wine, closely followed by the extremely dry and flinty Chablis Chardonnay.
What To See – The famous chateaux of the region will be an undoubted highlight for anyone who goes camping in France s Loire Valley. These medieval stately homes are dotted liberally throughout the valley, often surrounded by stunning countryside. The Loire River itself is an undoubted attraction in its own right and is a good place for cycling, walking – or wine drinking!
What To Drink – White wine is the dominant product of the Loire Valley, with Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin being the main types of grape. Try the dry and delicious Pouilly Fume, or the more fruity Vouvray. If you must have red, the valley does produce the very drinkable Bourgueil and Chinon.
What To See – Bourdeaux is the unmissable destination for wine lovers who are camping in France. The 18th century city itself is a great place to visit, surrounded by chateaux, vineyards, and great countryside, and if you ve a taste for more than wine, head north to Cognac to try the famous brandy. The beautiful Royan coast is also located close to Bordeaux and could be an excellent place to base yourself if you choose to camp here.
What To Drink – Bourdeaux is widely regarded as the premier wine region in France, and one of the most important wine regions in the world, with one third of the top class wines in France being produced here. The vast majority is red, and you ll truly be spoilt for choice here, with some of the names to look out for including Medoc, Margaux and Saint Emilion.