Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Zoom tastings by JoliSoleil - enjoy a wine tasting with friends and colleagues all over the world from your own home and stay safe.

 You can do it too  Organize a wine tasting in your home(s) or offices (in multiple countries) at the same time. The tasting wines can be shipped worldwide in advance, so you will taste and compare the same bottles everywhere.

Have fun and stay safe. Check:

#zoom #winetasting #wineshipping #covidsafe

Monday, November 16, 2020

An impression of some JoliSoleil wine tours.

A giftcard for a JoliSoleil wine tour in 2021 : an original present!

 With several Covid vaccines becoming available at the end of 2020 or early 2021, travel bans will finally be lifted and visiting France and Italy will be possible again, also for people from outside of Europe.

We at JoliSoleil are looking forward to showing you around again and "wine & dine" with you at all those special places!

At the end of this strange year we propose a Giftcard as a present for your family and friends and/or for the businesses you work with.

A Giftcard can be in any amount of $'s or Euro's and will NEVER expire.

On JoliSoleil Wine tours Europe (Euro's) go here.

And on JoliSoleil Wine tours USA ($'s) go here.

For now stay safe and let us meet (again) in 2021 !

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Alsace, Burgundy and Tuscany playlists on JoliSoleil YouTube

Did you kbow that, besides my own movies on my YouTube channel, I keep  a number of YouTube video playlists on the wine regions of Alsace, Burgundy and  Tuscany.  I update them regularly.

Enjoy !!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Travel Reopening: Country by Country Guide

Several countries have begun to ease their domestic lockdown rules. You can stay up to date with each country’s imposed travel restrictions and revised rules using the table below. The table contains a list of popular countries and their updated policies regarding the lockdown status, international travel restrictions, visa rules as well as the current number of active COVID-19 cases. The table also contains a link to the official government website where you can find more authoritative answers to your questions.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Covid 19 - traveling in 2020 : our precautions / onze voorzorgsmaatregelen

As Europe and in particular France and Italy are slowly opening up, we would like to share some precautions we took for our future tours with you:
  • Clean / hygiene. We have face masks and desinfectants (for people and our car or minibus) available 
  • Private tours: As we offer small private tours you can be confident that we can avoid crowded restaurants, tasting rooms, etc.
  • Hotels and restaurants: All hotels and restaurants must and will follow the rules. Still we can recommend places where they clean  often and really give you space.
  • Social distancing: As we travel with small private groups it is easy for us to avoid crowded places when tasting wines, have lunch or dinner and also visiting places of intrest in cities and villages.
  • Cancellation policies. With all the uncertainties we keep on being very flexible with changes or cancellations. Postponing one of our tours booked via us or thru one of our partners can be done without any extra costs, even when you postpone into 2021 ! If necessary you can postpone your tour(s) more than once for free, because lockdowns and flight regulations can change. 

Nu Europa en speciaal Frankrijk en Italie, langzaam weer open gaan voor vakantiegangers, willen we u graag vertellen welke voorzorgsmaatregelen we genomen hebben:
  • Hygiene. We hebben gratis mondmaskers en desinfectiemiddelen (voor uw handen en onze auto of minibus) beschikbaar.
  • Prive tours: Omdat we kleinschalige prive tours doen kunnen we u rondleidingen aanbieden, waarbij we drukte in restaurants, proeflokalen en ook op historische plaatsen in dorpen en stadjes kunnen vermijden.
  • Hotels en restaurants: Alle hotels en restaurants moeten natuurlijk aan de regels voldoen. Op verzoek kunnen we U adviseren over plaatsen waar bijvoorbeeld extra vaak wordt schoon gemaakt en/of waar u echt de ruimte heeft.
  • Social distancing: Omdat we touren met kleine prive groepen is het relatief gemakkelijk voor ons om drukke plaatsen te vermijden bij onze proeverijen, bij lunch en/of diner en bij het bezoeken van de highlights in dorpen en stadjes.
  • Tour cancel voorwaarden. Met alle onzekerheden blijven we zeer flexibel bij uw afzeggingen of wijzigingen.  De tourdata wijzigen bijvoorbeeld kan meerdere keren gratis. En U mag ook uitstellen tot in 2021. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Team building and senior management strategy retreats 2020 - 2021

Are you planning a business presentation or a management meeting in Alsace, Burgundy or Tuscany? 

We partner with exquisite (chateau) hotels and restaurants in these area's that provide the right atmosphere and have all the facilities you might need.

We can help you organize your stay and of course your lunches and dinners but also (wine) excursions in the area. Of course we can also design a "partner program" or help you find a speaker for your congress.

We can help you setup Zoom or WebEx.

More on our website or mail us

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Alsace Grand Cru tours in 2021 - 2022

The Alsace Grand Cru tours (in het Nederlands vindt u deze tekst hier)
The history of wine making in Alsace goes back to old Roman times. Castles dot the landscape, villages, churches, vineyards and wines, cuisine and traditions all make Alsace a unique and magical European experience.
Did you know that apart from Japan, the french Alsace region has the most Michelin * restaurants in the world? Did you know that there are recognized over 800 soil types in Alsace? Given the fact that most winemakers in Alsace make their wines in the wine field and not in the wine cellar that results in an enormous variety in smells and flavors. It also means that the wine year really make a difference.
Did you know that the great white grand cru wines often have an enormous aging potential?

On this tour you will find it all out ! We offer you the biggest names and visit wineries like Zind Humbrecht, Deiss,Trimbach, Hugel, etc.
You will visit the Confrerie St Etienne at the Chateau de Kientzheim with its history and with a wine cellar with over 65.000 bottles going back to the 1800's.
We have our lunches and dinners in the finest restaurants often Michelin starred.
The Alsace Grand Cru tour is your chance to visit and taste the very best Alsace has to offer.
What you will do and see
We will start with an introduction and overview. You will learn about the grand cru system. Understand what happens and what it means when winemakers are not allowed to irrigate their fields.
You will taste from dry to sweet; compare young and old.

Each day you will be in a different area. We will be in "bas rhin" in the north and "haut rhin" in the south, but because of the changing shape and presence of the Vosges mountains, there are a lot of different micro-climates within those areas. The micro climates all leave their trace and signature in the wines.
Our lunches and dinners
As stated we have selected some great restaurants. Apart from their rating in the Michelin guide they are also chosen for their location. On your tour we do not want to waste time on unnecessary driving. Wines during lunches and dinners are for your own expense, except for the last evening dinner where everything is included.

Who will be on the tour?
You will meet wine lovers that "know their wines" and also have been in other wine areas. But you will also meet "beginners" and people that want to get to know Alsace and its culinary highlights. Considering age: there will be  younger and older people from diferent backgrounds.
In other words the groups are mixed, but the thing everybody has in common is wanting to "wine and dine" on a high level, get to know the area and meet other people that also want to share that same experience.
Stay in a selection of fine hotels
Depending on the tour we sometimes choose one hotel for all our tour guests. On other tours we use three of the best hotels in Colmar that  are on walking distcance from each other. That means that you book the room(s) you want yourself.
The tour bus will always pick you up and drop you off at your place. On some evenings we can walk to the restaurant and back to the hotel.
The tour rate per person is: Euro 995,=
Once your Alsace Grand Cru Wine Tour begins you can relax knowing that the tour rate covers absolutely everything besides your hotel and breakfast expenses.
So: guides, all lunches and dinners, all tasting wines, excursions, all entrance fees, tasting fees, tips, taxes and gratuities are dealt with. Tipping is neither required nor expected.
Last but not least: you are not obliged to buy any wines on the tour but "if" you do, we can assist you in shipping those wines.

Résumée - Alsace Grand Cru tour from Colmar 

  • 4 nights, 3 tour days 
  • Exclusive touring: minimum of 4 couples or 8 people, maximum 8 couples or 16 people
  • Air conditioned mini-bus with driver 
  • 7 tastings, more than 60 wines, compare many grand cru's 
  • 3 lunches, 3 gourmet dinners (one with Michelin *) 
  • Stay in one of three of our preselected hotels in Colmar 
  • Tour rate per person: Euro 995,,=,  
    • including all tour transport, all tastings, 3 lunches, 3 dinners 
    • excl. hotel and breakfasts
  • We can assist you in shipping your wines 
  • Your tour host : drs. J. Pieter Smits

Please check our Event planning for available tour dates​ in 2021 and 2022.
For Alsace book here!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Planning Grand Cru group tours for 2021 and 2022 - Planning Grand Cru groep tours voor 2021 and 2022

We will start touring again after June 15, complying with all the rules and necessary precautions of course.
But : especially because of the uncertainties about when our American guests are able to fly into Europe again, our Grand Cru Group tours for 2020 have been cancelled 

So our one and more day private tours are possible to book for the coming months. But only the more day GC group tours will not be held in 2020 but will resume in 2021. Please check out our planning.

Na 15 juni starten wij weer met touren. Natuurlijk in lijn met de regels en voorzorgsmaatregelen in Frankrijk. Het is naast eendaagse tours ook weer mogelijk om meerdaagse prive tours te boeken in 2020.

De geplande meerdaagse Grand Cru groeps tours voor 2020 zijn echter gecancelled. De nieuwe data voor deze luxe meerdaagse groepstours staan in het plaatje en onze planningskalender

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June 2020 - Traveling and touring to and in France - Reizen naar en in Frankrijk

After June 15 the situation will be as follows / Na 15 juni is de situatie als volgt:

EU citizens are allowed to travel free within Europe. So people from EU countries can go on a holiday within Europe and do (wine) tours. / Na 15 juni mag binnen de EU weer vrij worden gereisd. Dat betekent dat mensen vanuit Nederland vanaf dat moment weer in Frankrijk op vakantie kunnen en mogen (wijn) touren.

For people coming form outside of Europe, traveling in France is not yet possible. Expect a decision end of June / Voor mensen van buiten Europa wordt later in juni een beslissing verwacht over het open gaan van de grenzen.

Musea etc. are all open again. Outside of Paris bars and restaurants are also open, inside and outside on terraces. You have to keep at least 1 meter distance and wearing a facemask might apply./ Musea etc. zijn weer open. Bars, restaurants en terrassen eveneens; buiten Parijs mag u ook  binnen verblijven. U dient minimaal 1 meter afstand te bewaren. Zorg voor een mondmasker!

If you/we are allowed to (privately) tour again be sure that we have hand disinfectants and face masks available. We are (as always) touring with small private groups of maximum 8 people./ Als u/we weer kunnen touren, weet dan dat wij handdesinfectie middelen en mondmaskers beschikbaar hebben. Wij touren met kleine groepen van maximaal 8 personen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Taste wines from Alsace and / or Burgundy at your home and discuss live on Zoom

  • Online guided tastings will be offered to people in the Netherlands and the USA (to start with) live using "Zoom" (free cloud software)
  • Each event takes about 2 hours and is designed for a maximum of 18 people in a (private) group.
  • In a live tasting event all participants will taste and discuss the same wines
  • Winemakers will participate and comment on the wines you bought and will be tasting, (pre-recorded or live)

Participants will receive from JoliSoleil:​​
  • Information on the use of Zoom. (pdf)
  • General information about wine tasting (pdf)
  • General information about the region and the wines from that region (pdf)
  • Specific information on the 6 different wines we will taste and the wineries where the wines come from (pdf)
  • A tasting notes form (pdf) to be printed out and used for the session
  • By mail (Netherlands)  or UPS/ FedEx (USA) - tasting wines (box(es) of 6 wines - 1 box per 6 participants)
  • A gift voucher to be used on a "real" JoliSoleil wine tour in Alsace or Burgundy (will not expire)​

Needed on your location:
  • 3 wine glasses per person
  • Water​
  • Bread and some cheese
  • PC's or Smartphones with an Internet connection

Alsace tasting box choices 
  • a) Alsace wines: receive 1,2 or 3 boxes with 6 different Alsace wines (2 grand cru's) per box
  • b) Alsace wines: receive 1,2 or 3 boxes with 6 different Alsace wines (4 grand cru's) per box ​

Burgundy tasting box choices
  • a) Burgundy wines: receive 1,2 or 3 boxes with 6 different Burgundy wines (2 premier cru's, 1 grand cru) per box
  • b) Burgundy wines: receive 1,2 or 3 boxes with 6 different Burgundy wines (2 premier cru's, 2 grand cru's) per box

Pinot noir wines; 
  • receive 1,2 or 3 boxes with 3 different Alsatian pinot noirs and 3 different Burgundy pinot noirs per box


Netherlands: to be announced soon, for now please mail .


Tasting event per participant: $ 25,=  plus for the tasting wines including shpping:
  • No of tasting boxes a 6 wines / box  
    • for 2-<=6 participants:     1 
    • for 7- <=12 participants:  2  
    • for 12-<=18 participants: 3

  • Alsace box a) including shipping      
    • for 2-<=6 participants $ 239,= 
    • for 7- <=12 participants.$ 394,= 
    • for 12-<=18 participants.$ 510,=.

  • Alsace box b) including shipping      
    • for 2-<=6 participants.$.284,=.
    • for 7- <=12 participants.$ 484,= 
    • for 12-<=18 participants.$ 645,=​

  • Burgundy box a) including shipping 
    • for 2-<=6 participants.$ 319,= 
    • for 7- <=12 participants.$ 554,=.
    • for 12-<=18 participants $ 750,,=

  • Burgundy box b) including shipping 
    • for 2-<=6 participants.$ 394,= 
    • for 7- <=12 participants.$. 703,= 
    • for 12-<=18 participants $ 975,=​

  • Pinot Noir box Alsace & Burgundy   
    • for 2-<=6 participants.$ 295,= 
    • for 7- <=12 participants.$ 503,= 
    • for 12-<=18 participants.$ 675,=
Why not send us a mail or fill in an inquiry form to discuss your customised private online wine tasting?
You can book here.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Corona virus

The coronavirus outbreak has left people around the world wondering whether they should cancel or postpone pending travel plans.

Postponing one of our tours booked via us or thru one of our partners can be done without any extra costs, even when you postpone into 2021 !

If necessary you can postpone your tour(s) more than once, because lock downs and flight regulations can change. 
Please follow up on the (temporarily) restriction rules from your governments and local authorities. It is not only about your health but also the health of other people.
People cannot travel for a holiday into France from outside of Europe momentarily. Within France there is also a travel ban which will last at least to May 11  2020.
The situation after May 11 is described under here. If you need an explanation or translation mail us!

If you’re one of the many people feeling anxious about an upcoming trip, remember that while your decision to stay or go should always prioritise safety, that decision should be based on facts instead of fear.
Stay safe and healthy !

Monday, February 10, 2020

Some independent wine growers in Alsace recently invested in new tasting facilities

The wine route

Launched in 1953, the Alsace Wine Route is one of the oldest wine routes in France.
It offers visitors a wide range of activities related to wine and the vineyard all year round.

 The wine route winds 170km (110 miles) from the north to the south of the region, passing through 70 wine-growing villages, renowned for being some of the most beautiful villages in the Alsace.
We are talking about Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, Andlau, Obernai just to name a few.

The Alsace Wine Route is also a popular gathering place. From April to October, villages organise wine and harvest festivals in turn. Folklore entertainment, processions and wine-tastings take place all day long, and even at night, in a lively andfriendly atmosphere.

Some modern tasting facilities of independent wineries

It makes sense that wine cooperations were and are able to join forces and invest in modern tasting facilities. But also a couple of independent wineries have invested in new facilities in recent years.

Schlumberger:is established since 1810. Nowadays, there are two generations working side by side. Alain Beydon-Schlumberger, 6th generation and Séverine and Thomas Schlumberger, 7th generation. Their vineyard is unique in Alsace : 140 hectares hectares with 70 classified as Grands Cru : Kitterlé, Saering and Spiegel.

Schlumberger tasting room facade

When I take you for a visit, we can enjoy their new tasting facilities and their old wine cave.
If there is time enough we can also take a walk in their vineyards.

Schlumberger tasting bar

Joseph Cattin
In 1978, Jacques and Jean-Marie, grandsons of Joseph Cattin, took over the family-owned Estate; Jacques, as the manager and Jean- Marie running the vineyard operations. Jacques began to modernize the Cattin Winery; a new dynamic was created. In 25 years, means of production completely transformed and the vineyard has been spread over 60 hectares.

Entrance to cave at Cattin

In 2007, Jacques Junior, joined the company after having studied engineering in agronomy and winemaking. In collaboration with his father, Jacques Cattin Senior, Jacques junior took charge of the wine-making and the financial department. His wife, Anaïs, graduated from a prestigious business school, and with strong experience toward international commerce, she joined the company in 2012. She is currently responsible for the international sales department.

Downstairs tasting room at Cattin

At Cattin we can also visit the cave and then taste their wines either in a new tasting room or in their wine bar upstairs, where we can also eat something..

Upstairs wine bar at Cattin

Pierre Gassmann
Rolly-Gassmann is a Domaine like no one else. It is located to Rorschwihr, a sleepy village on the northern rim of Haut-Rhin. Rolly-Gassmann offers no wines from Grand Grands Cru terroirs, but from a set of very good Lieux-dits such as Silberberg, Muenchreben and Plaenzerreben. The vineyards are located in Rorschwihr and the neighbouring Rodern and Bergheim and exhibit large geological differences. However, at Rolly-Gassmann it is the varieties rather than the terroirs that are in focus.

View from Gassmann terrace (part of building also on the left

Rolly-Gassmann has a unique style. The wines are small masterpieces with very good definition. They all carry the signature of Rolly-Gassmann, a certain shameless, velvety sweetness. The fruit is rich and Rolly-Gassmann manages to balance the fruit with a vibrant acidity to form seductive wines that melt on the palate.

Display of rocks to be found in Alsace soils

Gassmanns tasting room on top of his enourmous new construction is worth a visit just for the architecture. The terrace outside and the views are extraordinairie!

Inside tasting space from Rolly Gassmann

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