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.
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