First ‘Insiders Tour’ of the French Champagne Region with Australia’s ‘Champagne Dame’


Australian champagne lovers are invited to France this June to join a unique new ‘Insider’s Tour’ of the Champagne region which will see them meet and dine with the winemakers and the owners of some of the world’s most prestigious champagne houses normally closed to the public.

Described as a ‘true connoisseur’s peak’ into the world of champagne – the ‘wine of kings’ – and hosted by one of Australia’s foremost experts on champagne, Kyla Kirkpatrick, the five-star, five-night tour for just 12 people includes a stay at a grand, 17th century chateau and private visits to 15 champagne houses, or maisons, where guests can sample more than 70 types of champagne, including secret, ‘high end’ cuvees  reserved in cellars for VIPs and not available to the rest of the world.

The beautiful Champagne region lies 160km north-east of Paris and produces more than 200 million bottles of champagne per  year, famous as the world’s most coveted and luxurious wine.

Known as the ‘Champagne Dame’ , Kyla Kirkpatrick has spent more than a decade living in and travelling to Champagne, where she had befriended some of the world’s top champagne makers, and regularly hosts champagne master classes in Australia and overseas.

Ms Kirkpatrick said she was looking forward to hosting her first tour to the Champagne region and to sharing her enduring love for her favourite beverage. “This will be an intimate, red carpet sojourn which will enable fellow champagne lovers to enjoy indulgent soirees with the owners and winemakers of the world’s most exquisite champagne brands whose estates are normally closed to tourists so it’s a special experience money simply can’t buy,” said Ms Kirkpatrick, who has worked for the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group promoting Krug, Dom Perignon, Moët and Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

The all-inclusive, tailor-made itinerary starts in Paris on June 23, 2013, when guests are welcomed at an exclusive perfume parlour for a private champagne and perfume master class, with each guest leaving with  a custom made  scent.

The tour then moves to the Champagne region itself where guests will spend five nights wining an dining at the magnificent 17th century Chateau de Mairie, where the elaborate gardens were created by Andre Le Notre, a French landscape architect famous for designing the gardens at the Palace of Versailles.

While staying at the chateau, the dozen guests will be pampered with five days of private champagne tastings at maisons throughout the region, long lunches in vineyards with champagne makers and formal degustation dinners with members of famous champagne families such as Tattinger, Bollinger and Madame Clicquot. The tour will also include a lesson on how to open a champagne bottle ceremonially with a sabre, excursions to the nearby cities of Reims and Epernay, with ample free time also available to relax at Chateau de Mairie. A farewell lunch will end the tour back in Paris.

Starting in Paris on June 23, 2013, the Champagne Dame’s ‘Insider’s Tour of Champagne’ is available for $4990 per person, twin-share, or $5990 for solo travellers including five nights’ chateau accommodation, land transport and all meals, drinks and tastings. Airfares are extra.

Source = The Champagne Dame
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