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Beaujolais Tours



Beaujolais with its link to Burgundy in the South is named after a castle called Chateau Beaujeu. With the reign of the first ancestors of the house of Beaujeu and until 1265, this region became a very important trade center for the area.

By 1532 when Lord Humbert III built roads and founded the new village Villefranche which is closer to the Saone, he unknowingly created a new capital for trade and business.

First a French province until 1560, and then belonging to the Bourbons, the region finally came under the control of the family d'Orleans in 1626.

The Middle-ages find the Gamay grape very commonly planted in the Cote until Philippe the Hardy Duke of Burgundy banned the grape to lands starting near Macon. He believe the grape to be of inferior quality and not worthy of his fine table nor the fine soils of the Cote d'Or. However these new soils of sand and granite from Saint Aubin to Villefranche suited the grape very well. The Gamay grape gives its best when plantes especially in the granite soils of the mountains of Beaujeu.

Today since 1793 the Beaujolais has been a part of the Rhône department, but is quit unpopular amongst the Northern Burgundy area because of the over production and poor quality, notably linked to the reputation of the Beaujolais Nouveau. When Beaujolais is included amongst the other Burgundy wines, it is only because of its proximity, therefore known as the Greater Burgundy area.

A side from the Beaujolais Nouveau that many of us know, we can also find other wines that should be better recognized. Such as the Beaujolais Villages and the ten Crus wine of Beaujolais. The Beuajolais Villages are refreshingly light and fruity red wines that are consumed slightly fresh, while the ten Crus wine of Beaujolais all have personalities of their own. Cru Appellations such as Morgon, Brouilly, Chirouble and Saint-Amour are just to name a couple of vineyards worth discovering.

So, how do you get to Beaujolais? That’s easy! From Paris, it is either approximately one and a half hours to Macon Loche TGV direct or a two-hour TGV ride down to the city of Lyon and not even 30 minutes by car to the first vineyards. If coming from Geneva, the time by TGV is approximately the same to get to Macon direct.

By the way, although Beaujolais makes mostly red wines using the gamay grape, you can also find a small production fruity full-bodied white wines using the chardonnay.


Lyon is the second-largest French urban area, the first being Paris and the third Marseille.

It is a major centre of business, situated between Paris and Marseille, and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and having a significant role in the history of cinema which the Lumiere brothers invented in 1895. The Musee Lumiere. During the Renaissance, the city developed with the silk trade, especially with Italy; the Italian influence on Lyon's architecture can still be seen. Thanks to the silk trade, Lyon became an important industrial town during the 19th century. Lyon was historically known as the silk capital of the world.

Lyon was founded on the Fourviere hill as a Roman colony in 43 BCE. Lyon was first named Lugdunum meaning the "hill of lights" or "the hill of crows". Lug was equated by the Romans to Mercury.


The world's first funicular railway was built between Lyon and La Croix-Rousse in 1862.

Lyon was a centre for the occupying German forces and also a stronghold of resistance during World War II, and the city is now home to a resistance museum. The traboules, or secret passages, through the houses enabled the local people to escape Gestapo raids.

During the French Revolution, Lyon rose up against the National Convention and supported the Girondins. In 1793, the city was under siege for over two months, assaulted by the Revolutionary armies, before eventually surrendered More than 2,000 people were executed and several buildings were destroyed, especially around the Place Bellecour located on the peninsula (Presqu'ile) between the rivers Rhone and Saone and is the third largest public square in France and one of the largest in Europe.


For several centuries Lyon has been known as the French capital of gastronomy, due, in part, to the presence of many of France's finest chefs in the city and its surroundings (e.g. Paul Bocuse).

This reputation also comes from the fact that two of France's best known wine-growing regions are located near Lyon: the Beaujolais to the North, and the Cotes du Rhone to the South. Beaujolais wine is very popular in Lyon and remains the most common table wine served with local dishes.

Lyon is the home of very typical and traditional restaurants: the bouchons. Bouchons are usually convivial restaurants serving local dishes, and local wines.

Lyon is famous for its morning snacks, the machons, made up of local charcuterie and usually accompanied by Beaujolais red wine. Traditional local dishes include saucisson de Lyon (sausage), andouillette, coq au vin, esox (pike) quenelle, gras double (tripe cooked with onions), salade lyonnaise (lettuce with bacon, croutons and a poached egg), marrons glaces and cardoon au gratin.

Lyon Opera House
Rhone River
Riverside Bookseller
Vieux Lyon
Croix Russe
Hotel de Ville Lyon

Discover the Beaujolais Wine Region

For several centuries Lyon has been known as the French capital of gastronomy as well as the silk center of Europe. Today it is the 2nd largest city in France and because of its traditional wealth as a silk center it houses fine works or art in a beautiful city which survived in most part the last great war. The city is not well known by most tourists but in fact it is one of the nicest cities to visit in France with lots to do and see and of course it is still the heart of French gastronomy.

Come for the day by TGV and we'll arrange a one or day day tour to discover the city and the Beaujolais wine region. If you are staying for a few days we can arrange a dinner cruise and cooking lessons.

Photos: L.Davis©

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Rhone Saone

Private Guided Tours

Let us create a one or 2 day tour in and around Lyon to experience the best in food and wine plus exciting visits to the amazing Textile Museum and silk workshops.

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Private Tour Options

Arrive by TGV and our guide will pick you up and drive you directly to Beaujolais and a visit the medieval village of Oingt. Lunch and visit to the Chateau de Bagnol. Return to Lyon for a walk through old Lyon and tasting tour.



Visit Beaujolais

Take the TGV train from Paris

Known as the Venice of France and silk capital. Lyon is France's 2nd city full of spendid museums monuments and some would say the food center of France.

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2 Days /1 Overnight in a 3 star hotel

Monday, Thursday and Friday departures from Paris

Day 1: Paris – Lyon

TGV for Lyon.
Free time to visit Vieux Lyon (old town) and its rare network of ancient passageways and panoramic tour by hop on hop off double decker bus.

Option: Half day private walking tour (email us for details)

Day 2 : Beaujolais Tour – Paris

Picturesque villages of Beaujolais and meet local wine producer & tasting.
Lunch at La Feuillée in Theizé or Le Chatard in the town of Sarcey.
Visit the village of Bagnols, guided tour of the medieval village of Oingt and a final meeting with a second winemaker.

Detailed Itinerary and online booking

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