Vineyards abound in France. From Strasbourg near the German border, through Reims in Champagne, to Nantes on the Atlantic coast, the wine country extends southwards to the natural boundaries formed by the Pyrenees, the Alps and the wine-dark Mediterranean. Great rivers form the geography of the wine regions: the Loire, the Rhine and the Saône in the north; the Garonne and the Dordogne in the west; and the mighty Rhône in the south. A journey along the wine route takes you through France’s most beautiful and breathtaking scenery. At the heart of the French vineyard, surrounded by acres of vines, is the family home. Whether it’s a fabulous château, or a rustic farmhouse, the property will have a unique charm. Many of these wonderful houses have been converted to provide self-catering accommodation or chambres d’hôtes rooms. French Vineyards presents over 70 such properties, carefully selected from all the major wine regions. A stay in one of these special places will give you a fascinating insight into rural France, its wines, and the people who make them.
Patrick Hilyer, the author of French Vineyards, is an English restaurateur who owns a busy bistro in Normandy. He is a passionate wine/travel writer and, as well as his professional wine interests, organises blind tastings and chairs a regional wine association.