-Frequently Asked Questions –
Here are some common questions on our trips. Do contact us if there is anything you are wondering about. You will find answers to all these topics below.
How many people will there be on a tour?
We avoid having large groups on our scheduled tours. We limit the number of participants to approximately 12-14. We found that it is the perfect size to create an enjoyable ambience and the conversations with our hosts at the wineries can be more engaging when the group is of a smaller size.
We usually organize two meetings at Domaine Divio Tasting Room in Newberg, Oregon or via Zoom, one in early November and another one in early April. These gathering allow us both to present the trip and answer your questions, and also for participants to get to know each other.
Is this a trip appropriate for children?
Children (those aged under 18) are not allowed on our tours.
What’s included in the tour price?
Gastronomic meals every day
Transport in the wine region by minivan (from Dijon to Beaune)
All visits and activities including private tastings of multiple wines at the wineries
Your hosts, expert wine guides for guiding and translation as needed
What’s note included in the tour price?
Your transport to and from the arrival destination in Dijon and departure destination in Beaune
Two meals (dinners) to give you some time spent with your travelling partner
All items of a personal nature
Is tipping expected? If so, who should be tipped?
Tipping practices vary greatly from country to country. American guests need to be aware that tipping is much less common in Europe than in the US and when done usually it is smaller sums.
What kind of accommodations will there be?
Both hotels selected in Dijon and Beaune are 4-star hotels.
The current 4-star hotel selected in Beaune is a former beautiful 12th century abbey.
Please note that there are two flights of spiral stone staircase to your hotel room with no elevator.
Luggage will be carried to your room by hotel staff.
What precautions are taken to keep us healthy?
Our tour has no particular health or fitness requirements, but we will do some walking in wine cellars and vineyards, and tastings are often done standing rather than seated.
Our tours are not suitable for people with substantially reduced mobility as in much of France, old buildings have not been built with wheel-chair access in mind.
However, there will be no intensive walking or hiking involved on the trip. Our mini vans will pick you up at the hotel each day and normal pace of walking will be the norm.
Many of the cellars we visit are centuries-old and have, naturally, been built to the conditions of the time and with the materials of the era. Many have steep steps, low beams, uneven floors and are humid even in summer. Visiting these cellars is part of the ambiance and charm of Burgundy and we ask all guests to take extra care when moving through or tasting in these ancient but working cellars. We trust our guests understand that neither Wine Detours nor the winegrower can be held responsible for any mishap while in the cellars.
Our travel destinations have no particular requirements in terms of vaccinations or health precautions, but it is always a good idea to consult a medical professional before the trip.
Do I have to be a wine expert?
Short answer: No.
This is a question that beginners or first-time participants often ask.
The longer answer is… you don’t need to know much about wine to enjoy a wine tour.
However, you can equally be very knowledgeable about wine: the tour will be just as good, regardless.
Everyone goes on a wine tour to learn about wine, or to learn more about wine. It is actually amazing how everyone, from beginner to expert, gets something different out of each visit we do.
The most important thing about a wine tour is not the (more or less formal) tastings. What is truly memorable is the people you meet, the interaction with the winemakers, the experience of visiting the wine cellars and vineyards. The wines we taste together are the icing on the cake.
How do you select which winegrowers to visit?
There are around 4,000 winegrowers in Burgundy, and we specialize in visiting the small, independent family growers typical to the region.
We have built a network, and strong relationships, with around 20 very different growers, each of whom is making excellent wine with great passion. We visit working wineries and the business of winemaking often goes on around us and many of these growers rarely receive the casual visitor. We make advance appointments with all the growers, giving you the opportunity to taste as many different appellations as possible, with different characters and styles of cellars and winegrowers.
It is our business ethos not to receive any commissions from the growers we visit as we believe the strong, friendly relationships we have with our winegrowers and the restaurants we collaborate with is an integral part of our tour. We are proud to call many of the growers we visit our friends.
Can I buy wines at the visited wineries?
The exclusivity of our tour implies that we take you to places not always open to public; therefore, some of these wineries may not have wine for sale. However, we will visit producers whose wine will be available to purchase. We offer to collect all orders and can arrange shipping to the US.
What kind of shoes and clothing will I need to pack?
Burgundy has a continental climate with summer temperatures rising to the 90s and 100s. The area has four distinct seasons with spring and autumn usually providing warm weather. In winter it can snow anytime from December to March and it can rain at any time of year.
We advise you to wear comfortable shoes. You should be able to walk in the vineyard and there may well be wet floors in the wineries. You don’t want to slip. Remember that the winery is a workplace. Many tastings are also conducted standing. So, whatever you do, remember to pack some comfortable footwear.
Sweater/jacket: wine cellars can be cool even when it is very warm outside, so bring a sweater or a jacket.
Hat: consider bringing a hat in summer. We may well go for a walk in the vineyard and the sun can be hot.
Dress code: as a general guideline, you can dress informally and comfortably on our tours. You are not expected to dress formally for any visits. However, there is nothing to stop you dressing up a little more if you wish to do so. To some extent it depends on the context: for example, for the 3-star Michelin restaurant dinner, a touch of formality might be in order.
What other things do I need to pack?
US-France adaptor for charging small appliances
Any medications plus prescription. It’s also a good idea to bring your medical card.
A photocopy of your passport. (electronic version on Dropbox)
It’s always a good idea to have a supply of plastic bags on hand.
Check your international cellphone service with your provider.
Also recommended: notify your bank you are traveling so your debit/credit cards work in France
Are meals included? What kinds of restaurants will we be going to?
Our aim is to give you a thorough grounding in local gastronomy, so you can expect very good to outstanding meals. Generally speaking, a meal will consist of several courses and take about an hour to an hour and a half.
We firmly believe that wine and food are intimately linked, and we have made this part of our wine travel philosophy. Thus, a wine tour with us will always be a gastronomic experience, and the meals included on your trip are of gourmet level.
We follow local customs and traditions. This means that when we are in France, lunch starts at 12:00 pm, and dinner will not happen before 7:00-7:30 pm. This is part of the joy of travelling: you learn to live like the locals.
What if I have food allergies?
We can accommodate virtually all kinds of food allergy. Gluten allergy? No problem. Vegetarian? We have the solution. There’s just one important condition: you must let us know well in advance, before the start of the tour.
Will I need a passport and/or a visa?
Please check your airline for current travel restrictions. Requirements in terms of passport or identity documents will vary depending on your nationality. If you do not have a US passport, please contact your consulate for current travel information/visas for France.
We also strongly advise you to check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the end of the trip.
U.S. Embassy in Paris: Phone 011.33.43.12.22.22
Emergency Passport: click here.
Travel terms and conditions
You must complete a Travel Liability Release Form and return it to when you pay the deposit for the tour.
Is it a good idea to get travel insurance and cancellation insurance?
We do not arrange travel insurance or cancellation insurance.
We recommend that you contact your own insurance company to arrange a travel insurance policy, including cancellation cover, or contact a specialist travel insurer. Some home insurance policies include travel insurance, so it is worth checking yours.
We suggest you purchase medical and accident insurance prior to participating in the trip.
When is payment due and how do I pay?
Please read our payment and terms conditions carefully.
Can the tour I book be cancelled?
Yes, but this only happened in 2020 because of COVID-19 and travelling restrictions.
We suggest that you do NOT book any non-refundable air tickets before early spring of current year, as if there are not enough participants registered for a tour, we may have to cancel it. However, this hardly ever happens; our tours are generally well subscribed. We know that cancelling a tour will disappoint a number of people, and that’s something we try very hard to avoid.
When should I buy my airplane tickets?
Please do not purchase airplane tickets until notified by Isabelle Corneaux. You may fly when and however you like to allow you to use frequent flyer programs. You should arrange early arrival flights that will allow you to travel from your final airport to Dijon with time.
What is the time difference between my home and France?
France is 9 hours ahead of Portland (Pacific Standard Time). Flights departing from the United States will arrive the next day in France.
What are the travel options to get to Burgundy?
The nearest international airports to Dijon are Paris Charles de Gaulle, Lyon and Geneva.
Burgundy is well served by the fast TGV train network (bullet train). Regular TGV trains to and from Dijon serve many French, Italian, Swiss and Belgium cities with connections to many other European cities including London via Eurostar.
When you arrive at CDG airport, there are numerous ways you can travel to Dijon depending on your budget.
The majority of participants take a high-speed train: TGV. There are several trains from Paris Gare de Lyon, most days direct to Dijon. It only takes 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The A6 autoroute (freeway) serves Dijon directly and is a fast connection with the south of France, Paris, northern France and Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. The driving time from Paris to Dijon is about 3 ½ hours.
How do I book SNCF train tickets from the US?
TGV train reservations can be made via the English-language website SNCF.
A train ticket from Paris to Dijon costs approximately 70 euros, depending on the exact time of day and how long in advance you booked your ticket. You can purchase your ticket 3 months in advance. The earlier, the cheaper.
What do I need to know about traveling by SNCF TGV trains?
From the airport Paris CDG, you can follow signs to the buses and pick up an Air France shuttle to Gare de Lyon in Paris for about 20 euros. You can also take the RER to Gare de Lyon. At Gare de Lyon, you will follow signs to the SNCF/TGV to pick up a high-speed train to Dijon.
There is an electronic sign board you will use to “map” your ticket with car number (voiture) to where to stand on the train platform (voie). Inside the train, there is a place for luggage, (keep an eye on your luggage when in the train in Paris before departure!!) and you will have an assigned seat number (place assise). The train has bathrooms, a café car and places to use your cell phone.
Transfers off the SNCF train are very quick; set your alarm to tell you to move your baggage 5-10 minutes prior to the arrival time at your transfer city. The ride is very smooth, and you typically cannot tell it is slowing down, but there will be a brief announcement 5 minutes before arriving.
What do I do once I am at Dijon Train Station?
Should you happen to arrive at the Hotel Dijon early on the Sunday, (before 3:00 pm) you can ask the hotel receptionist to hold your luggage so you can discover pedestrian-friendly Dijon for lunch. There are many options for dinner on a Sunday evening very close to the hotel.
The Tour actually starts on Monday morning. We’ll meet you at front desk after breakfast at the time indicated in your Tour Booklet, which you’ll find in your hotel room.
FAQ SPECIFIC TO THE YOGA & WINE TOUR
Do I have to be good at yoga?
No, there is no “good” at yoga anyway! Yoga is a personal practice. All yoga classes (and all activities) on the retreat are completely optional. You may participate in as much, or as little as you’d like. All yoga classes and meditation practices will be accessible for beginners, or those “out of practice.” All that’s required is an open mind & a smile!
What kind of people go on yoga tours?
Everyone! Some guests had very little yoga experience, while others had been practicing for years. All are welcome and will be embraced in the inclusive environment of these retreats. Please note: In order to maintain a peaceful, safe and responsible group environment, Above Yoga retreats are adults-only. All guests must be 18 or older by the travel dates.
What should I bring?
A month prior to the tour, you will be sent a full itinerary and recommended packing list; but mostly comfortable clothes. You won’t need props for yoga classes but feel free to bring your own mat or mat towel if you prefer.
Key Phone Numbers
Isabelle Corneaux cell in France during the summer: 011.33.7126.96.36.199
Maison Philippe Le Bon in Dijon: 011.33.80.30.73.52
Hotel Abbaye de Maizière in Beaune: 011.33.80.24.74.64
We will be in close contact with you to give you updates on the tour and its realization.
Wine Detour LLC is a US based company registered in the state of Oregon.