Questions & Answers
What’s the difference between the different vineyard tours? All of our vineyard tours include a visit to a ‘vineyard’ (sometimes with only a few vines) that create a link to that quarter’s wine history. Though all of these vineyards produce grapes, only Montmartre makes wine that we can taste. So each tour offers a different account of Paris’ wine history. Each quarter also has its own history and that too is referred to as we walk from the vineyard to the wine tasting. Each tour features a tasting of wines made with the same grapes found in the vineyard. Though the current grape varieties planted in Parisian vineyards rarely have any real link with the grapes planted in the past, this is still a tie-in to Parisian 'terroir’ that allows us to evoke the extraordinary history of Parisian vineyards.
How much wine is included in the tastings? The tastings include a minimum of two wines and generally three. The wines selected vary from one tour to another as they always correspond to the vines planted in the vineyard we have visited. Though these are wines made in other regions of France, and NOT the wines produced in the vineyards themselves (access to these wines, with the exception of Montmartre, is very limited and production too small to allow for public consumption), they still connect us to the grape varieties we have seen and also allow us to connect to the spirit of wine. Two full glasses of wine are included with the lunch and aperitif options. Food is not officially included for 'tasting only' bookings, but we always provide something to nibble during the wine tasting.
What kind of wines are served in the tastings? All of the wine bars and wine shops we visit feature organic, biodynamic and ‘natural’ wines as we are committed to living wines with real taste that don't give headaches and also preserve soils, reducing CO2 emissions and allowing water-tables to stay clean. In other words, wines without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, chemical yeasts, chemical additions or fertilizers - wines that are made from grapes and nothing else.
I can’t tolerate sufites. Do the wines contain sulfites? Though it is sometimes difficult to explain this to people who think they are suffering from an intolerance for sulfites, it is more often than not the case that they are simply intolerant of pesticides and the other ‘cides’ used in conventional farming. That much said, many of the wines we taste contain no additional sulphur, and when they do, it is much lower than in conventional wines.
I don’t drink wine – can I still take this tour? Of course, but there is no reduction offered for not participating in the wine tastings.
How often do the tours operate? We offer the possibility of a number of different time slots per week, which may apply to any of the walks. In other words, departure times are fixed, but the choice of vineyards is open, with certain exceptions. Contact us for more information.
What do the wine-bar lunch meals include? Each tour visits a different wine bar, but in each case the meal includes the menu of the day, or a pre-selected menu with a choice of starter, main course and dessert. One glass of white and one of red is included with these meals. Additional wine and other drinks are not included. Our selection of wine bars is based on quality. All of the wine bars we visit feature seasonal, locally sourced, organic products.
What does the aperitif include? Each wine bar is different and so the choices vary with each tour, but always include a variety of possibilities. In an effort to reduce our carbon footprints, we encourage vegetarian options, though do not exclude meat and cheese. This is not a meal, but will be sufficient for accompanying the glass of white and the glass of red that are included with the aperitif. Additional wine and other drinks are not included.
How much walking will there be? We have made an effort to find wine shops and wine bars that are close to the vineyards and so walking is limited, though may involve distances of a kilometre or more, all told. Also, we don’t spend much time sitting down, so if you’re not able to walk and stand for two to three hours, you might consider a private tour adapted to your specific needs.
Can I bring my children? This is a decision parents must make, keeping in mind that our tours are explicitly designed for adults and feature adult experiences (wine tasting), and detailed discussion. There are no discounts for children. The legal age for buying alcohol in France is eighteen, and for consumption, sixteen.
What happens if it rains? Our tours run rain or shine and so we suggest you prepare accordingly. Much of each tour will be outdoors and in the streets, though the wine tastings are of course in the shelter of a wine shop or wine bar. No cancellations due to weather are accepted.
How far in advance do I need to book? It is possible to book up to 2 days prior to departure if the minimum number of participants (4) has already been met. We advise booking at least 2 weeks in advance.
The tour I booked has been cancelled. Can I join a different tour? Paris Wine Walks will only cancel a tour if the minimum number of participants (4) is not met. In the event that this occurs, we will contact you to suggest a different tour. If you are not able to participate in that tour (for legitimate reasons of time constraints), we will refund you, or offer you a credit for a future date.
The tour I want to join is sold out. Can you squeeze us in? Unfortunately, the answer is no. We are limited to a maximum of 8 participants (for most tours) as it is otherwise impossible to squeeze everyone in for the tastings and or lunch or aperitif. We also prefer the intimacy of small groups as they allow us more convivial, one-on-one experiences.