Do you offer schedule or private tours?
Our tours are private, just for you and your travel partner or private group. We do not offer sceduled tours for mixed groups of guests who do not know each other. You will have your own driver and an English speaking guide, depending on the itineray and what you choose.
Are the tours customisable?
Absolutely! The various itineraries on the website are sample tours so that you have a taste of the kind of activities, destinations, chateaux visits that we offer.
We specialise in custom designed Wine Tours and we will create your dream tour based on your preferences; Your time in the region, chateaux visits & wine tastings, desired hotel type (4 -5 stars, chateau or character hotel), private cooking classes, guided walking tours, golf, spa pampering, your prefered start time, etc.
When you contact us for your customised wine tour, we will send you an initial request form for you to provide all this information, which will be followed up with a telephone consultation, from which we will assemble the first draft of your tour. We refine your custom proposal as many times as necessary until we have created the perfect tour for you.
Why should I book with Decanter Tours?
We love wine and France and we enjoy sharing our knowledge of the wine regions! You will have one person dedicated to planning your itinerary with the activities you choose. We play close attention to all the details of your tour as the tours are designed in-house to our exacting standards.
All our guides work or have worked in the wine industry or hold a professional wine qualification. They all speak good English, are well educated, travelled and are fun.
Our focus is teaching you about the region, so that you become more knowledgeable about the wines, the chateaux and have an enjoyable time. We have excellent contacts with the wine chateau and our suppliers, which gives you exclusive access to some special places.
What is included?
Chateau visits and tasting with a professional guide are always the starting point. You can add well chosen accomodation, a driver, tasting menus paired with intertesting wines, Chateau dinners with a wine maker, a round of golf, a picnic of local produce in the vines -we adapt the intierary for you.
Can you organise a Wine Tour for my Wine Club?
We have done various programs for groups. Some are single day trips from Ocean cruise ships, 3 -4 pre cruise trips, to 10 day multi region wine tasting journeys. We enjoy incorporating varied activities, (golf, boat trips, market visits, etc) so that all the members of the group have a great time.
Can I visit any Chateau or Winery?
In almost all wine chateaux you need have an appointement. Let us know the vineyards that you wish to visit; The earlier you book, the more likely you are to be able to visit the top properties and your favourites. Some of the exclusive properties are only available to wine professionals.
What do the Tours cost?
The price for our luxury tours is based on the number of guests in your private group, the amount of chauffeur services included, the style of hotel, the number and style of meals included (Michelin starred restaurants, tasting menus with greast vintages or an atmospheric local bistrot) and the final selection of activiites.
For two people the price starts from 550€ per full day. Some tours are expensive as the fixed costs are divided by a small number of people -personal service comes at a price. Feel free to contact us for specific pricing on any of our sample itineraries on the website, in addition to pricing for your custom tour.
For larger groups the price per person becomes very affordable.
What is the pace of the tours like?
You tell us how busy you want to be! Let us know during the planning how early you like to start, the amount of chateaux visits and activities, etc. Our guides usually work an 8 hour day.
What meals are included?
We often include lunches, sumptuous dinners and informal pinics as guests of the estastes, the sort of thing that is not possible if you are travelling alone. The menus for meals are planned with our hosts in advance to feature regional specialities and to complement their wines.
Sometimes we include meals in good restaurants but usually only when we invite a Wine Estate owner or wine maker to show thier wines.
For non-included meals you may make your own choice, perhaphs using our suggestions from our extensive experience.
How do I book a Wine Tour with you?
Once you are satisfied with our proposal, we send you an invoice and a booking form. The booking form needs to be completed, signed, scanned and returned to us. Once received, we will proceed with processing your payment and confirming all suppliers. (Specific suppliers are subject to availability at reciept of the deposit. If a supplier is not available, another one of equal or superior value will be arranged.)
How much is the deposit?
To reserve your trip we require a 30% deposit of the total to confirm services. The balance must be paid 30 days prior to departure. If the start date is less than 60 days away, payment is due in full.
What methods of payment are accepted?
American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Bank wire transfer.
Do I need to be an expert to book a tour?
Dont worry if you havent heard of some of the wine estates or regions. Wine tasting holidays with us are relaxed and your guide will explain and answer all your questions. All our tours are for people who enjoy the good things in life, especially wine.
If your knowlege of wine is extensive, you certainly won't be dissapointed. We have clients from the wine and restaurant trades or even winemakers themselves.
When is the best time to visit France?
The best months for mild weather are April, May, June, September and October.
For wine enthusiasts, the vine harvest (September to November depending on the region,) is the most interesting.
Some chateau have a limited number of visits and some do get booked up well ahead. We start planning as soon as you contact us.
Are there any restrictions?
No. Let us know during the planning stage if you have difficulty walking or use a wheelchair. As there are often steps in the winery cellars and you usually stand thoughout the visits, we can adapt your arrangements to suit you.
If you have dietary requirement, again, let us know in advance so that we can inform the restaurants or chateau where you will be dining.
What is your cancellation policy?
Decanter Tours adheres to the following cancellation policy if for certain resons you are forced to cancel your trip with us:
Cancellations received by Decanter Tours SAS 90 days or more proir to departure will be subject to a 200€ per person/ per program cancellation fee.
89 -60 days prior to departure will be subject to 30% of the program price.
59 - 30 days proir to departure will be subject to 60% of the program price.
29 days or less proir to departure will be subject to 100% of the program price.
Additional hotel nights and other services booked in connection with Decanter Tours SAS programs are subject to the following: Cancellations received 31 or more days proir to the service will be refunded in full; cancellations received 30 - 15 days in advance will be charged 50% of the price; cancellations received less than 15 days in advance will be charged 100% of the price.
Refund Policy: Refunds are not made for any missed or unused services.
What insurance do I need?
Please note that travel insurance, medical insurance and cancellation insurance are not included. We highly recommend that you take out a comprehensive travel, medical and cancellation insurance policy prior to departure.
Are flights included in the price?
Decanter Tours SAS itineraries are 'land only', which means that your flight arrangements are not made by us. This allows you flexibility to plan your journey.
Check back soon for more information.