Sample some of the world's best wines as you circle around Mont Blanc from Switzerland to Italy to France. Visit vineyards nestled in the idyllic countryside in the foothills of the Alps, where ancient grape varieties still produce rare and high-quality wines. Taste local wines in the terraced hills of Lavaux, Switzerland, and toast to the breathtaking views from Pointe Helbronner in France with a glass of Cuvée des Guides — moments and wines to be remembered!

Highlights

  • Sample local wines with stunning views of Mont Blanc and surrounding Alps
  • Visit the Dalai Lama's vineyard in the hills of Switzerland
  • Play with St. Bernards on the Swiss-Italian border
  • Savor the moment with a cuvée atop a mountain in France
  • Wander the narrow medieval streets of Annecy in France

Brief Itinerary 

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival; vineyards of Geneva and Lavaux Lake Geneva
Day 2 Valais wines Valais
Day 3 From Switzerland to Italy Courmayeur
Day 4 Wines of Mont Blanc Chamonix
Day 5 Savoie wines Chambéry
Day 6 Chautagne wines; departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: The Vineyards of Geneva and Lavaux

Charming Geneva Winelands
Charming Geneva Winelands

Start your wine tour on an estate in the Geneva Winelands. Enjoy a buffet lunch while sampling a fruity Gamanote Noir (a blend of Gamaret, Pinot Noir, Garanoir, Gamay, and Merlot) or a Garanoir (a combination of Gamay and Reichensteiner). Continue on to the terraces of the Lavaux Vineyards — a UNESCO World Heritage Site —  to taste a variety of locally produced wines like a light, dry white Le Gilles St-Saphorin or a dry, full-bodied red like a Gamaret.

End your day with dinner and a night stay on the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), surrounded by views of the Alps and Mont Blanc.

Day 2: Valais Wines

Ripe grapes for the picking
Ripe grapes for the picking

Today you'll visit a lakeside château and former residence of the royal House of Savoie, a medieval architectural jewel embedded in the crown of Lac Léman and the surrounding Alps. Carry on to the vineyards of Valais to taste an array of grape varieties, including whites like a Fendant made from Chasselas grapes or a traditional Swiss red variety, like Humagne Rouge. Settle in for the evening in your hotel and recharge in an optional heated swimming pool, thermal river, wellness center, or sauna and hammam.

Day 3: From Switzerland to Italy

Mont Blanc, Courmayeur, Italy
Courmayeur, Italy with Mont Blanc 

Take a gentle walk to Saillon to visit the world's smallest registered vineyard — only three vines in a 17.4 ft ² area and owned by the Dalai Lama. Have lunch in a traditional brasserie offering regional dishes and local Valais wines. Then visit the Great St. Bernard Hospice on the Swiss-Italian border in the Vallee d'Aosta (Aosta Valley) to play with St. Bernard dogs. Trek down into the valley to stay in your charming hotel in Courmayeur, located at the foot of Mont Blanc on the Italian side.

Day 4: Wines of Mont Blanc

Pointe Helbronner, French-Italian Border
Pointe Helbronner peak viewing and cable car station

Spend the morning at leisure in idyllic Courmayeur before visiting a local wine cellar to taste the unique varieties grown at the highest altitude in Europe, such as the local grape variety, le Prié Blanc. Stop for a gourmet lunch at 7,874 feet, offering a panoramic view of the Valle d'Aosta before ascending another 3,484 feet to Pointe Helbronner (11,358 feet elevation) in France to sample the famous Cuvée des Guides. Enjoy dinner and stay the night in Chamonix Mont Blanc in France.

Day 5: Savoie Wines

Chambery, Savoie, France
Chambéry

Explore upper mountain pastures and taste local French cheeses this morning. Then sample wines at a renowned Savoie vineyard, including some rare and forgotten grape varieties, before pausing to have lunch at a local inn. Continue on to Chambéry, the former capital of the Duchy of Savoy, and wander around this medieval city with its quaint alleyways, striking Fontaine des Eléphants (Fountain of Elephants), and the 11th-century Château des Ducs de Savoie. Dine and spend the night in this charming old town.

Day 6: Chautagne Wines

Annecy, France
Annecy

On your last day, head to the vineyards of Jongieux and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Riviera des Alpes. Try wines like the Marestel, Gamay de Chautagne or the Malvoisie.  Visit an abbey (and burial place of the princes of Savoie), that currently serves as a spiritual retreat tucked away on the mountainside and overlooking the aquamarine lake.

Continue on to Annecy, known as the "Little Venice of the Alps," in Haute-Savoie and spend some time wandering the narrow streets along the canals and by cafés. Take a private boat tour of Lac d'Annecy (Lake Annecy) while you sample wines typical of Haute-Savoie.