- 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
|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|
Day 1: The Vineyards of Geneva and Lavaux
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
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.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: From Switzerland to Italy
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
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
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
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.