Scott McWilliam is a sixth generation winemaker, so it is fair to say that he was born into the Australian wine industry. Needless to say, it didn’t take long before he started working in the family business, McWilliam’s Wines. Scott was only 14 when he began helping out at Hanwood Estate in the Riverina. After leaving school, Scott headed to the famous Bordeaux region in France, for his first full harvest at the age of 19. Scott then completed a Bachelor of Science at the Australian National University and a Postgraduate degree in Oenology (Winemaking) at the University of Adelaide. Scott also gained enormous experience during his time working for the prestigious Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide. Scott moved to the Hunter Valley, to Mount Pleasant Estate, as Winery Manager & Senior Winemaker in charge of making some of the most highly prized wines in Australia, including James Halliday Shiraz of the year for the 2011 Maurice O’Shea Shiraz, and the multiple trophy-winning and globally praised Lovedale Semillon. Since then Scott turned his love of wine education into a reality, completing the prestigious Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma, which he now teaches at the highest level, across multiple venues to all levels. Scott also recently joined the team at Qantas, facilitating wine education for inflight crew. Scott has visited over 50 wine regions globally, and currently represents Australia as a professional wine judge in Europe’s second largest wine show, held annually in Germany. In his spare time, Scott brews beer and distills spirits, and he just loves to travel.VIEW ITINERARY
DAY 1 Tuesday September 10, 2024 Departure
This afternoon we meet to start the tour in Paris. This evening Scott McWilliam will host a Welcome Drinks Party before recommending interesting nearby restaurants for dinner.
DAY 2 Wednesday September 11, 2024 Reims
After breakfast the tour group will travel by private coach to Reims, the capital of the Champagne wine region, for a two-night stay at the four-star Holiday Inn Reims Centre. The Champagne vineyards are located south of Reims, with the main producers near Reims and around the villages of Epernay and Ay, close to the banks of the River Marne. There are approximately 27,500 hectares of vines in the Champagne region, with more than 19,000 producers. Only about 10 percent of the vines belong to the great international producers. The tour will commence with visits to the vine-growing areas and to some of the very best producers. We will meet the winemakers and enjoy a series of tastings under the guidance of Scott McWilliam. We will travel to our tour hotel late-afternoon for check-in. Good quality local restaurants will be recommended for dinner
DAY 3 Thursday September 12, 2024 Reims
After breakfast we will travel to Epernay and Ay for a full day of vineyard visits. We will drive through the vines along the picturesque ‘Champagne Route’ and visit two of the region’s main producers. We will meet the winemakers and sample a range of the best crus. Local restaurants will be recommended for dinner.
DAY 4 Friday September 13, 2024 Dijon
After breakfast the tour group will travel south to Dijon for two nights. Dijon is capital of the Burgundy wine region and is famous for mustard and other culinary delights. It sits at the north of the region comprising the Cote de Nuits in the north and Cote du Rhone in the south, with the town of Beaune in the middle. Burgundy produces ethereal, silky, cool-climate elegant, wines of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes in regions such as Romanee Conti, Chambertin, Vouget and Chassagne Montrachet. The exploration will commence after lunch with a vineyard and cellar visit combined with a structured tasting led by Scott McWilliam.
DAY 5 Saturday September 14, 2024 Dijon
This morning we will visit a prestige winery and enjoy tastings with Scott McWilliam. The afternoon will be free for wine bar exploration in this fabulous town, or a quiet rest. This evening we will enjoy a Celebration Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant hosted by Scott McWilliam with superb wine and food from the region.
DAY 6 Sunday September 15, 2024 Lyon
After breakfast the tour group will travel to Beaune, the delightful main town in the Burgundy wine region. There will be time for individual sightseeing and early lunch before we continue south to visit a prominent Beaujolais producer to taste the Gamay Beaujolais variety at its source. Late afternoon, we travel on to Lyon, the second largest city in France, superbly located at the junction of the Soane and Rhone rivers. It is a lively cultural city with a history extending back beyond Roman times. Today it is an important centre for scientific research, higher education and high-tech industries. Late afternoon, we will check in for two nights at the four-star Hotel Carlton. Interesting restaurants will be recommended for dinner.
DAY 7 Monday September 16, 2024 Lyon
A full day of exploration in the Rhone Valley, where the familiar shiraz (syrah), so well-known in Australia, is the main variety. Famous names include Guigal, Chapoutier and Paul Jaboulet. We will visit some of the finest producers of this great variety. Good quality restaurants will be recommended for dinner in Lyon.
DAY 8 Tuesday September 17, 2024 Marseille
Today we travel south along the Rhone Valley to Marseille for a two-night stay at the four-star Grand Hotel Beauvau, Vieux Port. We will visit wineries in the southern Rhone Chateau Neuf du Pape region and taste some distinctive and delicious grenache and syrah blends under Scott McWilliam’s guidance. Restaurants and wine bars will be recommended for an evening at leisure.
DAY 9 Wednesday September 18, 2024 Marseille
A leisurely, free day to enjoy Marseille. Take a side trip to Aix en Provence or relax in nearby Cassis. This evening we will enjoy a Celebration Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, at which Scott McWilliam will showcase the best wines from the regions we have visited.
DAY 10 Thursday September 19, 2024 Toulouse
After breakfast we will travel west to the modern city of Toulouse for a one night stay at the four- star Grand Hotel de l’Opera. We will enjoy a winery visit in the vast Languedoc wine-producing region, noted for high-volume production and rapidly improving quality. We will stop in the medieval town of Carcassonne for sightseeing at leisure.
DAY 11 Friday September 20, 2024 Bordeaux
After breakfast, we travel west to the famous Bordeaux region. Bordeaux, located on the grand Garonne River just after it joins the Dordogne River, is the sixth-largest city in France and is the centre of the most renowned wine region in the world. On the outskirts of Bordeaux we will visit the famous Chateau Climens First Growth Barsac winery before checking into our hotel for a five-night stay. This evening we will enjoy the Celebration Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, hosted by Scott McWilliam.
DAY 12 Saturday September 21, 2024 Bordeaux
This morning we travel north to the left bank of the Gironde to spend a day of exploration in the Pauilliac and St-Estephe regions. Pauillac is the home of top rate producers such as Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Lynch-Bages and Pontet Canet. Cabernet Sauvignon is the prominent variety here, often blended with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
DAY 13 Sunday September 22, 2024 Bordeaux
Today the tour group will return to the Medoc to visit wineries and taste wines in the southern regions of Margaux and St Julien. Scott McWilliam will lead the group on visits to a range of top-level producers and guide us though enjoyable and informative, structured tastings. The regions are home to Chateau Margaux, Chateau Beychevelle, Palmer, Brane Cantenac and Chateau Talbot among others. We return to Bordeaux for an evening at leisure. Good quality restaurants will be recommended.
DAY 14 Monday September 23, 2024 Bordeaux
Today we will visit the right bank St Emilion and Pomerol regions to the east of Bordeaux. The regions are home to many fine producers that include Cheval Blanc, Troplong Mondot, Vieux Chateau Certan, Canon, Pavie, Petrus and Latour Pomerol. Their wines are based mainly on merlot, with cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon also involved. Scott McWilliam will introduce us to some of the most important producers and guide us through structured tasting sessions. There will be some free time in the delightful small town of St Emilion.
DAY 15 Tuesday September 24, 2024 Bordeaux
A free day for relaxation or further exploration. We will come together for our Farewell Celebration Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, with local wines carefully selected by Scott McWilliam. We will celebrate the success and enjoyment of our time in France with Scott. It will be a most enjoyable evening.
DAY 16 Wednesday September 25, 2024 Departure
After breakfast the tour group will be transferred to Bordeaux airport and railway station for onwards connections.
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International touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd, (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour operator.
The tour costs are based on airfare, general transport, and accommodation costs at 1/10/23. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to price will be made within 60 days of the start of the tour.
Deposit and Payment
A non-refundable deposit of $1200 per passenger for is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 90 days before departure. A 1.5% administration fee will be charged on payments made by credit card.
Cancellations within 75 days of departure will result in the loss of all monies paid. Cancellation outside 75 days from departure will result in a cancellation fee of the deposit.
Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.
Minimum Tour Numbers and Conditions:
The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 60 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost. Travelrite reserves the right to change advertised entrances if necessary for the smooth operation of the tour.
The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect of sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced
Children under 5 years of age are ineligible on coach & cruise tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Passengers with disabilities are welcome on Travelrite & Cruise Offers tours provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from Travelrite & Cruise Offers personnel. Travelrite and Cruise Offers reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach & cruise tour travel and who may require services and facilities that Travelrite & Cruise Offers cannot guarantee will be available. You agree to not hold the Travelrite & Cruise Offers responsible for any decision made by any of them or any service provider to refuse to carry you, provide any facilities or accommodation to you or to provide any service to you.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078, ATAS A10538) is the tour organiser. Travelrite International acts only as agent for passengers in making arrangements with carriers, hoteliers and others for the tour. As a result, we cannot accept liability for any act or omission whatsoever, whether negligent or otherwise of those carriers, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with the tour over whom we have no direct or exclusive control. We do not accept responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of schedule, or any other events that are beyond our direct control, such as, but not limited to, war, terrorism, flood, fire. Civil disturbance, acts of God, acts of Government, or any other authorities, accidents to or failure of machinery or equipment, or industrial actions. The passage contract in use by the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies or firms and the purchasers of these tours. Baggage is at owners risk throughout the tour. The contract between passenger and Travelrite International shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Victoria and any legal action is required to be undertaken in the State of Victoria.
Delays and Unforeseen Events
You engage Travelrite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
How to Book:
Bookings can be made by completing a booking form and sending it with a deposit of $1200 per person to:
Travelrite International Pty. Ltd.
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103
Further information can be obtained by telephoning
Toll Free 1800 630 343
Phone: (03) 8803 6868
ABOUT TRAVELRITE INTERNATIONAL:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established travel company which has beenmarketing throughout Australia for over 30 years and operating in Victoria formore than 40 years. It has a fully licensed (ATAS No. 10538) office at Balwynwhich is accredited with IATA. As such we directly represent the majorairlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour andtransport operators. Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.
“One of the best tours we have ever done. Great program and lovely people.”
“Well organised tour that ran smoothly. Very impressed with Wayne Horsburgh, intelligent, talented and caring.”