When I first spoke to Pauline de Castelnau, it was clear that we had more in common than an appreciation of wine. Following our passions, we both set up a small boutique business offering a truly special experience for people visiting France.

While Flavours of France organises Cookery Holidays, Pauline provides bespoke, intimate wine tours. On our 5 day Lyon Course Pauline will take guests on a day trip to visit the Beaujolais vineyards, meet the producers and taste the wine. Read my interview with Pauline below:

1) What made you start your Beaujolais wine tours?
Many reasons. Firstly, my passion for the region, its great wines and the people who make them, the wonderful winemakers of Beaujolais!

Secondly, the renewed interest of wine lovers in this region after the historical vintage of 2009, and the fact that more and more people are interested in coming to Beaujolais to meet and discuss with winemakers, and taste their wines.

2) What can guests expect from your tours?
Intimacy, a “behind the door” exploration, a personal touch and a tailored experience.

3) Have you always been passionate about wine?
I started living in a winery when I was 10, when my family moved to Meursault in Burgundy, where my dad became a winemaker. This is when my first memory of wine dates back, our lives followed the rhythms and seasons of wine.

4) What in your opinion is the difference between a good and a great wine?
I will quote my father here, who says “A good wine is just a good tasting drink. A great wine is a living wine.” So while a good wine is pleasant, a great wine can tell you a story.

5) What makes the Beaujolais wines so special?
The Beaujolais is very well known around the world, especially because of the famous party taking place every November when “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” It is also well-known for its long aging wines which combine the fresh touches of the Gamay grape, with fruity and gourmet flavours.

Beaujolais is also a region with stunning landscapes full of rolling hills covered in vines, and people with a reputation for hospitality and love of life in general!

6) If you could describe your wine tours in 3 words, what would they be?
Experience, pleasure and knowledge.

7) Where are your favourite places in Lyon?
La Mère Brazier, a Michelin starred restaurant run by a talented young chef, where I go when I want to impress food lovers.

La Tartine is also a lovely little restaurant with delicious old fashioned recipes and Edith Piaf always playing in the background. The best place in town to devour a “pogne” (a praline brioche) is at La Praline, on Saint Jean street in the historical district. For great places to eat and drink you are spoilt for choice in Lyon.

Thanks Pauline for taking the time to chat with us, I can’t wait for the next Beaujolais wine tour later this summer! For more information about our Lyon Holidays, take a look at our upcoming Courses.