OS Corkscrew Trip to Champagne

Wednesday 15 September, 8am

About the event

8am Wednesday 15 September to 7pm Friday 17 September 2021
The OS Corkscrew Society is delighted to be working with Over the Top Tours to lay on a tour of the Champagne Region of France for Old Stoics with a love of fine wines. 
This adventure will take us to Ardres, (in the Pas de Calais, where we shall meet up with our tour leader and native wine expert, Guy Boursot) and on to Reims and Épernay, where we will explore two Grande Marque Champagne houses, and enjoy tastings led by ‘Guy the Guide’ Boursot, and also indulge in some memorable ‘cuisine française’.
This trip could be particularly enjoyable for those who so appreciated Guy’s recent brilliant presentation on Champagne – and not least the Art of Sabrage - to the OS Corkscrew Society in London in June 2019 and which drew so much enthusiasm from the many members present.
We will depart by luxury coach from the Embankment at Charing Cross early in the morning on Wednesday 15 September, returning late on the evening of Friday 17 September. You may arrange to stay on for a private visit to Paris if you wish and can arrange alternative transport if you would prefer to drive your own car or fly. There will be ample space to store wine in the coach and our itinerary include opportunities to stock up! (See below) We will be staying at the 4* Hotel, in central Reims.
The total cost per person is being kept down to £475.00, based on two people sharing a room. A £75.00 deposit is payable upon booking, followed by two £200.00 instalments payable on 1 February and 1 March 2021. If you would like to spread the cost over more instalments this is possible, please telephone the Old Stoic Office to discuss on 01280 818252. A single suppliment of £30 will apply. 
Outline Itinerary (all times local)
Wednesday 17 September 2021
  • 08.00 Coach collects guests at Embankment, bacon butties served on board
  • 11.30 Depart Eurotunnel, Folkestone
  • 14.00    A light lunch in Ardres
  • 15.00    Latest departure for Reims
  • 16.00    Perhaps visit Grande Marque Champagne house in Reims, concluding with first glass of champagne
  • 18.30    Check into 4* Hotel de la Paix in centre of Reims, with indoor swimming pool and gym
  • 20.00    Dinner within walking distance of hotel
Thursday 16 September 2021
  • 09.30    In the vineyards of Cumières, we meet a producing family who own vines here and to see and discuss both regular and organic vine cultivation   
  • 11.30    Restaurant in Ay starting with a tasting of the three base ingredient wines.  There then follows a blending of these wines to achieve a group preferred style.  Followed by lunch. 
  • 14.30    Visit to the cellars of a Grande Marque Champagne House such as Pol Roger in Epernay  – with a tasting of several champagnes
  • 17.30    Arrive back at hotel for free time, exploring shops, cathedral, or simply relaxing in bars, restaurants or the hotel.  Or we visit a Grande Marque Champagne House in Epernay.
  • 19.30     Dinner at a local restaurant for the group
Friday 17 September 2021
  • 09.30 Visit family run house in Premier Cru village of Hautvillers – discussion of vinification and a tasting of at least four champagnes
  • 11.30 Light lunch and then head back northwards
  • 15.00 Arrive Ardres for a little additional wine shopping!
  • 16.30 Depart Eurotunnel
  • 17.00 Arrive Folkestone and head on to dispersal point
  • 19.00 Arrive central London
How to Book
Places are extremely limited to 25 people, so we recommend getting in touch as soon as possible to secure your space. 
To book, please pay the £75.00 deposit by clicking on the button above or telephone Sasha moss on 01280 818349. Please give the names of any guests, along with any dietary or access requirements.
Payments can be made by credit or debit card over the telephone, or send a cheque, payable to Old Stoic Society, to The Old Stoic Office, Stowe School, Buckingham, MK18 5EH. 
Two further payments of £200.00 will be due on Monday 1 February 2021 and Monday 1 March 2021. 
‘Guy the Guide’
Guy Boursot - Proprietor, Boursot Wine Collection, Wine Consultants SARL and ‘Over the Top Tours’
Guy is Anglo-French and has a proven track record in giving wine talks, in England and France, and organising/leading tours of the various wine growing regions of France.
The Boursot family has been continuously involved with wine on both sides of the English Channel since the mid-17th century. Continuing in his family's tradition of wine, Guy worked for 17 years for Berry Bros & Rudd Ltd, both buying and selling wines but left them in order to rekindle his family's old wine business of A. Boursot & Co. which he then ran for 11 years. 
Guy has wide ranging experience in the wine business in both the UK and in France. He is a wine writer, lecturer, consultant and vineyard tour operator - and building on his solid and trustworthy reputation, he opened his own wine shop in northern France in 2006. 
Guy told us “The Boursot family has been involved with the Champagne trade continuously since 1828 and introduced dry champagne to the global market.  I was also Chairman of the Champagne Academy, the body that represents the generic interests of the Grande Marque Champagne Houses in the UK, and there are many fascinating insights that I will be able to introduce to those attending.   I am confident that you will enjoy it all very much, but come back enlightened about champagne – both the area and its wine.”
“Boursot's Wine Collection" is an attractive 250 year old listed building in the pretty and historic town of Ardres, just 15 minutes south of Calais and 25 minutes east of Boulogne. Here you can be assured of receiving good, sensible (and British!) advice and you can taste the wines before you decide to buy any. 
If you wish to buy wine from the Boursot Wine Collection, prices start from around £3 and of course offer you the huge savings obtained by buying in France. Assuming your purchases are for personal consumption you can bring these back into the UK without paying the UK's penal rates of duty or any other taxes, saving yourself at least £3 on each bottle of still wine and around £7 on each bottle of Champagne.