The main headings in this newsletter are shown below.
JANUARY & FEBRUARY SALE
10% OFF ALL WINES ON OUR LIST
At the moment the euro rate stands at around 1.33 to the pound. So, coupled with the increase in the number of our wine, travel, restaurant and accommodation offers, this is a good time to come and stock up. Remember also that diesel, at around 0.98€ per litre, is around 30% cheaper in France than in the UK, so make a double whammy and fill up your diesel car while you're here! And there are many groceries that are much cheaper in France than in the UK. Several of these disparities, but especially on wine prices, are to be highlighted by the BBC1 programme "Rip-Off Britain" during March/April.
As Patrick Collinson wrote in The Guardian in November "The cross-channel booze cruise, which virtually disappeared five years ago, has come roaring back. The sharp rise in the pound means Brits are returning to Calais…"
back to top
Some Q&A regarding Calais etc
You probably already know that the vast majority of cross-channel travel problems were resolved many months ago, but from time to time I still receive e-mails asking whether it is safe to travel!
So as a form of self-defence, I'd say that if one was to absorb every fragment of so-called "news" put out or re-hashed by the British tabloid media, one could (almost!) be forgiven for believing that the north of France was a no-go area, which is completely contrary to the evidence: customers every day report easy journeys. The trouble has been that some of the drip-feed of negative reporting has been absorbed by readers , and it is for this reason primarily that so many businesses in Calais have now been forced into liquidation - more than any problems from potential emigrants who have been generally accepted and who I am told are generally perfectly civil.
But the sorts of questions we are still asked include:-
To get to Ardres or Marquise, do we have to fight through throngs of people?
No. You disembark from the train or the boat in the normal way and you will not be obstructed. In fact it would be unusual to see any "migrants" at all.
Is it safe to travel by tunnel?
Yes, it is probably the safest it has ever been.
What of any delays?
All travel operators of all sorts experience some delays, some technical and some due to other circumstances. There are occasional delays but they are very much the exception, rather than the rule. For my part, I travel across pretty much each week and I cannot even remember when was my last delay - perhaps in August?
Are there additional passport controls and delays?
While Europe was talking about re-establishing frontier controls on its borders, because the UK opted out of the Schengen agreement, there have always been frontier posts between the two countries. So nothing changes.
Customers arriving here each day report no problems at all. Almost by way of confirmation, we were happy to receive the following e-mail recently!
"We held on for ages, waiting for things to get better. No news so we decided to chance it, only to find that not only were the journeys easy, they were on time!! We had a lovely day as always. I am now kicking myself for not having come before and having forced myself to buy some revolting expensive wine at our local supermarket." (CW)
back to top
The Duty on Wine
As you may know already, the rates of UK duty before VAT are £2.05 per bottle of still wine and £2.63 on each bottle of sparkling wine. This tax forms part of the cost price, so retailers calculate their margin on that higher cost, so the difference then becomes even greater. Add 20% VAT to both the duty and to the value of the wine and you have ... a really unhappy situation for UK wine drinkers.
With the average sale price of a bottle of wine in the UK being £5.03, this means that around 65% of the cost of that bottle is now consumed in tax.
In France there is only a negligible rate of duty on wine, thanks to the country being a major supplier of wine. So, its tax remains at a comparatively non-existent rate of around 3p per bottle! You get a lot more wine for your money in France. It really isn't difficult to work out.
Some of you enjoy the lower expenditure while others spend the same on your bottle as you might in the UK, but by buying at Boursot's Wine Collection, you get a far superior quality and value. With a range starting at under £3 per bottle, Boursot's has developed a reputation for offering a wide range of French wines of reliably good quality and value. Boursot's Wine Collection has taken some of the confusion and risk out of seeking and buying decent French wines, and with its British owner and English speaking staff, you will always receive good advice. And most of the time you can taste the wines as well.
On our list you get a good selection of French wines in Ardres and Marquise with some huge savings over UK prices. You can rest assured that all the wines on this list, starting at just 3,90€ (around £2.90) per bottle, have been tasted and selected by me as being "good" in their own different ways - it's then simply a question of your personal preferences and of course everyone has different tastes.
Many of you say the same thing - voiced by one happy customer not so long ago "One has to be crazy to buy wines in England. Virtually no choice on the high street and when you can find something interesting, it's ridiculously expensive... This (coming to Ardres) is so much fun, it's so easy, we make a day of it and everyone is happy".
We host a number of high quality wine dinners at some top local restaurants - and we have some especially entertaining events coming up over the coming months. You should come, so please look in the Forthcoming Dinners section below for more details.
Remember: according to HM Customs & Excise you can take back as much wine as you like from France to Britain, provided that it's for your personal consumption. If you want to take back a lorry full of wine for your own use at weddings and parties, you are perfectly within your rights to do so.
back to top
Boursot's Marquise Shop
Boursot's new shop warehouse is less than a minute off the A16 motorway at Marquise, north of Wimereux and Boulogne, and is a very easy 15 minute drive straight out of the tunnel. It has plenty of free parking. If you are in a rush and headed to Boulogne, Le Touquet, Montreuil, Normandy or Paris, you can of course pre-order your wines so as to be ready for your arrival so that you can be loaded up and on your way again within seconds.
There are several attractions to Marquise, being only 10 minutes away from the picturesque seaside village of Wissant with its various restaurants and one of the finest sandy beaches of the northern coastline. Boulogne too is only 10 minutes away, with all that it has to offer. You will find a list of nearby places to eat and places to stay on this link.
"The new outlet is larger, lots of parking, so convenient to get to, three supermarkets very close by. The town has good shops, the butcher is a must. The bar (Café des Arts) opposite the butchers is very friendly." (JB, Glos)
Opening hours for Marquise are marginally different, being Monday to Saturday 10.30 - 5.30 and it is NOT open on French bank holidays.
back to top
Introduce a Friend and you will receive a Free Bottle of Champagne!
From today for an unlimited period and as part of our upward drive (!), if you recommend us to a friend who becomes a new customer who spends more than 150€ in either of our shops and goes on our e-mail list, we will give you a bottle of our lovely Richard-Dhondt, Cuvée de Réserve champagne next time you are down in Ardres. So make sure you tell them to mention your name, so we can save your bottle!
back to top
10% OFF ALL WINE PRICES UNTIL END FEBRUARY
This Offer remains valid until the end of February 2016 and cannot be combined with any other Offer. So if for example, you are planning a wedding or a large party, or simply looking to stock up, this is the ideal moment to take advantage of these price reductions.
As you will know, we are regularly told off by producers for supplying their wines too cheaply (and indeed we have stopped working with some because of their insistence) but we have always preferred to show you keen net headline prices rather than muck about with raising them in order to give a so-called "discount". This is a Genuine Offer.
To reserve your stocks, please use this link or e-mail us in the regular way on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will acknowledge all orders, and once payment has been received, we will pull your wines out of stock and hold them, rent-free for up to four months, ready for your collection.
back to top
Eurotunnel Half Price Day Return Offer
Eurotunnel is running its £23 day return fares on Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 February 2016. Click the link below to access the offer: http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/promotions/tickets/Daytrip-ETLS/
back to top
Boursot's Reduced P&O and Eurotunnel Fares
One of your ongoing benefits as a Boursot customer is reduced cross-channel fares via both P&O and Eurotunnel.
P&O day and overnight return (which means returning before midnight the following day), fares start at £23 and are currently available until 31st March 2016. We hope to renew the arrangement shortly. There is normally a small supplement between £3 and £5 for travelling on a Saturday.
Click on the P&O logo on the home page of www.boursot.co.uk and this will take you directly to the booking form pre-filled with our special code. Regarding the overnight discounted fare, P&O tell me, that because they have some web problems, it is best to call 01304 448888 (high phone charges will not apply) to make your booking and you will not be charged the £5 telephone booking fee.
The Afternoon Return Fare is £19, meaning departure after midday and returning before midnight. So, after buying your wines in Ardres or Marquise, you should also be able to fit in some fine dining!
These special rates are exclusive to Boursot's and apply to on-line bookings for a car and up to 4 passengers and can be accessed through this link or on the Offers page of our website. Our promotional code is BOURSOT (case sensitive). As always, there may be some specific £5 supplement days but provided there is availability and that you're travelling in a standard car, you will pay these low rates.
You should book at least 24 hours in advance so as to take advantage of this P&O offer.
Our £25 day or overnight Return Offer with Eurotunnel can be found by clicking on its logo on the home page of www.boursot.co.uk.
We hope you find this helpful.
back to top
Boursot's Hotel and Restaurant Offers
We have a list of local hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, golf clubs and places of interest on our website under the Local Info button from our Home Page.
Whilst talking about Local Info, we also list the Bank Holidays so that you do not find, on getting here, that everything is closed (except Boursot's Wine Collection of course which remains open every day except Sundays and certain days over the Christmas period).
We are very fortunate to be in an area with many good eating establishments at all different price levels, so do ask us if you would like a recommendation. These establishments have confirmed their commitments for you during 2016.
- The excellent Restaurant François Premier opposite our Ardres shop is offering Boursot customers a quick two course lunch at 19€ (about £14!) with a glass of wine included. You will probably know already of the quality of this, one of the best reputed restaurants of the area and indeed you only have to look at TripAdvisor to see its reports and ratings. This Offer is exclusive to Boursot customers so we suggest you e-mail us your reservation which we can then pass on.
- A new addition to our portfolio of quality hotels is Château de Cocove which is just 10 minutes south of Ardres. Recently there has been major investment in refurbishing the hotel as well as raising the quality of the restaurant. We are now pleased to be planning a dinner here (see below under Forthcoming Dinners) for the first time since we opened 10 years ago. During 2016 Boursot customers can receive a 15% discount off room rates or 20% if you should go before the end of March. As with all our offers you need to mention Boursot's Wine Collection. Here is their impressive website www.chateaudecocove.com.
- We have also partnered with the Michelin starred Hôtel La Matelote opposite Nausicaa on the sea front in Boulogne sur Mer where, as well as its great position, the food is of notably high quality. The hotel also has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and hammam. The Offer comprises dinner for 2 (the Saveurs de la Mer menu) and a night in a "Superior" double room with 2 breakfasts. From Monday to Friday, the all-in price of dinner, bed and breakfast for two at 230€ (instead of their normal 283€) or on Saturdays and Bank Holidays at 310€ (instead of their normal 330€). www.la-matelote.com/en/
- Also, you should enjoy our Special Offer from the 4 star Hostellerie de 3 Mousquetaires which is just 30 minutes' south of Ardres on the outskirts of Aire sur la Lys. Here you will find a cosy atmosphere and fine innovative cuisine. Chef proprietor David Wojtkowiak worked at the Berkeley Hotel in London and so speaks good English. The hotel also has a gymnasium.
The "Three Musketeers" offer is available to you Mondays to Thursdays. Normally a room for two would cost from 115€, breakfast 15€ per person and dinner typically 45€ per person: total 235€. The offer to Boursot's Wine Collection customers is an all-in price of dinner, bed and breakfast for two at 192€. Dinner is a set option and we have heard many glowing reports from those of you who have taken up this Offer; we should point out however that if the selected choices for the dinner do not suit, you can ask for a change. When you book, you must mention Boursot's Wine Collection to get these special terms. You can call on +33 321 39 01 11 or there is a booking form on:- www.hostelleriedes3mousquetaires.com/fr/reservations.php.
- Also, as a Boursot's Wine Collection customer, you have access to reduced rates at the 4 star Hôtel Château Tilques between here and Saint-Omer. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool. Here you will benefit from a special price on their superior "Luxe" room at 159€ per double or twin room (or 135€ per single room) any night of the week. While you may see a "special price" on their own or some other websites, that price excludes breakfast at 16€ per person whereas our Offer includes it. www.tilques.najeti.fr
When booking any of these Offers, remember to mention Boursot so as to get your special rates.
back to top
Wine Related Giftware
We have a great range of gifts for wine lovers or for your own self-indulgence, accessible on this link as well as in our shops.
For example, our own design of Cellar Books is proving popular for those who wish to keep a record of their purchases or cellar contents. These are practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. Unlike many other types of cellar book on the market, ours are loose leaf so that you can simply take out or re-file pages of wines that have been finished. Our books are also hand bound with marbled paper and are available in three different colours. A Boursot's Cellar Book makes a fantastic gift for any wine lover.
There are some fun gift items such as USB flash drives in the form of corks, framed and unframed copies of our exclusive Nick Newman wine cartoons, wine map tea towels as well as our own design of silver tastevin cufflinks which come in an attractive wooden box. We also have decanters, Screwpull wine accessories and many more items. There is a present for anyone who enjoys wine.
back to top
Your Own Wine Events in France
Regularly we are asked to help organise various social events with a wine theme - for groups such as Golf Clubs, Rotary Clubs, U3A, Wine Clubs, Car Clubs, birthday parties, office parties, pre-wedding parties etc.
When planning your event, typically we would discuss your desired objectives and work out everything from there. We can liaise on your behalf with local restaurants and if required, hotels.
We use restaurants in and around Ardres that can happily accommodate your needs and provide great quality food at a sensible price, while we can provide our wines at shop prices with no cost of "corkage" to you. Typically a four course lunch or dinner starts at 29€ all-inclusive and six wines work out at 8€ per person.
Depending on whether you should like it, one of us can talk a little about the various wines being served, probably concluding with some entertaining words about what's going on currently behind the scenes in the wine world. These events are always fun and they are different: with only 23 miles across that English Channel, yet a million miles away in cultural terms, people always seem delighted to get away for a complete change of scenery and for a bit of French life.
You can also enjoy tastings, presentations or general events in the vaulted cellars under our shop. If you should be interested in holding a tasting or other event for up to 35 people in our cellars, do say and we will be pleased to discuss your requirements and reserve the space for you.
Additionally we have been pleased to incorporate accompanied vineyard visits for some groups as part of their overall trip to France, as we are associated to a tours company. Typically a visit to Champagne going behind the scenes and meeting the producers involving two nights, two dinners, two lunches and all visits starts at around £380 per person. So do ask us if a visit to a French vineyard area could be of interest for your group - from our side, (almost!) anything is possible.
And finally, as always I am of course happy to travel to you to present wine related events, or simply to be your after-dinner speaker with a difference! I have a lot of experience in this, and this is one reason, I imagine, why many clients are good enough to ask me back to speak year after year. A recent testimonial:
"Thank you for last night, you turned the evening into a really great occasion. The phone has been ringing all day with guests thanking us, and many emails expressing gratitude.
You have been described as impressive, charming, cool, very knowledgeable and the perfect presenter!!! Don't let that go to your head!
Thank you so much for everything, your excellent choice of wines was echoed in the fact that the slop jugs on the tables were all virtually empty!
The cost of the wines is very low and that means we can donate about £520 to our charity, which makes all the hard work worthwhile." CW - October 2015
Do please contact me on +33 321 36 81 46 or through my speaker website email@example.com to explore all your options.
back to top
Recent Boursot Events
"A château owner's view of the Bordeaux market" with Pierre Brousse of Château Kirwan, 3ème cru Margaux at Hotel Château Tilques
The November dinner was hosted by Pierre Brousse-Schÿler, one of the owners of Château Kirwan, 3ème cru Margaux, one of the most respected châteaux in Bordeaux.
There was no shortage of good quality wine served this evening! In the hotel's conservatory, we tasted (horizontally i.e. across the same year of 2012!) Kirwan's "main" wine and its "second" wine, Charmes de Kirwan: it was interesting to see the similarities but how the parent seemed to have much greater concentration, hence of course a much higher price. This also showed off the really good value of this second wine which can be enjoyed now and over the next five years.
During dinner, Pierre gave several thoughts on the state of the Bordeaux market and remained confident that through any recent fads, the quality of Bordeaux was possibly at its best ever and could continue to improve for its now truly global market. China had "been and gone" and had created some big problems for those producers banking on a continued flow.
Two contrasting dry white Bordeaux wines were served before moving on to a comparison of "third wines" from Saint-Emilion made by Château Figeac, Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion and Saint-Estèphe from Château Phélan-Ségur: these were so popular that all stock of both wines sold out over the following 24 hours. And then we went on to the staggeringly rich (and still young) 2000 as well as the 2010 Château Kirwan, Cru Classé Margaux to talk about the evolution of the château's wine with the help of consultant winemaker Michel Rolland. It was a memorable evening.
Ardres Christmas Market Lunch at the Restaurant François Premier, Ardres
Christmas Market day started in Boursot's vaulted cellars with a tasting of eight relatively new wines along with a selection of old favourites. Suitably invigorated, we then repaired across the road to one of the finest restaurants in the locality.
The informal lunch started with Tribaut's excellent Premier Cru champagne, going on then to a white Burgundy and in my view, one of our most delicious and original wines, the Montlouis; then to a red Burgundy made from 100 year old vines and a classic claret in the form of the Chateau Claud-Bellevue. And as if to quench our thirsts, we finished with an unusual sweet red dessert wine.
Apart from the wines being served, the talk at the end of lunch was about the state of the global wine market currently and what we might expect in the near future. There was no disappointment , especially at the all-in price of just £43 per head, as guests headed off into the delights of the Christmas market!
"Bubbles Make The World Go Around" by Guy Boursot at Hotel la Matelote, Boulogne sur Mer
What an evening, even if we do say it ourselves! The food, the hotel and yes, the wines - were all magnificent. The evening was designed to show off the contrast among champagnes, something that was readily appreciated by the audience. With Guy Boursot's family history and his own experiences in the champagne trade, there was a good mix of information and anecdotes. As a finale, Guy was persuaded to demonstrate the art of sabrage. It was his great great great grandfather who was responsible for introducing this as a novel and impressive way of opening a champagne bottle with a sword. Having taught this over so many years, Guy imparted the "secret" to the audience and then sabred a bottle so that the guests could enjoy a final glass of champagne! For a tiny clip of Guy's sabrage double click on the icon below:
back to top
Forthcoming Boursot Events
Boursot's dinners are held for its British customers and so, are conducted in English. The dinners usually feature a wine-related guest speaker, whether a winemaker, a vineyard proprietor or even a wine writer! We organise everything for you, starting with pointing you towards our advantageous crossing rates with P&O or Eurotunnel, through to a bubbly reception, followed by a four course dinner designed to accompany at least five more wines. For the great majority of dinners, we block-book accommodation at the venue, so you don't need to worry about finding accommodation in the area.
All in all, the Boursot events are designed to be friendly and enjoyable and to the best of my knowledge, no other wine company anywhere offers such phenomenal value.
We take a private room where we normally restrict numbers to around 40, so as to retain a convivial atmosphere: great food, great wine and great company. Dress is not formal and we suggest that you dress as if you were going out to a smart restaurant - which we hope you will be! All you need to do is to come along and enjoy!
Vegetarian and alternative food options can of course be provided, as long as we receive some advance notice. If a planned guest speaker is unable to attend, we will endeavour to find another speaker and if none is available, Guy Boursot will present the talk.
One of the Boursot's Wine Collection shops is open on the Sunday mornings after a Saturday evening dinner.
Perhaps you have an anniversary to celebrate or you just want to get away for a quick change of scenery? You are of course most welcome to bring some friends to make up a small group (to a maximum of eight please).
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on +33 321 36 81 46 to book for any of our events below.
Saturday 2nd April: Corton and Beaune: an evening with Jean-Luc Maldant, proprietor and winemaker in Chorey-lès-Beaune at Hotel Château de Cocove
Jean-Luc Maldant is a warm friendly character by any standards. He also produces some great red and white Burgundies at reasonable prices (and that's a rarity!). Tonight he will talk us through his wines that are being served, which will include among others: Aloxe-Corton, Savigny-lès-Beaune and Grand Cru Corton. And he will also explain how Burgundy has changed to become one of the world's most highly sought wines.
For the first time we are delighted to be using Hotel Château de Cocove which has undergone a major refurbishment. See their impressive new website www.chateaudecocove.com to get a feel! A new chef, new management and a refreshing friendliness and attention to detail make this a hotel that we can now recommend and we believe you should enjoy this evening. We have blocked off a number of bedrooms for you and so please let us know if you would like to have a room from our allocation.
Ticket prices are 89€ per person to include four courses, six wines and of course, all entertainment!
There are other events in the planning and these will be unveiled as soon as possible.
Advance warning - this year sees the 10th Anniversary of Boursot's Wine Collection in Ardres! We would like you to come along and share in the celebrations and we will be concocting something interesting shortly...
back to top
Views on the World of Wine
You often ask me as a wine presenter and writer to tell you my thoughts about what appears to be happening currently in the global wine market. Here is a collection of my latest thoughts.
To many, the UK government's recent announcement about "safe drinking limits" seemed to be set out as usual for the benefit of the Lowest Common Denominator i.e. for those who revel ad nauseam! It seems that the average wine drinker was intended to feel guilty for enjoying an occasional glass of wine.
But it does appear that the authors of the report have ignored the scientifically proven facts of the health benefits of wine, preferring to focus on all the negative aspects that could possibly be associated with the enjoyment of wine. The drinks trade does not have to accept these guidelines or adapt labels and judging by the amount of derision that has been poured upon the report, it would not surprise me if this report is quickly forgotten or perhaps even amended.
However what this may be more about is that such "evidence" could be used as ammunition for tax increases on the precious liquid and I ask myself if this could be a basis for a renewal of tax increases on the "demon drink". If so, I might well be thanking the Chancellor!
On this link Tony Edwards writes in the Daily Mail how the "experts" have got it so very wrong. Tony Edwards is an award-winning science journalist and former BBC producer (where he worked on the science series Horizon and QED). His book, The Good News About Booze, is published by Premium Books (£11.99).
After 15 years sponsoring the winners' podium jeroboams for spraying at the end of F1's Grand Prix, Champagne Mumm's sponsorship is ending and is about to revert to previous sponsor Moët & Chandon (and in case you didn't know it already, you do pronounce the T in Moët as the word is not French but Dutch!).
Chile's wine trade has been in the wine trade news a lot recently. Thanks to the free trade agreement between Chile and China, wine exports have grown by 34% in volume over the last 12 months, whereas exports to Chile's other prime markets of the UK and the USA have either stood still or fallen. China is about to become Chile's biggest market.
At the same time, many producers are looking to raise their quality and value and to abandon much of the discounting that they had used to gain market share in formative years.
China's huge wine distribution company Changyu has bought its first château in Bordeaux; bought from France's Castel group, the property concerned is Château Mirefleurs which also sells under the name of Château Techeney. In France, Changyu also owns the Cognac house of Roullet-Fransac. No doubt there will be further strategic acquisitions around some of the other viticultural regions of France - a country considered in China to be so prestigious.
1855 was an important year in Bordeaux. It was the year of the Paris Exhibition for which Napoleon III ordered the ranking of the Médoc's wine estates into five classes (or growths). It was the year that saw the creation of Bordeaux wine as we know them today.
The traditional descriptions Cru Classé as well as the date of 1855 are now protected thanks to the EU, a move that has no doubt been accelerated by the disastrous collapse in 2015 of the wine futures (en primeur) broker calling itself 1855.com. It is hoped that no such long-established regional terms can be dragged into disrepute, and of course this will help to protect the Bordeaux "brand".
back to top
Our sister company Over The Top Tours Limited runs some truly excellent and memorable trips to vineyard areas around France.
Of course anyone can turn up in a vineyard area and hope to see the sites but in the main, such visits open to the public are aimed at the lower common denominator and you can pay a lot of money for not a lot of content!
OTTT takes you to a variety of contrasting properties so that you can get to understand the differences within the area. If you have preferences for visits, we can usually incorporate these into your trip. Otherwise we can arrange visits, tastings, lunches, dinners, accommodation - indeed we can take care of every aspect so you don't need to worry about a thing!
Ideally groups are between eight and 25 in number, although frequently we can accommodate groups up to 42 but inevitably larger groups attract slightly different schedules.
So if you should like to visit one of France's viticultural areas, have a look first at www.overthetoptours.net - your trip will take you behind the scenes in many of the great vineyard areas where you will meet and often dine with some of the producers. Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire, Rhône and the South West are all areas that we visit and where we have great contacts who are happy to greet and inform you, as well as invite you to taste a wide selection of their wines.
Fine dining is also included as it goes hand in hand with good wine!
We tailor private tours specifically to your preferences, so if you have a group of friends or colleagues whom you would like to get together on a vineyard tour, please do contact me through email@example.com and we can start working out a schedule and budget. Do remember however that weekends, and especially Sundays, are often not good times for visits, as so many vineyards are small hands-on enterprises and do not employ teams of PR personnel to show you around!
Clearly the size of your group will determine the final cost but typically two nights away with all meals and visits start at around £370. We plan the trip with you and make all the bookings for you - so all you need do is to come along and enjoy a thoroughly memorable trip.
As you will see from our website, we also organise battlefield tours around northern France and again, these are tailor-made. Please let us know if you should like a battlefield tour, or even one tailored from half battlefield, half vineyard.
A couple of testimonials:
"People are still talking about the wine trip. Those that went have had great fun telling those that didn't just what they missed. The 49 wines tasted have somehow become 100 and the light lunches and dinners magnified out of all proportion. We must think about the next place to take them another year." JM - May 2012
"Our group of eight recently spent three days in Burgundy with the hope of trying to broaden our understanding of the wines and the region. Having used guides before we had found that guides can be overly technical and insist on telling you what they know rather than what you are interested in. Through Over The Top Tours we struck 'gold' and found their guide Ursula and in doing so found someone who really knows their subject matter but also someone who was all about making sure we enjoyed ourselves during the process as well which given our diverse group was not easy. It's fair to say that Ursula made our trip to Burgundy and we would all unreservedly recommend her and Over The Top Tours to anyone thinking of visiting Burgundy." ND - September 2013
"On behalf of the Group I would like to thank you for arranging and participating in a very enjoyable and informative trip supplemented with such an array of wines and food to suit all palates. I have only had limited feed back so far, all very positive I am pleased to report." WSFWS - May 2015
back to top
Despatching wine across France
You may not have known it, but we deliver across the whole of France on a 48 hour basis. So if you would like to send a gift to a friend or deliver some wines to an address where you will be staying, just go to www.boursot.fr and select the English language option at the top and the rest should be self explanatory and easy.
Delivery is currently free on orders of 6 bottles or more and until the end of February, we are also offering 5% off our French prices.
back to top
TripAdvisor, and E-mail
In case you thought that TripAdvisor was only for hotels and restaurants, think again! It has "Things to do" and "Attractions" sections so if you are particularly happy with what we do, please help us by telling others - by posting your comments on TripAdvisor. This link will take you directly to our page. Your positive input will be most gratefully received. In most cases, one does not know who the contributors are because they use a pen name, but to those 70 people who have already put up favourable reviews, thank you very much. It really does help.
Hotmail.com and aol.com have particularly vicious spam filters which reject many mailshots, even though you might have requested to be mailed. So if you know of another Boursot customer who is not receiving our monthly e-mails, please ask him or her to check with us - perhaps it's because of these filters that they are not receiving our mailings, but we can also check the address that we have on file. Also, if you are about to change your e-mail provider, please don't forget to advise us of your new address so we can update your records.
back to top
If you are returning from a holiday, Boursot's Wine Collection Ardres is situated just 7 minutes off Junction 2 of the north-south motorway, the A26. Then from Ardres to the port or the tunnel in Calais takes 15 minutes. Boursot's Wine Collection Marquise is sited just 2 minutes off the A16 between Boulogne and Calais and going on to the tunnel will then take you 15 minutes.
Boursot's Wine Collection does not close for holidays and is open as usual every day except Sundays. The Ardres shop (only) is also open every Bank Holiday - French or British (with the exception of a few days around Christmas).
back to top
Boursot's Wine List
Our list is of course always evolving although there are many core wines that you can find all year and every year.
You can always see Boursot's latest list on this link and if you would like to print it, it's available on this link. The list is updated monthly but in the event that you see a previous version of the price list, try pressing Ctrl and F5 simultaneously on your computer so as to refresh the page.
If there is something that attracts your eye now, and that you'd like us to put on one side for you, just say and we'll be happy to arrange it.
We also have a range of unusual sized bottles in wooden boxes, making smart gifts. For example, we have magnums, jeroboams (double magnums) and imperials (quadruple magnums) of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Minervois, many of which are in wooden boxes at very sensible prices. As with our wine-related accessories, these make impressive and unusual gifts.
At the same time, we have a number of attractive gift panniers - bottles with foods, all gift wrapped in baskets ready to give to your friends or loved ones. These baskets are on display in our shops. If you prefer, you can also make up your own gift panniers as you wish.
back to top
We are constantly being told that our offering is so much more exciting and wide ranging than the equivalent retail operation in Britain. We are proud of our wine selection which, thanks to your support, has been growing and is finding a wider audience with each passing month. Thank you.
We do not advertise and it is unlikely that you will read a review on us in the British media, even though we may be newsworthy! We have found that your word of mouth continues to be our best source of new customers. So, if you are happy with what we do, please help us by telling your wine loving friends (and gain yourself a bottle of champagne!), or you could refer your friends to our "Receive Monthly Newsletter" button on the home page of www.boursot.co.uk. And mention us on TripAdvisor. We will be very grateful to you.
As with all our wines, we stand by our guarantee to take back any resaleable bottles if you find that the wine is not to your taste or if you have too many bottles left over after a party.
It is very much business as normal at Boursot's Wine Collection and indeed with the various offers, this is a particularly good time to come and enjoy your wine shopping! What are you waiting for?
Jean-Bertrand, Antoine, Bruno and I hope to see you in Ardres or Marquise again very soon, whether it's for our delicious and easy to enjoy Petit Pont Réserve wines at around £2.90 a bottle or whether it's for something more exclusive for your special dinner parties. We have them all.
back to top
A très bientôt!
With all best wishes
Wine Consultants SARL