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Boursots Wine

Newsletters

November 2015

Bonjour!

The main headings in this newsletter are shown below.


General

At the moment the euro rate is at around 1.41 to the pound, making this a very advantageous time to stock up on your wines! It's the best it's been for some long time.

So, coupled with some of our great offers, this should be an irresistible time to come and stock up for your Christmas requirements!

The situation at Calais has improved hugely over recent weeks but as usual, "non-events" do not make headlines. Let me tell you about some of the progress that has been made

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Many of the international mercenaries who were thought to have been co-ordinating some of the migrant break-ins to the tunnel and causing agitation around the area have been arrested and disconnected from their operations. Large numbers of CRS (riot police) have been stationed close to the tunnel for some weeks now and have been very quick to defuse potential "situations". The tunnel also has made very impressive progress with its additional security - there is now so much fencing and barbed wire that is hard to conceive that any potential intruder could succeed in getting through. And yet, from a passenger's point of view, it's reassuring. I travel to and from England regularly without any problem.

The several and various measures are deterring many would-be migrants even attempting the hazardous journey to the UK, especially with the deteriorating seasonal weather. By consequence hundreds of migrants have been volunteering to be bussed off to other areas of France. Over recent weeks more than a thousand migrants have left the Calais area and this is ongoing. This of course has not been reported!

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)

And only yesterday:-
"The journeys out and back were a doddle and the whole day worked a dream. At last we have got our much-needed supplies!" (CP)

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Some Q&A regarding Calais etc

Because of the apparently misleading reporting by parts of the media and with not even any announcement of a return to normal, we would like are often asked the following questions:-

Has the migrant situation reached Ardres or Marquise?
In line with all other people I speak to, no, we have yet to see a migrant in either of these two towns, which are sufficiently removed from the coast not to be of interest to someone hoping to get to England.

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.

Is it safe to travel by tunnel?
Yes, it is as safe as it has ever been.

What of the delays?
All travel operators have always experienced 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.

Are there additional passport controls and delays?
While France is talking about re-establishing frontier controls on its other borders, because the UK opted out of the Schengen agreement, there have always been frontier posts between the two countries. So nothing changes.

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Introduce a Friend and you will receive a Free Bottle of Champagne!

Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image

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!

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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 have to 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 is not 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 in France, 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 here 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 £2.80) 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 relevant 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.

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Our new Marquise Shop and Warehouse

Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image
Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image

Our new shop warehouse is less than a minute off the A16 motorway at Marquise, north of Wimereux and Boulogne, and just 15 minutes from the tunnel. It is very easy to access and it has ample free parking. If you are headed to Boulogne, Le Touquet, Montreuil, Normandy or Paris, why not pre-order your wines which we can get 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. You will find a list of local places to eat and places to stay on this link.

Work on the façade of our building is in progress right now, and we will keep updating its photo on the home page of www.boursot.co.uk as it changes. Signage will be up shortly but you can find detailed directions on www.boursot.co.uk/directions.html complete with a Google map. Work should be finished by the third week of September.

As one of our regular customers said recently "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 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.

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Boursot's Reduced P&O and Eurotunnel Fares

We have arranged for you as a Boursot customer reduced fares with P&O until 31st March 2016. For a day trip or overnight trip (meaning returning before midnight the following day), your return fare will be just £23. There is normally a small supplement between £3 and £5 for travelling on a Saturday.

The Afternoon Return Fare is £19, meaning departure after midday and returning before midnight. So, after buying your wines in Ardres, 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.

However P&O has had trouble with its recently revitalised website, especially for overnight tickets, and so if you do not succeed as above, please call 01304 448888 (high phone charges will not apply) to make your booking and you will not be charged the £5 telephone booking fee.

You should book at least 24 hours in advance so as to take advantage of this P&O offer. We hope you find this helpful.

If you are spending more than 650€ on wine to collect from our Marquise store, we also have our advantageous £25 Day Return with Eurotunnel valid to book before the end of October but valid for travel for a regular car until the end of 2015. Details may be found on this link.

In case you didn't know it already, we should point out that Tesco clubcard points can be exchanged for Eurotunnel tickets, although it may not be possible to use these in conjunction with any other Offer.

So, if you want a generally efficient 35 minute journey under the water, then the tunnel is the way, whereas if you feel as if you want to feel like you're getting away, the boat is a relaxing way to travel.

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Boursot's Hotel 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. You will also now find a list of similar places close to our Marquise store.

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.

Until the end of November, the excellent Restaurant François Premier opposite our shop is offering Boursot customers a quick 2 course lunch at 19€ (about £14!) with a glass of red, white or rosé wine included. You will probably know already of the quality of this, Ardres' best reputed restaurant 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 and we can then pass it on.

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€).

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 enjoy a cosy atmosphere and fine innovative cuisine as many of you have discovered already. Chef proprietor David Wojtkowiak worked at the Berkeley Hotel in London before setting up his own restaurants in northern France and so speaks good English. There is also 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 a swimming pool. Here they are giving you 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.

When booking any of these Offers, please be sure to mention Boursot to get your special rates.

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Wine Related Giftware

We have a great range of gifts for wine lovers or for your own self-indulgence, accessible on this link.

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.

Our gifts are also available from Boursot's Wine Collection in Ardres, and there are some fun 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. We also have decanters, Screwpull wine accessories and many more items. There is a present for anyone who enjoys wine.

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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.

"Many thanks for arranging our recent visit to Ardres. Everyone enjoyed themselves so much they want to come again." CW, Fetcham U3A.

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 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 guy@boursot.com to explore all your options.

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Recent Boursot Events

The Marquise lunch and tasting on Saturday 31st October was considered by those who came to be a worthwhile event and for that reason, we will be running a similar lunch and tasting (all free of course) each quarter. Provisionally the next date is Saturday 20th February.

The dinner at Les Trois Mousquetaires, a collaboration between chef proprietor David Wojtkowiak and winemaker Frantz Vènes, was extra-ordinary. Several people commented that David seemed to be better than ever with his cuisine and certainly the meal was a gastronomic delight. We added to that six exceptional wines, in particular the reds, and I think it safe to say that this magnificent evening was much enjoyed by everyone.

Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image
Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image
Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image
Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image

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Forthcoming Boursot Events

Boursot's dinners are held for its British customers and so of course are conducted in English. They usually feature a wine-related guest speaker, whether a winemaker, a vineyard proprietor or even a wine writer! We organise everything, starting with pointing you towards our advantageous crossing rates with P&O, through to a bubbly reception, followed by a four course dinner designed to accompany at least five more wines. Usually we can also arrange accommodation for you, so all you need do after dinner is totter upstairs (perhaps via the bar?)!

All in all, the Boursot events are designed to be friendly and enjoyable while offering unbeatable 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. All our events are arranged to be enjoyable, interesting and of course, relaxed.

In planning our events for 2016, I am thinking that if there is a theme you would particularly enjoy, do please let me know and I shall see what we can do.

Boursot's Wine Collection 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 (maximum of eight please).

Please contact us on ardres@boursot.co.uk or on +33 321 36 81 46 to book for any of our events below. These are likely to be popular events so we recommend booking early.

Saturday 14th November: "A château owner's view of the Bordeaux market" with Pierre Brousse of Château Kirwan, 3ème cru Margaux at Hotel Château Tilques

In our view, the Bordeaux market over-inflated with its 2010 harvest but since then, prices have been more restrained. Château Latour has opted not to take part in the annual "en primeur" merry-go-round and there are rumblings of other châteaux following suit. Are some of Bordeaux's traditions finally being broken and what can the world's customers expect for the future?

Wines being served and compared that evening include the "first" and "second" wines of Château Kirwan, cru classé Margaux in 2012 so as to look ; a dry white Bordeaux made by Schÿler and Barton, two historic winemaking names in Bordeaux and a white Graves. There will then be a comparison of "third wine" Saint-Emilion and Saint-Estèphe; and then a glass each of 2000 and 2010 Château Kirwan, cru classé Margaux to talk about the evolution of the chateau's wine and the style of consultant winemaker Michel Rolland.

If you are confused by the terms "first" (the top), "second" and "third", the second wine is generally made from younger vines and it tends to be aged for less time than the "parent" wine, and the third is made from the youngest vines and with little oak ageing. The idea is that one still gets a style and flavour of the parent - and of course it enables the property to use its name across all of its wines down the quality scale.

Tickets for this event are now all sold. They were 89€ per person to include four courses, six wines and all entertainment. "Luxe" rooms were at 159€, breakfasts included, at the hotel which has an indoor swimming pool.

Sunday 6th December: Ardres Christmas Market Lunch at the Restaurant François Premier, Ardres

So easily accessible from Britain, the town of Ardres always injects some fun and colour into an otherwise grey time of the year.

As last year, the annual Turkey Festival held about 20 minutes away in Licques, will NOT be happening on the same day but on the following Sunday. So, in place of that entertainment, we will have wines available to taste in the cellars under our Ardres shop from 10.30 on the morning of Sunday 6th, and then we will go across to lunch at 12.30 at the François Premier which hardly needs any introduction, being one of the finest restaurants of this area. Being situated on Ardres' main cobbled square, you will be in front of much of the afternoon's action, so you may be able to watch some of it from the warmth of the restaurant!

The informal three course lunch will be preceded by a bubbly reception and then accompanied by a further five Boursot wines, and everything costs just 62€ (around £43 at today's rate). I will tell you about the backgrounds of the wines being served

We suggest you "do" the Ardres Christmas Market after lunch by which time everyone's spirits will have been warmed up! Père Noel is normally found to be abseiling down the outside of the church at around 6pm, throwing goodies to many of the local children gathered below!

Always popular, we recommend you book early. This event is already 85% sold.

Saturday 23rd January: "Bubbles Make The World Go Around" by Guy Boursot at Hotel la Matelote, Boulogne sur Mer

January is when many of us need cheering up. So - what better than a champagne dinner during which you will drink six different styles of champagne: Grand Brut non-vintage from Perrier-Jouët, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from Saint-Réol, Blason Rosé from Perrier-Jouët, Vintage 2004 from Pol Roger, Demi-Sec from Tribaut and finally a "de luxe cuvée" the legendary Belle Époque with its anemone decorated bottles from Perrier-Jouët.

As you can see from this plan (subject to availability in January), three of the champagnes will be from Perrier-Jouët, the Grande Marque Champagne house in Epernay. Now, if you have negotiated your way around the Boursot website, you will know that my pioneering forebears introduced this champagne to the British market in 1828 and were responsible during the next 130 years for getting it into "all the right places" and following its success in the British market, "PJ" went on to become a global brand. On this evening I will talk about some of the family's wine history as well as introduce the various champagnes and explain to you why each tastes so different.

Coupled with the magnificent cuisine of Tony Lestienne at the Michelin starred La Matelote and judging by our previous champagne dinners, we expect this to be a popular event and therefore we advise letting us know early of your intentions (with no commitment yet). The price per ticket will be 96€ (about £71 at today's rate) to include 4 courses, 6 champagnes and all entertainment. This comfortable sea front hotel has a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam. Luxury doesn't come at any smaller price, so come and spoil yourself!

We have blocked off a number of bedrooms at the hotel and you can take advantage of our preferential room rates for this event at 165€ per room, breakfasts included.

This event is 25% sold and we suggest you apply shortly if you should be interested in booking tickets.

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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.

As you may recall from previous newsletters, retail wine pricing has long been one of our bugbears. The deception of "discounting" or "BOGOF" has been widespread for several years now, in which mass retailers tell partial stories to convince consumers that they are getting a deal when in fact the "discount" is simply a tool for them to further hike their profit margins. Allegedly!

Over the years customers have become increasingly wise to these tricks, and we have long believed in a more straightforward and open pricing policy, as has now been implemented by many of the newly successful supermarket chains such as Aldi and Lidl.

Now comes the news that Tesco is abandoning its discounting on wine, and no doubt this policy will be followed by other supermarkets. Choosing its words carefully, Tesco announce that some of its wine prices will be able to fall from £5.99 to £5 a bottle, although one might ask what is going to happen to the remainder of the additional profit that they would have normally made on such a bottle!

Over recent times, the scent of an offer, whether real or unreal, has made a huge difference to the profitability of mass retailers and whilst this particular mechanic is being dropped, one can be sure there will be another wheeze in store soon!

Following great weather this year leading to a bumper harvest, yields are up and globally wine production has risen 2% to 275.7 million hectolitres. In the last 15 years, only 2004, 2006 and 2013 have produced more. Italy has regained its top spot as the world's largest producer, knocking France into second position at 47.4 million hectolitres.

As recounted last month the harvest characteristic of 2015, and especially for the whites, will be that the wines are for early consumption rather than for ageing. The very warm dry weather reduced the amount of residual acidity in the wines and whilst that may sound attractive, I can tell you that white wines need acidity in order to improve.

In California, there was a very early harvest and after three years of drought, grapes did not plump up enough to produce a good volume, so while the quality will be high with rich, concentrated flavours, the yields were small. Prices of the quality wines from Napa and Sonoma therefore will remain high.

The sale of multi-national Diageo's wine brands, which I talked about last month, continues apace. Now, the Argentinean brands have been sold off and the wine wholesaling activities of the long-established Percy Fox have finally been approved to be sold to the Australian company, Treasury Wine Estates who are also buying many of the big brands such as Blossom Hill and Piat d'Or. The traditional wine merchant Justerini & Brooks awaits its fate, but will no doubt attract a buyer in the not too distant future. There are times in each industry or trade in which consolidation is required or becomes commercially desirable and this is another of those moments when the UK wine trade is changing. These Diageo moves may well have wider implications for the wider global wine brands business.

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Wine Tourism


An Over The Top Tours group
visiting Chateau Giscours in Margaux

Whilst much of Europe has been relatively slow to catch on, nowadays France's vineyard areas in particular have really embraced wine tourism. You just have to visit Epernay, Beaune or Bordeaux to appreciate how wine tourism has been accepted and developed and whilst you can try dropping in on whoever might see you, increasingly many top domaines will only see you as part of an officially recognised group. In addition, many of the large producers have managed to dumb down their tours for visitors with absolutely no wine knowledge to such an extent that you would probably feel disappointed if you know anything about wine, as clearly you do. It is increasingly clear that you need a specialist to get you behind the doors that are closed to everyone else.

Having visited the quality vineyards over many years, I set up Over The Top Tours Ltd 12 years ago to share my experiences with groups of interested customers. So if you should like to visit one of France's viticultural areas, have a look at www.overthetoptours.net - you will be taken 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 info@overthetoptours.net 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!

Ideal sized groups are between 12 and 26 adults and typically two nights away with all meals and visits start at around £370. We plan the trip with you and make 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.

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

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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 52 people who have already put up favourable reviews, thank you very much. It all helps.

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.

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Holidays

In case you should be travelling to France and wish to have some good wines available for you to enjoy while you are away, you can have your requirements delivered to your French address by going to our French e-commerce website www.boursot. fr. You will see the English language option available and the process should be self-explanatory but do call or e-mail us if you need help. Delivery around France is free for orders of 120€ or more.

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 is also open every Bank Holiday - French or British (with the exception of a few days around Christmas).

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Boursot's Wine List

We have brought in an excellent inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc-dominated white wine from the south of France called Villa des Anges made by Jeff Carrel (he who describes himself as “eclectic winemaker”!). This wine is deliciously rich in Sauvignon fruit and at just 3,90€ (only £2.80 at today’s rate), you will find extra-ordinary value. This joins his other gorgeous red wines, La Bette and Les Cerises from the Languedoc. Jeff’s wines could be described loosely as “new wave” and whilst they tend to be really fruity and easy to appreciate in style, they also retain much of the character of their specific appellations: something which is often lost nowadays in the quest for “easy” wines.

We have a fine selection of champagnes from my family’s old principal house of Perrier-Jouët in Epernay and I was delighted to hear recently of a customer who, in wishing to send a bottle of Belle Époque to a relative in the south of France, found us to be 31€ per bottle less expensive than a well-known French wine merchant. You really do get some excellent net prices with us and despite constant requests from suppliers to raise our prices, we will continue to offer you great net prices.

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.

Wine Consultants Boursot's warehouse and shop in Marquise - click for larger image
click for larger image

We also have a range of unusual sized bottles in wooden boxes, making smart gifts - perfect for Christmas. 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 gift panniers - bottles with foods, all gift wrapped in baskets ready to give to your loved ones. Many of these are on display in our shops.

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In Conclusion

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. 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, 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.

Despite some people’s apprehensions about non-existent news, 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!

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 £2.80 a bottle or whether it's for something more exclusive for your special dinner parties. We have them all.

If you should wish to come off our mailing list, please click here

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A très bientôt!

With all best wishes
Guy

Guy Boursot
Wine Consultants SARL


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CURRENT
WINE LIST

Boursot's Wine Collection
9 Rue de l'Arsenal, 62610 Ardres, France
Wine Consultants SARL RCS Saint-Omer 481 778 876 00013
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 36 81 46
Email: ardres@boursot.co.uk

OPENING HOURS
MONDAY to SATURDAY
10. 00 - 6. 00