Two hours from Paris, the pretty wine-growing village of Sancerre overlooks the vineyards and the Loire from its rocky peak. A weekend in Sancerre: an ideal getaway destination at the end of summer to taste local specialties.
Stroll through the medieval streets of this wine-producing village, listed as one of the ‘most beautiful detours in France’.
From the top of its peak, Sancerre culminates at 312 m and offers a magnificent vista of the rolling hillsides and the vineyards of the Centre-Loire, as well as the meandering River Loire. For a 360-degree view, head up to the Tour des Fiefs, a survivor of the Château of the Counts of Sancerre.
The Maison des Vins of Sancerre, a fun discovery of Sancerre wines
During this weekend in Sancerre, enjoy a stop in the historic centre, at the Maison des Sancerre and discover the breadth of the local terroir. Created by the 350 winemakers of the appellation, the Maison des Vins offers a fun and interactive tour.
With family or friends, immerse yourself in the life of the winemakers and transport yourself to the heart of the vineyards through the 4D cinema and an original set design.La Maison des Sancerre
These winemakers alone produce 25 million bottles, of which several hundred thousand are exported worldwide. The majority are white wines (75%), but 20% are red wines and 5% are rosés.
Learn more about the diversity of aromas of Sancerre wines by heading to the Garden of Aromatic Smells (which is also part of the tour and is full of colours and flavours). A life-size board game and a chalk board will delight the youngest.
At the end of your visit, enjoy a glass of Sancerre on the terrace and admire the view.
Lunchtime? In Sancerre‘s central square, the Auberge Joseph Mellot, a real institution, welcomes you to a setting worthy of a vineyard museum. Enjoy local dishes such as the winemaker’s terrine and the omelette with its Sancerre ham smoked using vine branches, along with the wines of the estate of the same name which give pride of place to all the appellations of the Centre-Loire (Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, Pouilly-sur-Loire…). An unrivalled choice to accompany all your dishes!
Auberge Joseph Mellot
Everything you need to know about Crottin de Chavignol cheese
Want to escape into the countryside in the afternoon to discover the famous Crottin de Chavignol? A quarter of an hour from Sancerre, in Menetou-Râtel, the Ferme des Chapotons is a gourmet and authentic stopover not to be missed in Sancerre at weekends.
With nearly 200 goats and 60 cows, this family farm crafts the famous crottin de Chavignol with goat’s milk on-site.
It is with Patricia and Emilie that you will discover all the secrets of its making. The crottin de Chavignol has enjoyed Protected Origin status since 1976. If you wish to do so, you can also visit the goat farm and attend the milking of the goats (Monday to Saturday at 4pm). A guaranteed new experience!
Depending on their ripening stage, there are crottins to suit everyone’s taste: dry, semi-dry or fresh. A tasting will be offered at the end of the visit. Chavignol goes perfectly with Sancerre wines. You can enjoy it with the wines of the estate, the farm being also a winery.
Other farmhouse cheeses such as the Pyramide, the Chapoton Cendré and small goat’s cheeses for aperitifs are produced on-site and are all as delicious as each other. You'll be spoilt for choice and you can leave with loads of Berry specialties found in the shop.
In Chavignol, the wines and local specialties of the Bourgeois family
On the way back, in the heart of the vineyards just 4 km before Sancerre, stop off in the village of Chavignol, the cradle of the famous crottin and discover the Henri Bourgeois estate.
It is in Chavignol, located on the territory of Sancerre wines, that the Bourgeois brothers and cousins, winemakers from father to son for 10 generations, settled at the foot of the famous hillside, the Côte des Monts Damnés.
The family owns the Hotel Restaurant Bistrot in the heart of the village. Jean-Marc, the chef, offers you a feast on the bistro side, with authentic cuisine made from the best products of Berry. To enjoy refined and gourmet cuisine, head to the gourmet restaurant La Côte des Monts Damnés (Michelin-starred), where you can also enjoy one of the finest selections of wines from Sancerre and the region.
If you are yet to choose your accommodation for your weekend, why not try this high-quality 3-star hotel in Sancerre which offers 12 spacious rooms (including family suites) with beautiful vineyard views from some of the rooms.
On Sunday mornings, don’t miss a visit to the Bourgeois family’s cellar – only a few steps from the hotel – to discover the wines of the estate. Enjoy the elegance of the white Sancerre made with the Sauvignon grape variety (it is in Sancerre that this grape has the best taste), the finesse of a red Sancerre or the freshness of a rosé from the Pinot noir grape variety, the only two grape varieties allowed in the appellation.
Extend your enjoyment by heading to the vineyards with a picnic basket prepared by the chef. Several marked walks on the estate will allow you to get magnificent views of the vineyard (the GR trail 31 goes through the town). A unique moment!
Boat ride along the Loire
In the afternoon, relax aboard the Raboliot in Saint Thibault/ Saint Satur (3 km East of Sancerre), and sail down the Loire in a toue cabanée, the region's iconic boat. Along the way, Sylvain, the Captain, will share anecdotes and tell you about the fauna and flora of the last untamed river in Europe.Le Raboliot
Discovery visit to the Domaine Eric Louis
If you fancy it, and if you still have some time before your return, stop off at the Domaine Eric Louis in the charming wine village of Thauvenay, 5 km from Saint Satur. Founded 150 years ago, the estate was originally governed by Pauline, the great-grandmother of Eric Louis, who gives visitors a warm welcome. The visit is open to all and suitable for families (blind tasting of “mystery” syrups for children) and is hugely appreciated: discover the winery, the bottling line and the cellar where the best vintages age in oak and acacia barrels. Finally, you can taste several wines from the estate in the tasting room, accompanied by cheeses and local produce (Crottins de Chavignol and Croquets de Sancerre). You will be amazed by the wine labels, whose design replicates that of the “Little Prince”
How to get to Sancerre on weekends: by road with the A6 motorway and the A77 from Paris (202 km) towards Saint Satur, 3 km from Sancerre, but also by train with the Paris-Nevers line. Get off at Cosne-sur-Loire station and an RER shuttle will take you directly to Sancerre and will drop you off in front of the Tourist Office, not far from the main square.
I am passionate about the wine industry and love discovering the vineyards of the Loire Valley, and regional specialities. From Chinon to Sancerre via Tours, there are many opportunities for you to enjoy good products along the Loire.Discover the experiences