It reads like a Hollywood screenplay: During World War II, a Burgundy winemaker begins secretly working with the French resistance. One morning in June 1944, his luck runs out, and the Gestapo comes to arrest him – or worse. Instead, he escapes through his own wine vaults to a nearby hospital, relying on a kindly nun to keep him safely hidden away and relay messages to his anxious family.
But far from being the creation of a team of Hollywood writers, this dramatic story is the true tale of Maurice Drouhin, the grandfather of Véronique Drouhin-Boss, who now serves as head winemaker of Maison Joseph Drouhin. With history as rich as this – and a reputation for making some of the finest wines in Burgundy – it’s no surprise that Maison Joseph Drouhin has become iconic.
Your journey to this special place may prove to be just as extraordinary, thanks in no small part to the many fascinating and personal touches promised to the two fortunate couples who win the chance to travel to Beaune, France. Your trip begins with a three-night stay in a graciously restored 18th-century family guest house at Maison Joseph Drouhin, tucked within the historical center of Beaune. It’s an excellent place to relax and unwind, and ready yourself for your next adventure – a private visit of Drouhin’s legendary cellars.
Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Roman fort from the 4th-century, these ancient cellars once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy, who owned an important vineyard Domaine in Burgundy. Above the cellars was the great hall of the Parliament, where the Dukes enacted legislation.
Such a significant exploration can create a powerful thirst, and fortunately, this private visit also includes a tasting of special wine selections. Also fortunate: It’s not the only special tour you’ll be enjoying during your travels here. Your itinerary will take you on a private visit of some of the most acclaimed vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Beaune, Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanée. Meanwhile, a casual lunch in the quaint village of Côte d’Or is certain to satisfy your appetite.
But, of course, it all leads back to the Maurice, and his courage during troubled times. That’s why this trip couldn’t possibly be complete without a VIP tour at the Hospices de Beaune, the charity hospital where Maurice sheltered after fleeing from the Gestapo through the wine vaults. Well-liked by the nuns who ran the hospital, Maurice remained in hiding there until the end of the war, and the Mother Superior met with Véronique’s grandmother in church, taking her messages from Maurice – and even sharing his instructions about how to make wine and manage Drouhin’s business.
Capping it all off is an exclusive, private dinner with Véronique. Together with oenologist Jérôme Faure-Brac, Véronique is the “guardian” of the Joseph Drouhin style, supervising the vinification of the wines and tracking their development and aging. Each couple will also take home one Magnum of the following Joseph Drouhin wines, which have been generously donated by the Drouhin Family: 2011 Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc; 2012 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru; 2012 Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru and 2005 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru.
So, raise your glass–and your paddle too–in a toast to history and heroes!
Roundtrip, Business Class Airfare from the United States needs to originate from and return to a major city, such as New York, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas or Miami, Florida. Ground transportation around Beaune for activities listed above is included. Visit to be scheduled for mutually agreeable dates.
The Drouhin Family of Maison Joseph Drouhin
Airfare donated by Linda & Tom Koehn