How to buy wine like the French, from as little as 1.5 euros a litre
Dash there in a weekend and beat the possible changes in import duty....
The countryside in the Burgundy region is beautiful.
Vin en vrac is the wine local French people buy on a day-to-day basis from a wine cooperative, where they fill up their own container with what is essentially a gas pump. It is super cheap: almost half the price of the import duty alone of a bottle of wine into the UK.
Years ago I used to find these kind of shops littered all over the Burgundy area, but somehow they are now very hard to find. There are so many overseas visitors trawling the wine route, visiting chateaux for tastings, and investing in fine wines to ship home and lay down, that the locals try to keep this practice secret.
However, here is a gem of a place where the locals rock up and fill up. Cheap as chips and just as yummy.
If you buy this fresh wine in sealed 5 litre boxes, it should last you for three months at home, and for up to three weeks once you have opened a box. If that is too much to drink, you can buy 3 litre boxes.
The entry level wine (prices are for if you bring your own container) but there are other choices and prices too
More high quality choices
The shop also has a tasting bar
On first entering, the lovely shop looks like many in the region: expensive bottles of fine wines, Champagne, and a tasting bar. Head into the back room, but beware as they might try to sell you other boxed wine for more money.
Even when we pushed to try the wine in barrels, the lady said, "Oh no that's only for the French people!" When we chuckled and asked why there was no real reason given (other than it was made from mixed grapes), but in the end she submitted to our request to taste it and happily sold it to us.
Later she explained why she said that. She was surprised... they never have English customers asking for it.
I hope they will now.
It's easy to find, well signposted and there's a huge car park.
Les Caves du Vieux Pressoir, ROUTE DEPARTEMENTALE 974 - L'Hopital de Meursault, 21190, Meursault
Lovely old building
Just to help you visualise your haul - about 300 litres fits easily into the average estate car
How you split the journey is up to you, but it's a five and a half hour drive from Calais. Nearby Meursault and the surrounding villages are wonderful and there are lots of pretty places to stay.
Also Laon is worth looking at as a stopover. It's 2 hours from Calais, then 3.5 hours from the shop, so a nice place to break the journey with lots of sightseeing and affordable hotels.
Inside Laon Cathedral
Please let me know how you get on if you go!