Hello – Bonjour
Welcome to French Wine tours, we are Wendy and Tony. Having returned to Australia after living and working in France for 3 years, we couldn’t help ourselves, we started French Wine Tours.
The aim of French Wine Tours is to share our love of France, in particular Bordeaux and it’s wine regions. Our Bordeaux wine tours will be small groups of 8-10 people. Above all we want to share the food, wine, culture coupled with the French way of life.
Always there was a dream of moving to France. With us both working (Wendy days and Tony nights) we researched all options and bravely decided to sell everything go. With the decision made we now had to tell the family, of course they were supportive.
To achieve our goal there was much paperwork and jumping through hoops to obtain a French visa. Firstly it was the 12 month tourist visa which we had to apply for and obtain from the French Consulate in Sydney before we could begin our journey. Also we needed to gain some sort of employment and sponsor to satisfy the initial stage of the Visa process. Long story short we managed this and our Visas were granted.
Arriving in France:
For our first experience upon arrival we had joined a programme called Workaways, we joined in Australia before we left. This is where you are sponsored to work 20-25 hours per week for food and board, it was great. Our first assignment was with an English couple who owned and ran a Bed and Breakfast (Chambre d’hote) in the Charante Maritime region. From there we ventured to the Dordogne and helped in a Tea House – Le the Verte! again gaining more experience in French ways, then to Chateau Chamballan in the Poitou-Charante region, off to the Loire to house-sit and pet-sit four cats all the while looking for our own little slice of France.
Finally after eighteen months of wandering (and visits to French Prefectures for Visa extensions – another story entirely) we bought and renovated a 200 year old village house in The Vendee (south west of Paris, north of Bordeaux) and opened our own Chambre d’hote Sigournais. We were very fortunate to operate successfully for two seasons hosting French guests, where many a sunset was spent with good company, good wine and good times on our terrace.
Unfortunately though we had to return to Australia for family reasons and are now settled back on the Gold Coast. Never will we regret or forget our French adventure or the marvellous people we met from all walks of life, hence this is our way to share our knowledge and love of the country, the people, wine, food and culture.