Preparing myself for this years’ International Wine Tourism Conference to be held in Tblisi Georgia, I was just recently going over last year’s notes and photos and I came across one lecture that was really inspiring. Fellow blogging colleague, Diane Letulle, talked about giving a memorable experience and gave many interesting examples. One example was close to home for me as she mentioned a wine theme park in the Beaujolais wine region of France. What really caught my interest is that she compared the French wine theme park “Le Hameau du vin Georges DuBoeuf” in the Beaujolais region as the French Disneyland for wines. I thought this was a great description, because the Hamlet does have that attraction park atmosphere that you don’t see with other Wine Tourism sites in France.
The first to conceptualize a wine park in France where the whole family can come and enjoy their day, George Duboeuf created ‘Le Hameau du vin de George DuBoeuf’ in Romaneche Thorins is spreaded over 30.0000 square meters with four major sites. Starting withe old abandon train station converted into a wine and transportation Museum depicting the different transport periods of France.
Then across the street, there is the Hamlet itself which begins a maze of interesting artefacts of traditional wine making, small stations of interactive films and sensory development that even the kids can participate. There is even a kind of carnival ride though the skies with large 3D bubble bees which makes for great fun.
Once you have made it through the maze and all the games, you arrive at the restaurant Bistro Beaujolais and tasting area before eventually arriving in the boutique. Here you can sit down have a bistro style lunch or order takeout for sitting and having a picnic in the theme park gardens located only a few meters away.
Finally in the same direction of the gardens, there is the winery itself. Here you can see the actual production of their wines. And if you are still thirsty after all of that, there is the Beaujolais cafe at the end of your journey.
Last year was the 20th anniversary of the Hamlet and to celebrate the occasion a new treasure hunt attraction was added for the celebration and a comic book tracing the origins of the Hamlet was created and is available in the boutique. So if you ever get the chance to visit the Southern Burgundy region or the city of Lyon, don’t hesitate to take a day trip to the Hameau du vin. It is definitely worth the trip!