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Christiane Lacondemine taught five to eight-year-olds at Belleville sur Saone Primary, in the heart of Beaujolais for 15 years. She now works on Domaine les Roches Bleues, her family's vineyard

Favourite place when you have a day or week off?

Our vineyard is on the route of the local wines of Beaujolais and we are one of the winemakers you can visit. We explain how we work and give tastings of our Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly Des Lys wines. Afterwards visitors can climb to the top of Mont Brouilly.

I like to picnic there looking at the views of the Saone and the mountains of Beaujolais. On a clear day you can see the Alps and Mont Blanc. It takes an hour or two to descend on the hiking trails leading down through the woods and vines through the local villages.

To the south of Beaujolais, the tower in the medieval village of Oingt offers a magnificent panorama of the beautiful Pays d'Oree.

Villefranche sur Saone has a big shopping street and the daily covered market, as well as a 13th-century church, a museum dedicated to local painter Paul Dini and houses dating from the Renaissance.

Lunchtime treats?

I like Chez la Rose at Julienas (00 33 4 74 04 41 20) and Auberge du Paradis at St-Amour Bellevue (00 33 3 85 37 10 26), which is romantic. Le Savigny (00 33 4 74 67 52 07) is in an old stone building set amid the vines at Blace.

Evening delights?

La fete des conscrits on the last Sunday in January in Villefranche (, and at other times from January to May in local villages.

In the 19th century it was a party for young men going off to join the army, now it's an eight-day festival with banquets, dancing and torchlit parades.

Don't miss

The festival of the local wines of Beaujolais at the end of April and beginning of May; the Beaujolais nouveau festivals at Beaujeu and Tarare on the third Wednesday in November until the Sunday; and in July and August, festival evenings in Beaujolais with attractions from all over the world.

Remember to buy

Wine! Goat's cheese, and olive oil from Jean-Marc Montegottero in Beaujeu - it's sold to great chefs and cooks the world over

Find out more Destination Beaujolais (00 33 4 74 07 27 55,

The Gite de France guide will help you find places to stay (

How to get there

Domaine les Roches Bleues is one of the vineyards winelovers can visit with 3D wines (01205 820745, The company offers the chance to own a row of vines (from pound;75 a year) in a selected French vineyard, access to discounted wine, and help with visits to your vines. The nearest TGV stations are Macon-Loche or Lyons.

Price to the planet

Offset the climate cost of a return flight to Lyon-Saint-Exupery for pound;5 per adult (

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