Wine & Water is a high quality hotel barge that cruises the delightful Ouche valley in Burgundy. The barge offers private charter cruises for up to six passengers. She was completely refitted in 2013 and is owned and expertly operated by Max and Beatrice (Bea) Renau.
For Wine & Water barging is in the blood: Max Renau was born on a barge and both his parents and grandparents were in the commercial barging trade. Likewise, when Bea’s father retired he bought a barge and Bea went on a family holiday 30 years ago in Burgundy. Here she met Max and they have been working on boats together ever since.
Max and Bea have had Wine & Water for some years. It was originally a commercial barge, built in 1931, and it took them four long hard years to transform it into the wonderful, deluxe hotel barge that it is now.
Wine & Water has a spacious sun deck and the salon and dining area below has big windows providing lovely views onto the canal and countryside and lots of natural light. As Bea says, “it is light and airy with high ceilings and this is so important on a barge as you do not want guests to feel closed in or gloomy.” The barge accommodates guests at the front of the boat and the crew in the aft quarters, so it is nicely private for both parties.
Max and Bea love being hosts and enjoy sharing their knowledge of barging and Burgundy. They “want guests to experience a different way to travel, knowing that everything is taken care of.”
Food and wine play a huge part of any vacation on Wine & Water and Max’s knowledge of wine is exceptional. We asked him about his favourite wines that he serves on board and there are naturally quite a few, but particular favourites are those from the area around the world famous and delightfully pretty wine village of Aloxe-Corton. He particularly enjoys the Corton Renarde Grand Cru and the Corton Charlemagne. Max tells us that the Cortons are the only Grand Crus of the Côte de Beaune.
He adds that there are also excellent wines from Gevrey Chambertin, which produces some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive red wines. The village is home to nine Grand Cru vineyards! Other areas that Max rates are Chambolle-Musigny, Puligny-Montrachet and Savigny les Beaune. Max says that “almost all Savigny-les-Beaune wines are red, produced from Pinot Noir. They are similar in style to the red wines of Beaune, being neither as elegant as Volnay nor as powerful as Pommard.” Yes, Max knows his stuff and guests are guaranteed to come away knowing a lot more about wine than they did at the start of their holiday.
When it comes to food, Bea says that her favourite meal on board is “Poulet Gaston Gérard, a local dish with the famous poulet de bresse, mustard, cream, white wine and local cheese.” Sounds delicious, doesn’t it and we can vouch for it, too. Bea serves divine dishes and sets a fine table to match the excellent wines.
Bea describes Wine & Water as being “chic, comfortable and practical with friendly and helpful crew – an ideal mix for any hotel barge holiday.” She and Max are warm and welcoming, good fun and excellent hosts.
Find out more about Wine & Water.