A brief glance at Hachette's French wine guide reveals that, with rare exceptions, the vignerons of Bordeaux and Burgundy receive visitors only sur rendez-vous—by appointment. Even if you're lucky enough to secure a 15-minute slot, the way you'll be treated and the wines you'll taste can vary widely. The surest way to have a great experience is to employ a well-connected local guide. That's true in wine regions around the world, where the best guides open doors that might otherwise be closed. Here, six guides who hold the keys.
Guide Carla Giomi, who has been sommelier for three European princes.