The Heart of Burgundy

April 27, 2008


First, a big happy birthday hug to my sister Julia! We woke up on this fine day surrounded by endless Pinot Noir vineyards as far as the eye can see. I have never seen so much Pinot, so that alone would make it fascinating, but we were also all alone in a large charming campsite so it was so peaceful and inspiring.

Mozart ran around enjoying it all and I bet it is quite busy in high season as they had three pools and a fun looking large slide that were now closed as this was the last day the park would be open. Even the all wood and stone  playground was precious and DaVinci and Mozart made a “cherry pie’ out of chestnuts and leaves. It was hard to leave so we took our time just enjoying it all and soaking up the views.

As we headed toward nearby Beaune, we came across signs for the Chateau de Meursault, so thought we would stop and check it out. It was pricey (30 Euros) and I have never heard of charging for a tasting, but we decided to go for it since we were here and it included a tour of the chateau and film on making wine. Mozart loves chateaux and never met one she did not like, but what was truly mind blowing here was the massive ancient cellar and tasting room that seem to go on endlessly beneath the chateau dating from the 14th and 16th centuries.

It shelters over 800,000 bottles as well as 2000 “pieces” or barrels. Parts of these cellars were excavated by the monks of Citeaux and represent a unique architectural asset. One of them has double vaulting and offers a rare perspective. I almost did not go because of my claustrophobia, but DaVinci and Mozart came back to get me and said I could not miss it. It was really impressive! We had a great tasting, enjoyed the grounds and art inside as well.

Then we docked into our campground right in Beaune a highlight of any wine tourists itinerary, and headed off to explore it after a quick lunch in our camper. First we went to the wine museum of Burgundy (Musee du Vin de Bourgogne) which was a superb wine museum located in the former Palais des Ducs de Bougogne. I would like to do a whole entry just on wine making, but do not have the time just now, maybe later. I have lots of cool pictures like the wooden shoe museum and my favorite one is a piece from an ancient wall that dates back to the first  century with a man celebrating with a glass of wine. I loved seeing all the old tools used for vineyard keeping, and bottle and barrel making as well as the art and loved that the Virgin was the patron saint so have her holding the baby Jesus who holds a cluster of grapes!

Next we headed to Hotel-Dieu which literally means house of God and it is a must see in Beaune and fascinatingly, it is inextricably linked to the wine trade. Indeed, even today, the Hospices de Beaune holds an annual auction here yearly, during which its many prestigious wines are sold and it is one of the wine trade’s most important events. The magnificent courtyard of the Hotel-Dieu is well-known around the world as the traditional image of Burgundy. It is considered one of France’s architectural jewels, dates back to 1443 and the signature feature is its roof of colored tiles in the courtyard. It is filled with tapestries and impressive art and furniture, but we liked the “room of the poor” the best that looks like it did in the middle ages.

We ended with another great Burgundy dinner splurge nearby. This time Mozart tried the escargot, but loved her chicken in white sauce much better. All of it was scrumptious which is not too surprising as Beaune is known for its food and wine. DaVinci finally got his Burgundy traditional stew which was mouthwateringly good. Burgundy is also known for its beef as the Charolles region produces the finest breed of cattle in France, the white Charollais (that we have seen along the road grazing). So I also had some beef Burgundy style which was great, but it was my  gratin  potatoes that stole my heart. The wine was sublime needless to say and fun that we had viewed the very vineyard it came from as well as tasted it in a local tasting room. Another good day in Burgundy ends with a taxi ride home and three satisfied customers.












« previous |


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Heart of Burgundy:


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner