We actually spent two nights in Burgundy, with one full day which will be mostly a photo tour, because really, while the wine tasting and tour of Chateau Meursault was awesome, the pictures better tell the story. It was our first stop on Friday morning (after we enjoyed the French country breakfast our host prepared!) and was also his recommendation. We toured the art on display, as well as the cellar and ageing areas. We finished with a six-wine tasting (three White Burgundy chardonnay and three Red Burgundy pinot noir.
After the tasting, we headed into Beaune and were shocked to see how busy the traffic and streets were. We managed to find parking and decided we weren’t leaving until we were sure we’d seen enough of Beaune. We ended up touring the Hotel Dieu (or, Hospices de Beaune) which served as a free hospital for people of all social class in the mid-1400s. It’s quite famous and also hosts an event on which Auction Napa Valley was based, in November. Similar to ANV, all the wine producers pour wines and auction off special bottles to raise money for the hospital. Now that it’s no longer in use as a hospital, I’m not sure where the money goes, but it was interesting to learn about the connection to ANV in Napa.
While we’re on the subject of Napa and Burgundy, might I take a moment to say that their climates are nothing alike. For the record and in case you ever though they were. Burgundy is way more mild and July feels more like a Napa spring day without excessive rain. It didn’t even feel similar to the Carneros region of Napa, where Chardonnay and Pinots are plentiful. Either way, it’s clear how much weather and climate play a role in the flavors of a finished wine.
But back to Burgundy. The roof tiles of the buildings in Burgundy all have brightly colored tiles, a signature of Burgundy. It reminded me a little of New Orleans and the colors of Mardi Gras, but gorgeous none-the-less.
We wandered around Meursault a while, took some more photos and eventually found a little cafe in Puligny-Montrachet, where we took more photos and grabbed a few things for a picnic dinner back at our cottage. Since we had yet to explore our own surroundings, Dave and I took a walk when we got home and ventured out to the lake that was at the end of a long quiet street near our cottage. The town was very sleepy but it was a relaxing way to end a very busy day.
The next morning, we were up early for our trip through the Rhone, where we had planned to stop in Tain-l’Hermitage for a few winery visits before ended up in Aix-en-Provence. That was quite the adventure, but I’ll save that for next time. But I’ll leave you with this teaser: there will be some good European driving tips included!