Ah, Burgundy! The name alone sounds so romantic. Even the French, Bourgogne, though almost impossible to say properly, is magical.
stunning rooftop at Hôtel-Dieu des Hospices Civils de Beaune
view of part of the famous Burgundian Côte-d’Or
Château de Cîteaux La Cueillette as seen from across the vineyard
Last month, Hegui and I met some friends at a stunning resort in a refurbished château nestled in the village of Meursault, part of the famous Burgundian Côte-d’Or, or “gold coast.” Kay and Pascal live in a small city adjacent to Geneva, Switzerland, so visit this famous wine region often. It’s only a few hours car ride on the French autoroute for them. Since we’d never been, we let Kay plan the weekend of relaxation.
To start, everything is really pretty. All those lovely towers, castles, vineyards, colorful rooftops and gorgeous churches made Hegui a maniac with the camera. Our resort, Château de Cîteaux La Cueillette, was absurdly beautiful, situated as it was on a vineyard surrounded by gentle hills, a quaint view of the village, etc. Even the pillows were wonderful! Look for yourselves.
beautiful courtyard at Hôtel-Dieu des Hospices Civils de Beaune
Château de Cîteaux La Cueillette
cute car parked in Beaune
La Moutarderie Edmond Fallot
pillows from Château de Cîteaux La Cueillette
Meursault from the back of our resort
Despite the frequent, unseasonable rain, we did lots of nice things. Hegui and I were enchanted by the Hôtel-Dieu des Hospices Civils de Beaune, where they have that famous wine auction every year. We bought tasty souvenirs at La Moutarderie Edmond Fallot. Naturally we ate a lot of French pastries, cheeses, butter, breads, and so on. One evening we drove to Dijon for dinner. I was really struck by how tiny this most famous of wine producing regions seemed. We went slowly, in the rain, through all the various world-renowned villages, like Nuits St. Georges, Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin, yet made it to Dijon in less than 45 minutes. Small!
enjoying my apple tart, baguette and cafe au lait at a small patisserie in Beaune
Hegui slicing a country loaf with what looks like a machete
the front yard at our resort, Château de Cîteaux La Cueillette
more cool cars in Beaune
Of course, we tasted some Burgundian wine, too. Kay arranged for us to visit the lovely Château de Meursault and Château de Cîteaux Philippe Bouzereau, the later, right across from the resort. Wine tasting in Burgundy was fun and seemed very glamorous. I was a bit underwhelmed by the wines themselves, sadly. Sure, we tasted reds and whites from the celebrated 2009 and 2010 vintages, plus a few older ones here and there. Don’t get me wrong. These were okay. The whites, with a single exception, tasted a lot like “new” low oak California chardonnays. The reds, generally, seemed too acidic and prickly to really enjoy. Perhaps they need more time? Maybe I’m a Burgundy rube? My real worry is that my Burgundian wine “a-ha” moment might be a lingering sense of mild disappointment. Alas.
an enjoyable, if forgetatable white from Château de Cîteaux Philippe Bouzereau
me with our friends wine tasting in Meursault
posing in front of the world famous Chambertin vineyard
Hegui and I wine tasting in the caves at Château de Meursault
Burgundy was an amazing experience and going there has completely changed my perspective. Now it remains to be seen exactly how.