The delights of Burgundy / Travel Talk
A trip to France would not be complete without tasting some of the country’s best-known, revered and beloved exports, and part of the joie-de-vivre of la vie Française: wine from the Bourgogne, or Burgundy. Known the world over for its internationally-recognised appellations, Burgundy has a multitude of wineries and historic locations you can visit, and we’ve narrowed it down to a few unmissable locations.
In this part of the world, terroir is very important and within Burgundy itself, there are many well-known appellations including Chablis, Côte de Nuit (Nuit Saint George), Côte de Beaune; just to name a few. The names relate to the specific terroir or land that the wine comes from, as opposed to wine being labelled by grape type.
Chablis is made in the most northern part of Burgundy’s wine district, and its wine is known for a certain minerality on the tongue, while Chablis itself is a pretty little town. As well as sampling local wines and talking to local winemakers, a visit to the beautiful Romanesque Vézelay Basilica – a grand edifice on the route of the Santiago de Compostela, or Way of St James, an ancient pilgrimage route – is a worthwhile stop.
An unmissable vineyard in this part of the world is the Château du Clos de Vougeot. A Clos is a walled vineyard. At 125 acres, it is the largest single vineyard in Cote de Nuits entitled to the ‘grand cru’ designation. This historic château was a monastery and since 1934 it has been the seat of the “Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin” (Brotherhood of the Knights of the Tasting cup), which is special brotherhood of chosen people who help promote Burgundy wines worldwide. They have seventeen “Chapitres”, highly-anticipated dinners where over 600 guests come to the Château and celebrate in the conviviality the region is known for, as new members are inducted into the Chevaliers du Tastevin.
If you are travelling in the region in November, a wonderful event to be a part of is the Beaune Wine Festival. This is when the most famous wine auction in the world takes place each year, the Hospices de Beaune. This famous wine auction is an event that will immerse you in the colour, vibrancy and flavours of the region. Taking place each year on the third weekend in November, locals, winemakers, connoisseurs, wine lovers and visitors gather to take part in the festivities which include street performances, wine tastings, a traditional parade and a half-marathon through the streets and vineyards of Beaune. On the Sunday afternoon in the Halles de Beaune, the wine auction is hosted by the revered auction house Christie’s and the profits from the sales go to hospitals, charities and heritage conservation.
Paris on the Way is a personalised tour guide company offering over 50 classic and themed tours of Paris, Normandy and Bordeaux, as well as bespoke tours tailored to suit the exact personal requirements of individuals or groups. Discover more at www.parisontheway.com
Published: 26 July 2017