Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wine Tasting in Burgundy - Beaune, France

With best intentions we headed to Burgundy with bikes, a winery map and an espresso maker.  Good thing we brought the espresso maker as nothing else quite turned out.

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Strolling through the town of Beaune cemented the fact that everything here is about wine.  In fact, the top attraction is the Hospices de Beaune (www.hospices-de-beaune.com), the site of the annual Burgundy wine auction.   The intricate and colorful roof is its trademark, but the inside is just as interesting with well-preserved rooms still decorated as they were when this was an active hospital.  And this is where a lot of drinking and wine buying goes on in November each year.

After a sampling of wines from Rapet Pere et Fils at Koki, we walked through town and discovered a lovely restaurant, Bistro de l’Hotel, part of the L’Hotel de Beaune.  The chef, Johan Bjorklund, and his charming wife, make you feel right at home as you taste the seasonal dishes of the region, like fresh white asparagus,  strawberry gratin and the region’s famous Bresse chicken. 

ImageKOKI Food & Shop (10 place Ziem, 21000 Beaune, +33 (0)3 80 24 06 61)  Modern food shop, wine bar and restaurant, Koki is a great place for a glass of wine and appetizers or a casual meal.  The food is innovative and fresh with a great range of small plates to sample everything from sausages and cheese to fish and vegetables and wonderful desserts.  Many are available for take away and hard-to-find spices, like Star Anise, are available in the boutique. 

On the agenda the following day, biking through Burgundy – cancelled.  Due to a missing bike piece (the one that holds the front wheel on), biking was out, so a driving tour of the region was the replacement.  Lucky for us, it brought us to the adorable hamlet of Savigny-les-Beaune.  Even better, it was the 15th Annual Open Doors weekend when all of the winemakers welcome visitors into their tasting rooms, vineyards or caves to taste and learn about the regions wines. 

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For three Euros each, we were given an empty wine glass, which was our entry ticket to any of the 22 domaines in town serving any number of their wines.  A great way to learn about wines in the region and get a feel for local life.    Savigny-les-Beaune Open Doors (http://www.bienvenue-a-savigny.com/domaines-viticoles-savigny.php)
IMG_0750 Savigny-les-Beaunes Domaines
Details
L’Hotel de Beaune, 5 rue Samuel Legay, 21200, +33 (0)3 80 25 94 14, info@lhoteldebeaune.com, www.lhoteldebeaune.com

Dinner at Jardin des Remparts, 10 rue de l'Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune +33 (0)3-80-24-79-41

Wine Tasting at Rapet Pere et Fils, 21420 Pernand-Vergelesses, Cote d’Or, France, +33 (0)3 80 21 59 94, vincent@domaine-rapet.com, www.domaine-rapet.com

Side trip to Vezelay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site http://www.vezelaytourisme.com/

Bike riding/Wine tasting in Nuit-Saint-Georges (Note to self, bring all bike parts)

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