Burgundy has to be the region that most perfectly sums up typical French cooking… every town nestled between those unmistakably coloured vines is bound to have a pot of coq au vin or boeuf bourguignon bubbling away on a hidden stove. Our experience here was certainly on a par with the cooking… classically quintessential! We could hardly believe how many clichés we stumbled across during our short two day exploration of the region’s terroir.
PART 1, “MY MATE HAS A VINEYARD”… THE BEAUNE EXPERIENCE.
Our first experience was a visit to the vineyard of a friend of a friend. Back at the beginning of our journey, whilst enjoying a coffee in a Parisian brasserie, we excitedly discussed plans for our trip with a friend. He casually mentioned that his friend had a vineyard in Auxey-Duresses near Beaune and asked if we would like to visit. We jumped at the opportunity, expecting a small cluster of vines that the friend nurtured as a hobby. Nothing prepared us for where the GPS directed us to. A bit temperamental at times, we presumed that the Sat Nav was having a ‘spazz attack’ as we like to call it. However after re-entering the information we realised that in fact we were at the right place! ‘A friend’s vineyard’ turned out to be the Moulin Aux Moines winery that produced 45,000 bottles per year from 10 hectares of vineyards. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the beauty and charm of the property; a thousand year old stone house surrounded by a sea of Burgundy vines.
We were given a private tour of the vineyards, cellars (where we tried wines straight from the barrel), dove cote and all. Then onwards to the most quintessential tasting room one could ever imagine… a wall stacked from floor to ceiling with grands and premiers crus, a wooden bench with glasses and tasting vessels of all kinds, topped off with a burning fire and huge sofas that would most certainly swallow you up after a wine tasting… dangerous!!
Jordane was extremely passionate about Burgundy wine which he described, like many, as ‘the poetry of the wine world’. Bordeaux wines, he stated, are like novels, heavy and deep; whereas the lighter aromas of the Pinot Noir grape are read and appreciated differently by each individual, each person experiencing their individual appreciation of the Burgundy greats. Our favourite was the Pommard Premier Cru which was spicy yet elegant with hints of liquorice. Chassagne Montrachet came in at a close second with its dry yet succulent golden texture and aromas of flowers and hazelnut.
For our evening’s entertainment, Jordane directed us to Chez Maurice, a wine bar where we whiled away the hours drinking soft and mellow Beaune Premier Cru reflecting the ambience set by a live saxophonist. A wine merchant up front, the bar is only accessible by clambering through crates of wines to an inner courtyard offering excellent tarts (we shared a snail and a butternut squash tart) and cakes as well as their great selection of wines from the Cote d’Or and beyond. Bliss!
- Driving and Tasting through the Côte-d’Or (2foodtrippers.com)