“Burgundy Healed Me”

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Funny story. A few years back, I was undergoing a bit of a stressful time, and we decided to take a last minute trip to Burgundy to help me “recover.” Escapism, I know.

So we arrive in Meursault exhausted after flying all night and pick up our “hidden” key to our adorable gite rental. We open the door and begin to explore our new home only to discover that it had not been prepared for us since the last guests checked out. I felt a little stressed. So we called the gite manager, and she sent someone right away to clean and prepare it for our arrival What to do?

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We have a couple hours to kill, so we decide to sit in the center of the village and order a bottle of Meursault while we enjoy the fairy-tale-like view of the château. Being as I had been under a lot of stress as of lately, I say to my husband, “It’s amazing how well I am doing!” He responds, “It’s amazing how well you are doing? You are sitting in the most charming wine-making village in Bourgogne sipping a Meursault wine in front of a château, and it’s amazing how well you are doing? Yes. You deserve a medal for enduring such hardships!” Point well taken. We had a good laugh, and “It’s amazing how well I am doing!” became the saying of our trip.

I kept saying that I am going to write a book entitled “Burgundy Healed Me.” Yes, being amidst the vines is soothing, nurturing, healing.

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There are so many beautiful, serene spots in this world to be discovered. But as any Francophile will tell you, there is something addicting, something intoxicating, about France that keeps one needing more.

À bientôt!

Meursault—The Most Charming Burgundian Winemaking Village

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It doesn’t get much more charming on the Route des Grands Crus than the winemaking village of Meursault. This storybook charming village, filled with character, is a dream. From the moment you arrive in the centre and view the château with the fountain bubbling forth until you sit down in the village square and have un café or your first taste of one of the great Meursault whites, you will be in bliss.

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The white wines of Meursault, made from chardonnay grapes, are considered some of the world’s best, along with its neighbors Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. The unique Burgundian terroir produces Meursault whites that are crisp, rich, buttery, full of minerality. I would describe it as tasting the golden color of autumn in a glass. The wine shop in the centre of the village offers glasses of the region’s delicious whites for five euros. You can sit outside and enjoy the view of the château.

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Café across from château

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It is absolutely a must to wander off the beaten path onto the back roads of the village to walk through the gorgeous vineyards and discover the hidden charms.

Hope you enjoyed this little escape for today to the charming village of Meursault.

À bientôt!

 

Biking the Route des Grands Crus

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The Beaune to Santenay cycling route is an absolute must—a never to be forgotten experience—when visiting this region of Bourgogne. This 44-kilometer round-trip route will take you into the heart of the prestigious vineyards on the Route des Grands Crus while you pass through one charming storybook village after another.

To start, you can pick up your bikes at Bourgogne Randonnees in Beaune. The friendly staff will help map out your route and provide tips on where to stop for wine tastings. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to bike 44 kilometers while stopping to taste wine along the way. J’aime la France!

After a short distance of cycling through traffic in Beaune, you will reach the peaceful bike route. The first village you will come to is Volnay. It’s hard to resist the temptation to leave the bike route and explore every nook and cranny of these picturesque villages filled with charm.

The next village you will come to is Pommard, which produces some seriously good vin rouge that is described as masculine compared to its neighboring Volnay that produces a more delicate, or feminine, red from the pinot noir grape. Oh so many great opportunities for tasting in this village! But we have a long way to go.

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The winding bike route through the vineyards as you approach Pommard

As the route takes you past Pommard and into the center of the next village, you will just want to pinch yourself. The charming village of Meursault is the most dreamy of them all. Here is where you will definitely want to stop for un café while you sit in the village square in front of the château.

From here it’s down the hill—which means you will have to come back up—and on to Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, where the terroir contributes to the world’s greatest chardonnays being produced. There are ample spots along the way to stop and have a picnic on the side of a stone wall overlooking the world-renowned Puligny vineyards. Or you can have either an elegant lunch at le Montrachet or a tasting lunch at la Table d’Olivier Leflaive, both located in Puligny-Montrachet.

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At this point, if you can still make it on and up the hill to Santenay—or perhaps leave that for another day by car—you will cycle by more beautiful vineyards.

You’ve made it, hopefully. If so, there is another charming square with a beautiful fountain and more restaurants for lunch if you timed it right. We made it to Santenay one time at 1:50 p.m., plopped ourselves down at a restaurant, and ordered just a bottle of wine as a reward before making the long ride back. Of course, this was probably completely unacceptable etiquette. But at the time, we didn’t know any better. Nonetheless, we were served a bottle of wine.

If you can find the energy to make it up just one more little hill before heading back, you will be brought to the most picturesque château—where naturally there is wine tasting—and a fairy-tale-like turret above the village of Santenay.

Now, it’s a long trip back to Beaune. But what a gorgeous ride it will be! And what better way to end the day than at le Clos Carnot, because I think it should be about apéritif time!

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À bientôt!