Driving and Tasting through the Côte-d’Or
We woke up surprisingly refreshed after our epic three star dinner at Maison Lameloise. Perhaps our good night’s sleep was due to the comfortable room at La Maison Chaudenay, a charming B&B in Burgundy. We couldn’t resist a light breakfast, which was highlighted by chats with Australian travelers staying at the inn. (Since the B&B is owned by a former Aussie and a former Kiwi, it’s not surprising that travelers from down under were at breakfast.) We took a quick walk around the premises, took a final look at the grand Sequoia tree in the backyard, and then we were on our way.
(We’re still trying to figure out how a Sequoia ended up in France.)
Needless to say, we were looking forward to exploring the wine country of Burgundy due to the region’s rich history and our love for wine. For better and worse, we were in Burgundy at the height of the harvest. Yes, we observed some interesting seasonal activity, but we also lost access to many smaller producers who were busily picking their grapes. This is why we hadn’t set up rendezvous appointments. Since the inclement weather eliminated the option of biking, we started our day by driving to the official tasting room in Chassagne-Montrachet, where we got to taste a good selection of the world’s greatest white wines.
We then hopped onto the Route des Grands Crus stretching through the vine filled Côte d’Or. Our next stop was a tasting in Puligny-Montrachet, where we sampled and purchased delicious white wines. The day was still young, so we headed to the town of Meursault, also known for its Chardonnay wines. Suddenly, it was lunch time, and everything was closed except for the restaurants. As we discovered, the French would prefer that everyone eat lunch between 12:00 – 2:00 and shop between 2:00 – 7:00. So, we had no choice but to take a lunch break. We stopped at a small roadside restaurant in Meursault called Le Bouchon, where we dined at a French equivalent of a luncheonette.
After lunch, we drove through the grape lined fields to our next destination, Pommard – yet another cute village with more wine to be tasted. It was a tough job, but we were up to the challenge.
Our next stop was a bit off the beaten path, at least for Americans. We drove up to Nuits-Saint-Georges and went to the Cassissium, a museum dedicated to Cassis, the local blackcurrant liqueur. We were given headsets in English, which helped since everything in the museum was in French and German. We toured the somewhat campy museum and sampled various drinks featuring Cassis and Marc, a local version of pomace brandy.
Our adventure continued as we headed off to our final destination of the day – La Ruchotte in Bligny-Sur-Ouche…