A Long Weekend in Burgundy France - Part 2
Last week, I wrote about where we went in Burgundy. This week – it’s all about “what we did and where we ate”! So, let’s get into it, shall we?
We arrive in the city of Beaune (population 21,000) around 730 pm. After a run to Carrefour (basically a huge grocery store) for cheese, olives, bread and fruit, we make it to our apartment – Maison Belin, for an awesome dinner of the aforementioned and a quick sleep before our appointment in wine region of Beaujolais with Patrick Brunet at Domaine de Robert on Day Two.
FYI: Beaujolais has long been considered part of Burgundy, but today, Beaujolais is doing its own thing. I guess the best way to put it is - all Beaujolais are Burgundy, but not all Burgundy are Beaujolais!
It was raining, but who cares? We leave Beaune, heading two hours south to the wine region of Beaujolais, specifically, the village of of Fleurie (population 1,200) to meet with Patrick Brunet, the winemaker at Domaine de Robert. On the way to Fleurie, we check out the Sunday market in Chagny (pronounced Shahn-yee) (population 5,500), about 30 minutes south of Beaune. You can find market days in the Beaune area on the Beaune Tourism website. I love a good market and the one in Chagny was adorable! It wasn’t huge, but it was perfect for us! The town center was closed off to cars so the vendors could set up in the village streets. We bought cheese (because you can never have too much) and stopped in to a patisserie (a pastry shop) to get macarons because, ya know, you always need some sugar at 830 on a Sunday morning just before you start drinking wine…And we basically just ate the macarons in the shop, so no pics… I think the shop keeper thought we were crazy....
After the market, we made our way to Fleurie, but the exit we needed to take on the highway was closed, so we had to take the next exit which was 10 miles further south. Although we had to do a detour, we made it to Fleurie, but couldn’t find Domaine de Robert. We were in the right general area, couldn’t find the exact location – no address (Fleurie, has only 1,200 residents, so maybe street/house numbers are optional?). We couldn’t find it on our GPS either. Now what? We stopped in the (apparently only) café, had a coffee, and asked if they knew Mr. Brunet and Domaine de Robert. Sure enough, the bar tender knew him and gave us directions. While the directions were good, we got lost again because we couldn’t find the actual place***
*** most wineries that we visited were basically in really souped-up barns with no addresses or at least not well marked.
Now, late for our appointment, we noticed a Tourist Bureau in Fleurie and decided to stop. You’re probably thinking, why didn’t we stop at the Tourist Bureau first? Well, it was Sunday, and it didn’t actually look open. It WAS open and the helpful woman there had a cell phone number that we called. Patrick Brunet answered the phone and said he’d come get us at the Tourist Bureau! Who does that?
Over the next two and a half hours, we had a fantastic time! Remember to check out the Vinocity website for the details of the wine. If you're interested in reading more about Domaine de Robert, here's a New York Times article on it, and other noteworthy Beaujolais wines!
Note: No wonder we couldn't find it - there was no real street number and the vineyard wasn't set up with a formal tasting room. Even if we had an address, we would never have found it. It was totally rustic - and perfect!
After our visit with Patrick at Domaine de Robert, we headed to a wine festival in the village of Odenas (population 6,880), about 20 minutes south of Fleurie. The festival celebrated the end of the harvest and was called La Fête du Paradis. How’d we find out about that? The bartender at the café in Fleurie! Love that guy!
Because of the rain, the festival was mostly a washout (get it?), so we decided to grab bite at Le Cote de Brouilly restaurant. I had white truffle ravioli with mushroom sauce and Vinocity Vicki had the prix fixe lunch – a pork terrine with pistachios for starters, then a seafood quenelle (basically, a big fat crepe). We each had dessert. I had the lemon tart and Vicki had a praline tart. Again, I have no pictures of our desserts because we tucked into them too quickly. Take my word for it though, they were ridiculously good!
We didn’t finish lunch in Odenas until about 4 pm and by the time we got back to Beaune it close to 630 pm. We were pooped, so we decided to have cheese, bread and olives for dinner. Is that so wrong?
What did we do and where did we eat on Day 3 and Day 4? You’ll have to come back next week to find out!
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