After a short Halloween detour, I’m back with the final installment of “A Long Weekend in Burgundy France”. Here’s what we did and where we ate on Day 3 and Day 4.
We have two appointments for wine tastings and tours. Our first is at Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils, in the village of Morey St. Denis. With a population of only 687, it’s everything you’d imagine in a French village in the countryside! But don’t take my word for it - I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Our private tour and tasting was fantastic! Don’t forget to check out Vinocity for all of the details regarding the wine! After our two hour visit, it’s lunchtime and we’re hungry! The winemaker, Chantal, graciously recommended and scored reservations for us at the Castel de Tres Girard. It’s not only a restaurant, but a hotel, too. I had monkfish, which is really common in France, but not so common in the U.S. It’s a mild, but really meaty fish like cod, except the texture is a bit more like lobster. If you get a chance to try a perfectly cooked monkfish like the dish I had at the Castel, you’ll be hooked! Vinocity Vicki had the cod and she loved her dish as well.
For dessert, we both had lemon tarts topped with figs. Holy cow! AND, I even remembered to take a photo!
After lunch, we made our way to Gevrey-Chambertin, the next village over, for our appointment with Phillipe Rossignol at Domaine Phillipe Rossignol. Compared to Morey St. Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin is practically a metropolis with a population of 3,000! What an incredible visit! He was so accommodating and spent about 2 ½ hours with us.
Dinner was simple – cheese/wine at back at our cozy apartment! We picked up a bunch of souvenirs and a bottle of wine at the Graine de Moutarde, a shop in Beaune. The shopkeeper was really engaging – plus he had super cool souvenirs.
1. All of the winemakers we met with are really well regarded in the winemaking industry. Some have been featured in the New York Times, and they all know the big names in the industry – wine critic Robert Parker, winemaker and author Kermit Lynch, etc. But they spent a lot of time with us - explaining their approach to winemaking and I can’t thank them enough or say enough wonderful things about our experiences with all of them!
2. It’s also important to mention that, with the exception of Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils, all of the tastings were in French, so I was doing a fair amount of translating. I’m not sure how they accommodate non-French speakers, so if you hope to visit any of the wineries, you’ll need to request an appointment in English if you don't speak French.
3. Making an appointment is key. The wineries we visited are set up slightly differently than what you might typically see in the U.S. With the exception of Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils, they don’t have a tasting room. You taste in the cellars or in with the tanks, just like the winemakers, and they present what they’d like you to taste. I suppose the best way to describe it is, they’re making wine and they graciously drop everything to take time to talk to you about their craft.
4. Are you scratching your head saying, "I’ve heard the word 'Chateau' before, but not 'Domaine'. What’s the difference? “Domaine” and “Chateau” are pretty much the same thing, with one small difference. “Chateau” typically refers to a Bordeaux wine (on the western side of France), while "Domaine" generally refers to a Burgundy wine (on the eastern side of France). Cool, huh?
Breakfast: coffee/fruit/cheese/wine (because we didn’t want to waste perfectly good wine from last night…)
Today is our last day and we swing by the E.Leclerc grocery store to pick up more souvenirs on our way to the small village of Echevronne (population 268) to meet with Lydia and Christophe Pertuzot at Domaine Cornu-Camus. Lydia, the co-manager of the Domaine, has a master’s degree in biology so she knows what she’d talking about!
After our visit, we make a stop in the city of Auxerre (population 35,000). It’s on the way to Paris and will be a nice detour for lunch and to get a bit of exercise in before our flight back to the U.S.
One thing Vinocity Vicki wanted to eat while in France was escargot. She loves them. Unbelievably, no places we ate served them. So on the way to Auxerre, I searched top escargot restaurants in Auxerre and found a restaurant named L’Asperule (the website isn't great). Sadly, although L'Asperule was listed as a restaurant that served escargot, there were none to be had on the menu! That’s okay. The chef was formerly at the Sofitel in Paris and had studied with Joel Robuchon. Not a shabby meal! I had a quenelle (remember – it’s a giant stuffed crepe) and Vinocity Vicki had a beef terrine.
It was a beautiful day (finally the sun!) in Auxerre and after walking off lunch, we stopped off at a patisserie to pick up some goodies for the trip back, because, why not? We got sandwiches and macarons. I even got a Speculoos macaron (I love Speculoos – here’s the post with my recipe for them). Of course, I ate it immediately without snapping a pic!
Back to the airport….
A big thanks to Vinocity Vicki, who coordinated the visits with her wine industry contacts. We both agreed that we made a good team - her vast knowledge of wine and my French. Remember to check out Vinocity for Vicki’s posts on the specific wines from:
Domaine de Robert, Fleurie-Morgon, Fleurie
Domain Pierre AMIOT & Fils, Morey-Saint-Denis
Domaine Philippe Rossignol ,Gevrey-Chambertin
Domaine Cornu-Camus, Echevronne
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