Saturday, November 10, 2012

RC2: Vineyard Bike Trip

One of my favorite days in France was our day in the Burgundy region.  After two rainy days in Paris, we boarded the 200mph TGV train, which screamed South just ahead of the rain.  We arrived in Beaune to see blue-ish skies, which seemed convincing enough to lead us to the bike rental shop.  

The route recommended to us was a lazy ride through countryside and vineyards, with wine-tasting stops in Savigny-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses, and Aloxe-Corton.  Once we passed the outskirts of Beaune, the roads widened, and we were surrounded by vineyards.

I'll save you the embarrassment of asking which grapes are used to produce burgundy wines.  I asked, and the wine guide just stared blankly at me.  At the time, I thought this was a language-barrier issue, but now I'm pretty sure she was just trying to compose a gracious response to my dumb question.
Burgundy wine is (obviously) 100% pinot noir grape.  Write that down.

In Savigny-lès-Beaune, we tasted a Burgundy at this castle.  The wine was good, but this moat is better:

Little towns were nestled into the acres of vineyards.

The Chateau de Corton Andre in Aloxe-Corton had a beautiful exterior and charming cellar.

We were able to taste and compare wines made from grapes of differing terroirs of Burgundy. This region is parceled into hundreds of plots of land on which the vineyards are planted; their borders were drawn centuries ago, and each one has a different terroir (makeup of soil, microclimate, and geography of the parcel of land).  Though two parcels may border one another, the ancient line-drawing can be the pricy difference between the grapes that go on to produce a Grand Cru versus a Primer Cru or Village AOC wine.

Wine barrel construction room: 

The wine cellar:
Like the chandelier?

Fall scenes from the vineyards:

The rain clouds finally caught up with us, which made for an interesting twist to our afternoon bike ride.  We arrived back to Beaune pretty soaked but rallied thanks to hot showers and a heated towel-bar in our hotel.



  1. Doesn't hurt that our ride started with a stop for lunch that included the pork and fried goat cheese dishes seen in an earlier post. We ate and drank well despite biking in a foreign land where we didn't speak the language.

  2. Some of the coolest photos yet. Sign me up for a bike ride in and around the lovely Beaune.


  3. More gorgeous photos! You should start another career as a tour planner. Sign me up!

  4. This trip looks amazing! I can't believe all those bottles of wine and the cute little villages! Please share more from your trip!


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