In October we went to visit Beaune, located in the Burgundy region. My husband and I have developed an affection for Beaune in particular because of the beautiful Beaune Hospice.
We arrived the Friday afternoon. We had lunch and wandered the town a bit. We stopped in a wine store and talked to the owner, he had wine out that you could sit and try by the glass. My friend and I stopped and had a glass.
We later met our husbands, they arrived at the place that we were staying at, which was just outside of the ring road around Beaune. That evening we headed out for dinner, we did not have a late night, as we had a tour early the next morning.
In the mourning, our guide Michelle from Burgundy By Request showed up at our door. He drove us into Beaune where, after a wander though the open Saturday market, we started our tour at the Hospice. We learned about the history of the beautiful building and we saw glimpses of how it used to operate as a hospital for the poor and the wealthy.
Then we headed out to a Oliver Leflaive, a winery that also provides tours and a lunch with a wine tasting. The harvest had ended in Beaune and the juice was busy fermenting in the big vats. We learned about the process and how they squeeze the grapes in to juice. After they have fermented in the vats, the juice is then placed in barrels. The barrels are checked for a specific alcohol percentage level. When they reach that level they are then removed for bottling. We learned more about the barrels, which I will talk about in a different post.
Afterward we headed to the restaurant. We had 3 different choices for wine tastings, there were 3, 6 or 9 different tastings offered with lunch. We choose the 3 tastings. During lunch our tour guide walked us through each wine, showing us how to swirl the wine in the glass to add oxygen. Then we talked about the head, or the smell of the wine, which helps to indicate which you will find when you drink. We enjoyed the wines with our meal.
After we were done we headed out of the commune or town of Puligny-Montrachet and stopped along the road side to talk about the vines. It was an interesting talk that I will deal with in another post. We were able to actually see the vines and taste some of the little grapes that were left from harvest!
From there we headed to one last little shop where we tasted a few more wines. The drive though wine country and the information regarding it was very fascinating! So much to talk about in later posts!
When we finished our tour we were kindly driven by our guide back to our lodging and from there we later went into Beaune to enjoy our dinner. Our foray into the Burgundy was informative and very interesting. Wine making is a surprisingly complex process that depends on many factors. It is also interesting how the placement of a field can determine how the grapes taste.
The next morning we finished off our time in Beaune with a little wander though the town and one last wine tasting. We ended our trip eating the famous Beef Burgundy for lunch before we caught the train to return back to our homes.