Beaune, France

This morning we left Tours for Beaune. Beaune is in the heart of Bourgogne wine country. It was a fairly long drive so we arrived at 3:00. We had arranged a tour of the Patricharch cellar for wine tasting and we were quite surprised and impressed.  Wine tasting is not the same here as in Napa valley or in eastern Washington.  We had to pay and it included a tour of the cellars.  The cellars are below a monastery and are 200 meters in length.  This is 2 football fields long.  I guess if you have been making wine since the 1700’s you may accumulate a few bottles.  Upon entry, we were provided with sommelier cups (the shallow silver cups that a sommelier wears around his neck in a fine restaurant).  We held on to these anticipating sampling some wine. These are the tunnels we walked through a few shots.

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The caves are dark and long and bottles, casks are everywhere.  There are literally thousands of bottles and casks stacked neatly everywhere..

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After walking for a good half hour looking at all of the wine, we came to an open room with wine casks turned on end.  On each cask was a couple bottles of wine open on them.  We tried 5 whites and they were very good.  I was surprised to see we could just pour the wine ourselves and as many helpings as we wished. –nice.

Following the arrows lead us to another open room with several more barrels and more wine.  We sampled with great enthusiasm.  Needless to say this went on for 5-6 more rooms with the wine getting darker and better as we went.  We picked up a couple of bottles of wine to purchase and moved on.

We went back to our hotel — a very nice family run place with a pool and patio and relaxed for awhile.  (I mean really relaxed).

Later we went into town and walked around.  This whole town is about wine so we looked at some stores and walked around searching for a nice restaurant with outside seating.  We were successful.  We were seated next to a family with two small girls — perhaps around 8-10 years old.  As Michel and Brigette are good Belgians, they picked as an appetizer escargot.  This region is famous for their escargot as well as their wine.  In the process of eating their appetizer, one of the girls looked at the plate and asked mother (in Dutch which Michel understands)  “are they eating snails”  the mother responded “yes” and the look on her face was so priceless I cannot describe it.

Unfortunately, when I took this picture to remember it, she looked away, but she is the blond girl sitting next to Michel holding the sucker.

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Just a perfect reaction.

So, tomorrow we head to another medieval walled city and we bid farewell to Michel and Brigette.  following that we are headed to Switzerland.  It appears our grand adventure is slowly drawing to a close.  I really miss all of you guys and gals at work, but I will be back before you know it.  I have been successful at locating chocolate but I am still working on the wheat grass.

About steveolsson

aimless wanderer
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