A rainy day in Burgundy . . .
We woke to 52 degrees and rain . . But not to worry – we had discussed wine tasting with Tom’s wife yesterday afternoon. She had called her parents (the winemakers) to make the arrangements and we were set to go – except that we had no idea where they lived or how we’d get there . .
But not to worry – Tom popped in during breakfast (he lives next door to us) – to say that his wife was at school teaching English to high schoolers but that he would take us to wine tasting at 11:30 and that it was only a 5 minute walk . . . Super! 😀. So breakfast was a casual affair. Oatmeal. (Johns speciality). Fresh eggs. Croissants fresh from the bakery. Bread and homemade jam. Lots of fresh fruit. Freshly brewed coffee (carols speciality). Clearly a delicious breakfast and one to savor. 😀.
Literally the best wine tasting experience ever! 😀
So we walked through the village of Auxey-Duresses to the winery. This winery is a two man operation. Mom and Dad! I honestly had no idea what the wines of Burgundy were like when we booked this trip. I assumed they were dark, rich reds – like the Italian Barolo. Well – I was dead wrong. This area grows two kinds of grapes. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines are unique to each particular plot of land. The grapes grow all over the land, every which way. Up and down the hillsides. Like a patchwork quilt. There’s a magic spot just above the mid point of the hill. These vines produce the very best wine of all . Grand Cru. Clearly – the winemaker also plays a huge part in this process!
Eric’s winery has been in the family for as long as he can remember. He has been the main winemaker for many years. He determines – by taste – when the grapes should be harvested. (According to how much sugar he can taste in the grapes). He also makes the determination as to how long the mixture should remain in the oak barrels to age. There’s also pruning and bottling
In this part of France, nobody exports their wine. There are customers who know Eric and Bernadette and come back year after year to purchase wine. A few local restaurants carry their wine and that sometimes brings folks to buy . . . They save some of their very best for special occasions. Birthdays – weddings – things like that.
We tasted four white wines and three reds. We sniffed – swirled – sniffed again – tried to distinguish what we were smelling – and then we tasted – swirling the wine around in our mouths to get the full effect. So special to taste with this unique French man and to learn about the business from him. Tom translated – but Eric added a few words and hand motions – so he was part of the experience. His hands were stained from working the grapes and his muscles were toned from mashing by hand. Sometimes they still use their feet to crush the grapes. . .
The wines were wonderful and we really could taste the difference depending on where the grapes were grown. At least we thought we did! 😳. We had crackers with the white wines and a delicious sausage with the red wines . . And then – of course we bought some. Some for happy hour. Some to enjoy on the boat. Some to take home. I plan to put a date on my red wine so that I’m forced to age it several years . . 😀. We’ll see how that goes . . . Tom says it’s The Terroir that matters with Burgundy wines – the entire atmosphere – the land, the weather, the winemaker – these are what make the wine special.
So then – we walked back home. 😀. And decided to take a walk along the trail that Betsy and Bill walked earlier. Walk off our wine. Get a little exercise. It was very cool. Moss on the trees. Les Cabottes – old stone structures along the path.
We had lunch at the lookout on top of the trail and then headed down as the rain arrived . . . Not much and some of us were unprepared. Oh well. Our boots are muddy – but oh well again . .
Then – it was off to the grocery store for dinner supplies, the butcher for chicken, and the bakery for bread. That’s the way they shop in these small villages! So fun. I am blogging while others are cooking. Not a bad gig this vacationing! 😀. We are having pasta with veggies and chicken and a salad . . . Currently those of us who are not cooking are drinking wine! 😍
Oh – an update on my injury. As I removed the bandages, I discovered this drainage piece sticking out . . Bill took a picture – sent it to Dr Jim with a description of what happened to me. And the word was to remove it! D got it out this afternoon – close to three inches long . Now I’m free of anything but a few stitches and a large bandage! Yeah!