August 21-24

After spending a night in Champagne which included a stroll down the strikingly

beautiful Avenue des Champagnes in Epernay, along with a bit of sampling of the local

product, I drove along many a scenic byway in order to reach my destination: the Cote

d’Or. I arrived in Volnay at 7:00 p.m. and was cordially greeted by the Lafarge family

with wine and a lovely dinner.

I spent the next few days exploring the area, including a drive to the stunning city

of Dijon with its white limestone plazas and elegant buildings. The Place de Liberty

proved to be an exceptionally beautiful spot for a lunch of escargot, boeuf Bourgignon

and a bottle of Nuit St. Georges Les Dames de Vergy after starting with some Cremant

de Bourgogne. Earlier in the day I had been in Gevrey-Chambertin taking in the glory

of the grand cru vineyards (le Chambertin, Clos de Beze) and helping my UC Davis

colleague settle in at Domaine Arnaud Rousseau.

I also explored Beaune with some classmates and a few new acquaintances and made

a trek the next day through several premier cru vineyards from Volnay to Meursault on

foot. I picked up a couple baguettes from the local boulangerie and a chausson aux

pommes, then did some grocery shopping at the Casino (a grocery store chain). I also

stopped at the boucherie and ordered 300 g of beef, then ducked into a small store for

some fruits, vegetables, and garlic (for which the word escaped me, but luckily another

patron was able to translate). The 3 km return trip seemed a bit longer carrying two

bags of groceries… Later that night I hiked to the top of the hill behind Volnay and

was rewarded with a spectacular view over most of the Cote de Beaune. I thoroughly

enjoyed handfuls of Burgundy blackberries on both the Volnay and Pommard of the

communal border as the sun was setting.

Chambertin Clos de BezeMeursaultDijonChampagne under crown caps

DSC_0088 Volnay Les Santenots

Ave des ChampagnesDSC_9951

 

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