September 13, 2014
After reflecting on the likelihood that this might be my last free weekend for some time
I decided to stay fairly local. After collecting my week’s groceries at the lively Beaune
outdoor market (multiple cheeses, sausages, tomatoes, peppers) I took a drive up
the Cote d’Or to see which areas were harvesting. The answer was: everywhere! I
saw crews busy at work here in Volnay, Pommard, Beaune, Aloxe-Corton, Nuits St.
Georges, Vosne-Romanee, Vougeot, Gevry-Chambetin, Brochon. The one area that
did not seem to have much action was Chambolle-Musigny.
I went for a hike in a regional park in the hills above Gevry-Chambertin hoping for
a closer look at some gorgeous limestone cliffs which form a lovely backdrop to the
village. Instead, I ended up descending down into the vineyards and hiking back up
an extremely steep trail. Afterwards I took a drive in the Hautes Cotes (hills above the
Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune) right past the limestone cliff outcrops and into an
idyllic, hilly, high country. I wound my way home over the next 70 minutes through tiny
towns and narrow roads as the sun began to set.
For a Saturday night diversion, my friend James and I drove over to a dance hall on the
side of the road near the little town of Laubergement-les-Seurre. There were only four
or five people inside when we arrived. Undaunted, we sidled up to the bar, sipped on
glasses of Cremant de Bourgogne and watched as the Elks Club age group started to
trickle in. Once the swing music started (which is called Rock and Roll here) I could just
as well been back at the Mercury Café back in Denver. We soon had a new group of
French friends and danced the night away. The Elks Lodge folks outlasted us young
whippersnapper and were still rocking along when we headed back home.
On Sunday I cleaned house, cooked up a large batch of risotto, and went to bed early in
anticipation of the Monday morning harvest.